Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Corned Beef Empanadas With Pickled Cabbage Slaw (Curtido)

Cuisine: Central American
Servings: 24 Empanadas

Besides enjoying some corned beef and cabbage, the closer we get to St. Patrick's Day, the closer I know we are to springtime weather.

The traditional way to enjoy corned beef is usually boiled until tender with green cabbage served with potatoes and carrots.

I combined my love for oven-baked empanadas with savory corned beef and quick pickled cabbage slaw in a curtido style for this corned beef recipe.

I was recently asked about empanada dough, and I always return to my mom's recipe.

This particular dough comes together very quickly with few ingredients. It's easy to roll out and bakes up light and flaky. Many people avoid using it when I tell them the dough includes beer. It works!

I don't know why it works because I am not a professional baker, but I always love the results! 


  1. Add the cold beer to the melted shortening, and stir gently. Add the baking powder, salt and gradually add in the flour until the dough forms. Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, adding a little flour. The dough should be a little tacky but not sticky. Transfer to bowl, cover and set aside.
  2. For the filling, preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the onion, potatoes, carrots, jalapeño, and garlic. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Add the corned beef, vinegar, and pepper. Stir well to combine, season with salt to taste. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, fold in the shredded cheese, cover, and chill until ready to use.
  3. When the filling is cooled and ready, preheat the oven to 395ºF. Roll 24 dough balls, transfer them to a plate, and cover them loosely with plastic wrap. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each dough ball to about 5 inches in diameter. Fill with 3 full tablespoons of filling, fold over, pinch, and seal. Transfer to a baking sheet. Slice a 1/2 slit on top of the empanadas, and brush with egg wash. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes on the lower rack of the oven until golden brown. Move the pan of empanadas up to the middle of the oven and broil for a minute or until the desired browning is reached.
  4. While the empanadas are baking, prepare the curtido (slaw). Preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for a few minutes. Add the onions, poblano pepper, bell pepper, jalapeño, and garlic. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Add in the carrots, cabbage, and vinegar. Toss to combine, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for just another minute, fold in the cilantro, cover, and remove from heat until ready to serve. Serve empanadas with the curtido.

Chef Notes

  • If you have room, you could roll out half of the dough and use a bowl to cut out the discs a few at a time. I suggest preparing the filling a day ahead to let the flavors blend well.
  • The empanadas can be served at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  • Refrigerate after that time or lay on a baking pan and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag to store for up to 2 months.
  • The best way to reheat empanadas is in a dry nonstick pan on medium/low heat, turning them as needed.

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