Roast Beef Empanadas

A few weeks ago Ben and I went to visit our friends Jason and Carrie in Decatur.  Along with having a fun weekend catching up and enjoying our time together we ate some incredible food.  Carrie made us empanadas with a chicken, black bean and corn filling.  They were crazy good.  The empanada dough is from Smitten Kitchen, but the filling was her own creation.  I envy her ability and confidence in creating recipes without a recipe.  Someday I will be able to break free from recipes and spread my culinary wings…

The chicken filling was good, but Carrie mentioned trying a different filling of roast beef at some point.  On her way to Albuquerque this week, Carrie made a pit stop here and spent a few days with us.  We tried these roast beef empanadas with lovely results.  The flavors are quite different from a traditional empanada.  It reminded me of a cheese-steak, only wrapped in pastry instead of a soft bread roll.  Are you drooling?  I am.


Roast Beef Empanada Filling

Courtesy of Carrie Hartman


  • 1 pot roast (2-4 pounds)
  • 1-2 onions, halved and sliced
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 12 oz. can beef broth


  • ½-1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and sliced
  • salt, pepper, cayenne
  • ⅛-¼ cup Worcestershire
  • Onions and garlic, reserved from roast
  • ¼ cup juices from roast

Cook Roast: Place meat, fat side up, in dutch oven. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place onions and garlic on top of roast. Pour in beef broth. 

Bake at 325° for 2-4 hours, until done. 

Filling: Remove roast and set aside to cool. Trim fat and chop meat. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute jalapeños for 2-3 minutes. Add in onions and garlic from roast pan. Continue to saute until almost all liquid has evaporated. Add in chopped roast and Worcestershire. Season to taste.

Empanada Dough

  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour + 3 cups all-purpose)
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup or 8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup ice water
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

Sift flour with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. (Mixture will look shaggy.) Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into two flat rectangles and chill them, each wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour. Dough can be chilled up to 6 hours total.

Roll out dough to ⅛-¼ inch thickness. Cut into rounds 4-6 inches in diameter. Place 1-2 teaspoons of filling in the center of each round. Fold over and pinch to close. Brush with egg wash. 

Bake @ 425° for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 5-10 minutes.

We served these with sour cream on the side.  We also added a little bit of smoked provolone in each empanada which made it even more like a cheese-steak!  These were quite good, and I’ll make them again.  The dough is so versatile that it might just inspire me to make up my own filling…we’ll see.

The filling

empanada5The dough


Filling the Dough

empanada2Folding and Closing the Empanadas