3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1-1/2 pounds ground beef (20% fat)

2 onions, chopped

2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

1 tablespoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock or broth

2 teaspoons sugar

½ cup raisins

3 packages (12 each) puff pastry dough for turnovers/empanadas (preferably Goya)

½ cup pitted green olives (picholine or Spanish), rinsed well, cut in half lengthwise


1.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over high heat.  Cook beef, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned but not completely cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.  Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat in the pan as possible.

 2.  Reduce heat to medium and cook onion, bell peppers and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, stirring, until tender but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes, and season with salt and black pepper.  Add cumin, paprika, oregano and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add chicken stock and reserved beef along with any accumulated juices to pot.  Stir in sugar, 4 teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until most of the liquid is evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes, then taste and season with salt and black pepper if needed.  Stir in raisins.  Transfer to a medium bowl, cover and chill at least 3 hours.

3.  Preheat oven to 375*.  Let dough sit at room temperature 15 minutes to temper.  Remove 6 rounds from each package, keeping the plastic divider underneath, and arrange on a work surface.  Place 2 tablespoons filling in the center of each round and top with 2 olive halves.  Brush water around half of outer edge of each round.  Using the plastic divider to help you, fold round over filling and pinch edges to seal.  Using a fork, crimp edges.  Remove plastic and transfer empanada to a parchment lined sheet tray, spacing 1 inch apart.  Repeat with remaining rounds (you’ll get about 12 empanadas on each tray)Bake empanadas, rotating tray halfway through, until golden brown and slightly darker around the edges, 25 to 35 minutes.

NOTE: Filling can be made 3 days ahead.  Keep chilled.  Unbaked empanadas can be made 3 months ahead:  freeze on sheet tray, then transfer to freezer bags and keep frozen.


from Gaby Melian, Bon Appetit Magazine, February, 2017

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