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Grande Beef Empanada

Grande Beef EmpanadaA savory, super-sized empanada filled with ground beef seasoned with chili sauce, cumin and sweet raisins. Serve topped with sour cream, salsa and chopped fresh cilantro. Recipe includes directions for appetizer-sized empanadas as shown in photo.

This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium and zinc; and a good source of iron.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef (80% to 85% lean)
1/4 cup raisins, chopped
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 refrigerated pie crust (1/2 of 15-ounce package)*
Water as needed

Optional Toppings: Prepared salsa, salsa con queso, chopped fresh cilantro

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into small crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings.
  3. Stir in raisins, chili sauce, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  4. Unfold pie crust; place on baking sheet. Spoon beef mixture evenly over 1/2 of dough, leaving 1 1/2-inch border around edge. Moisten edge of dough with water; fold pastry over filling. Press edges of dough together with fork to seal. Prick center of dough with fork once or twice to form steam vents.
  5. Bake in 400°F (205°C) oven 16 to 18 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Serve with toppings, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

*Or use your favorite pastry recipe for a single crust, or ours: Basic Pie Crust 101.

Variation for Beef Empanada Appetizers: Use 3 refrigerated pie crusts, or 1 1/2 (15-ounce) packages. Prepare ground beef filling as above. Roll out each pie crust to a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Cut 10 circles from each crust with a 3-1/2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, spacing the cutouts closely. Spoon a generous tablespoon beef filling in center of each circle, leaving 1/4-inch border around edge. Moisten edge of dough with water; fold pastry over filling to form half-circle. Press edges together with fork to seal. Place on baking sheet. Bake in 400°F (205°C) oven 14 to 16 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Serve as above. Makes 30 appetizers.

Test Kitchen Tips:

  • Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef.
  • Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F (71.1°C).
  • Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe for Grande Beef Empanadas): 507 calories; 27 g fat (11 g saturated fat; 6 g monounsaturated fat); 86 mg cholesterol; 9 mg sodium; 39 g carbohydrate; 0.6 g fiber; 26 g protein; 5.5 mg niacin; 0.4 mg vitamin B6; 2.4 mcg vitamin B12; 2.9 mg iron; 18.4 mcg selenium; 5.7 mg zinc.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/30 of recipe for Beef Empanada Appetizers; 1 appetizer): 131 calories; 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 1 g monounsaturated fat); 14 mg cholesterol; 173 mg sodium; 12 g carbohydrate; 0.1 g fiber; 4 g protein; 0.07 mg niacin; 0.1 mg vitamin B6; 0.3 mcg vitamin B12; 0.4 mg iron; 2.5 mcg selenium; 0.8 mg zinc.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of The Beef Checkoff.