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Haman Hat-Shaped Beef Empanadas

Meat Meat
8 Servings Serving Icon
4 Hours, 30 Minutes Preferences Icon

These stuffed pockets of deliciousness are perfect for Purim. They are loaded with spiced meat and wrapped in delicious pastry dough. Feel free to cheat and buy pastry or pizza dough, or go for it and make it all from scratch. The herbed dipping sauce adds a savory finish as well as great color.


Prepare the Empanadas

1. Heat two tablespoons oil in a large pot over high heat. Add beef and cook, breaking it up so it’s crumbly, until browned but not completely cooked through, six to eight minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat in the pan as possible.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, red peppers and remaining one tablespoon oil, stirring until softened but not browned, six to eight minutes. Add cumin, paprika, oregano, smoked paprika, and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about one minute.
3. Add chicken stock and reserved beef with any accumulated juices to pot. Stir in honey, kosher salt, and black pepper.
4. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until most of the liquid is evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in raisins and olives.
5. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and chill at least three hours.
6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with Gefen Parchment Paper. Bring dough to room temperature.
7. Roll dough out on work surface to about one-fourth-inch thick. With a round cookie cutter or the top of a glass, cut out circles, about three inches in diameter.
8. Place two to three teaspoons (depending on how well it fits) filling in the center of each round.
9. Brush water around outer edge of each round. Fold three sides in to make a triangle, and seal, slightly overlapping the dough or crimping it together. For traditional empanada shape, fold round in half over filling and pinch edges to seal. Use a fork to crimp edges.
10. Transfer empanadas to prepared baking sheet, spacing one inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
11. Bake empanadas, rotating tray halfway through, until golden brown and slightly darker around the edges, 25 to 35 minutes.


Filling can be made three days ahead. Keep chilled. Unbaked empanadas can be made three months ahead; freeze on sheet tray, then transfer to freezer bags and keep frozen. Feel free to make these in a triangle shape too!

Prepare the Pie Dough

1. Blend flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add cold margarine and pulse until mixture forms pea-size pieces. Drizzle ice-cold water over crumbs and pulse just until moistened.
2. Turn dough onto a work surface and gather into a ball, turning to combine any dry crumbs.
3. Divide dough in half, form each into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes. Dough can be frozen up to three months.


Makes one full pie crust, top and bottom.

Prepare the Herbed Dipping Sauce

1. In a food processor, pulse jalapeño, cilantro, and mint until blended well. Add water, oil, lemon juice, honey, and salt. Blend until smooth, adding more water if needed.


Makes 1 and 1/2 cups


Photography by Chay Berger