Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Steak Picado Empanadas (Beef Empanadas)

Cuisine: Latin
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12-14 Empanadas
These steak picado beef empanadas are perfect for when you need a meal on the go! Delicious anytime of the day.

These steak picado empanadas are a delicious meal on the go or a light snack any time of the day. Seared and braised chuck steak simmered in a fresh tomato sauce with peppers and potatoes, all stuffed into a homemade empanada dough. The steak picado is the perfect filling for empanadas or simply served in a warm tortilla.

Growing up, my family enjoyed many homemade pumpkin and pineapple empanadas that were lovingly prepared by my mom. As I learned to cook on my own, I began to test recipes for savory empanadas and I was hooked! One of the keys to a good steak picado empanada is a nicely reduced, thick sauce. Too much sauce will make the empanadas more difficult to seal.


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For the Steak Picado
  1. Season the chopped steak with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Set aside. Preheat 2 tablespoons of oil to medium/high heat in a large skillet for a few minutes. When hot add the beef. Spread out evenly and cook until nicely browned and seared in spots, about 6-7 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño and potatoes. Stir well to combine and continue cooking for 5 minutes. To the blender, add the tomatoes, bouillon, oregano, chile ancho powder and cumin. Add just enough water so that the tomatoes will blend easily.
  3. Add the blended tomatoes to the steak picado. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cover and continue cooking until sauce reduces and steak picado becomes very thick. Taste for salt. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Chill overnight if not using right away.
For the Empanadas
  1. Sift the dry ingredients together. Cut in the shortening until you have fine crumbles. Whisk the eggs and milk together. Gradually add in the milk mixture to the flour mixture until dough forms.
  2. Knead the dough for a few minutes. If it seems too dry, work in a little more milk, but not too much. I like to roll my dough balls now, about the size of a ping-pong ball. I place them in a plastic storage bag. Let dough balls rest for at least 30 minutes.
  3. When ready l, place dough ball on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 5 inches in diameter. Use as little flour as possible when rolling them out. Fill with about 2½-3 tablespoons of beef. Fold over and gently press to push any air our from around the filling. I fold the end in, so it looks like a triangle. Continue folding in and pinching towards the center until done. Or you can you a fork to gently seal the empanada closed.
  4. Place empanadas on lined baking sheets. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush empanadas with eggwash. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Bake for 30 minutes on the bottom rack of oven. Move to the middle and finish browning under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Chef Notes

If you are having trouble with your fillings leaking out while the empanadas bake, try brushing some egg wash on the inside edge of empanada dough before sealing.

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