Empanadas, a Filipino dish of Hispanic origin, only came into Philippine cuisine with the introduction of beef cattle from Mexico. Empanadas take some work in making the pastry but are delicious portable meals. The following makes about 20 empanadas depending on how thinly the pastry is rolled.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 cup diced potatoes (red potatoes work a little better than brown ones)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins

In a frying pan, brown the ground beef. After pushing the meat to one side of the pan, sauté the garlic until brown, then add the onion. Mix the meat, garlic, and onion, then add potatoes. Stir and cook the mixture until the potatoes are tender. Season the filling with salt and pepper and mix in the raisins. Set the filling aside.

Pastry (ready-made pie crust mix can be used as a substitute but isn't as tasty)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 3 egg yolks (save the egg whites for sealing the emapandas

Mix and knead all the pastry ingredients until the dough is soft. On a table or huge floured board, roll the dough out very thinly to 1/8 inch or thinner. Using a jar or cup with a 4 to 5 inch diameter and a knife if needed, cut circles out of the dough. Put a spoonful of filling in the center of each circle, then fold each into a half moon shape, wetting the edges with egg white for sealant. Press the edges together to seal. Then the empanadas can be either baked in a preheated 425ºF oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown, or deep fried until golden brown then drained.

I'm eating one right now!