Meat Empanadas

Empanadas come in two basic forms -- sweet and meat -- dessert or main dish.  Today Doņa Martha and daughter Martha are making meat ones.

Today's empanadas are beef.  Any meat could be used -- chicken, pork, lamb, kid (young goat).

She begins by cutting the one kilo of meat into easy to handle chunks.

The meat is simmered with half of a large white onion until the meat is very tender -- about an hour and a half.

When the meat is cool to enough to handle, Martha begins shredding it and carefully removing the fat.


Two small tomatoes and some onion are sautéed in vegetable oil.  Then the shredded meat is added, stirred well and briefly heated.

Coco and I had gone to the neighborhood tortilleria to buy two kilos of masa which Doņa Martha kneaded with a little water until it was smooth to make the shells.

A disk of the masa is placed between two pieces of a plastic bag, not sticky plastic food wrap.

A wooden paddle is used to press the masa to make a larger disk than the tortilla press would make.  

The top plastic sheet is taken away and a little of the meat is mounded in the center.

The bottom plastic is used to fold the tortilla over.  

Then the edges are pressed together to seal the meat inside.

Ready to go to the frying pan.


The vegetable oil is deep enough to cover the empanadas as they are fried to a light golden color.

She made some with a chile verde salsa spread over the meat.

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