Columbian Christmas Empanadas

December 26, 2014

Empanadas are a popular dish in many Central and South American countries during Christmas time.  These hand held meat pies are stuffed with a variety of fillings from chicken to ground beef to ground lamb.  This version reigns from Columbia and is finger lickin' good.  The flavorful and vibrant pastry crust is paired with a rich flavored ground beef filling studded with tomatoes, red bell peppers, garlic and cilantro.  They are deep fried until golden brown and crisp.  This is also a great recipe for Christmas leftovers.  You can substitute the ground beef for leftover turkey or ham.  While the filling may not be considered traditional, it still will be tasty.

Columbian Christmas Empanadas
Recipe from Sweet y Salado


2 large brown potatoes
Water (enough to cover the potatoes)
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup (90 g) red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup (100 g) tomatoes, chopped (peeled and seeded)
1 tbsp onion powder (you can substitute 1/2 cup green onion, chopped)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (25 g) cilantro, chopped (optional)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 lb. ground beef (you can also use whatever type of beef you prefer)

3 cups (720 ml) hot water
1 chicken bouillon
1 envelope Sazón Goya with Achiote or Azafrán (you can also use 1/2 tbsp Triguisar or color)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp softened butter
3 cups (450 gr) pre-cooked white corn meal

For full recipe instructions, watch the video below or click here.


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