Picadillo is a traditional Latin dish that is made with ground beef, tomatoes and peppers. Every Latin American country makes their version a little different and this one is the Cuban version that uses olives, raisins/currants, garlic, oregano and a bit of red wine vinegar. The name Picadillo comes from the verb Picar which means “to mince”.
I always loved empanadas which are Latin pastries that are stuffed and either baked or fried. I chose to bake mine as they are much healthier and a lot less messy. The word empanada comes from the verb “empanar” which means “to wrap or coat in bread” To see how I made my Baked Picadillo Empanadas, keep reading.
baked empanadas Recipes
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 4″ inch stick cinnamon
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon halved
- 1½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 2- lbs. ground beef
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- ¾ cups raisins
- ¾ cup green pimento-stuffed olives halved
- 1 28 ounce tomatoes can whole peeled, undrained, crushed
- ½ cup slivered almonds toasted
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 packages of large Goya frozen Empanada discs each package contains 10 discs
- 1 large egg beaten with a couple tablespoons of water (this will be used for the eggwash)
- Flour for dusting your wooden board
- Heat the oil in a 12″ cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add cinnamon stick, onions, and peppers; cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add half the ground cinnamon, oregano, cloves, and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until it browns, 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; add raisins, olives, and tomatoes. Cook until liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Stir in remainder of ground cinnamon, almonds, and vinegar.
- Once done, let cool before you make your Empanadas.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Dust a wooden board with some flour and lay out a empanada disc onto it. Place about 2 heaping tablespoons of the meat mixture into the center of the disc. Carefully fold over to close to form half circles. With the tines of a fork, crimp the ends close as I have it in the picture. Lay out on a baking sheet lined with non stick foil. Brush the empanadas with the egg wash. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!
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This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the Spoonacular Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
To make the filling, mix together the olives and tomato sauce in a medium saucepan. Add 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano. Add raisins if desired. Simmer mixture for 20 minutes, until thick and seasoned. Transfer mixture to a serving dish. Serve with a dipping sauce.
To assemble the empanadas, first make the filling. Place one heaping tablespoon of filling on each empanada circle. Fold over the dough, and press the edges together to seal. Repeat with remaining empanada dough. Brush with beaten egg.
To assemble baked picadillo empanadas, preheat oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, prepare the filling for baked empanadas. Combine the picadillo, cheese, and egg. Spoon the filling on the bottom half of each rectangle, leaving about 3/4 inch on the bottom edge. Fold dough over the filling and bake until done.
The dough can be made ahead of time. First, sift flour into a large bowl. Add butter and mix at medium speed. Mix until combined. Then, add egg and vinegar, and beat for another minute. Add water if necessary. After the dough is completely incorporated, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. To assemble the empanadas, roll out half of the dough. Roll out dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut out shapes about 4 to 5 inches in diameter.