Picadillo Empanadas of the Immaculate Conception
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For the dough:
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 8 oz, about 185 g cream cheese or fresh nata at room temperature
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
For the picadillo (makes about 4 cups):
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup white onion chopped
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 lb pork shoulder or butt or combination of pork, beef and veal, ground
- 3/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
- 1 lb ripe tomatoes pureed, or about 2 cups tomato puree
- 2 cups chicken broth or water
- Pinch of cumin
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon ground
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds lightly toasted
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup Manzilla olives chopped
To make the dough:
- Beat the cream cheese with the butter in a mixer at medium speed, until it is creamy. Gently add the flour and salt and continue mixing for a minute more. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate from 15 minutes up to 24 hours.
- After refrigerating, sprinkle flour over the countertop and roll out half the dough until its about 1/4 inch thick. For medium sized empanadas, cut out rounds of 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Continue until all of the dough is used.
- Grease a baking sheet with butter. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the picadillo filling into the center of each round. Brush the edges of the round with the beaten egg. Fold a side of the circle over the filling across the other side. Press with your fingers as you close. Without breaking the dough, press with a fork over the edges to seal and make a design.
- Place the empanadas on the baking sheet. When you fill the baking sheet, lightly brush their tops with the lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake the empanadas anywhere from 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops have a golden tan and dough is cooked through. Serve hot.
To make the picadillo:
- Heat olive oil in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for a couple of minutes, until it becomes translucent and soft. Incorporate chopped garlic and saute for about a minute until it becomes fragrant. Incorporate the meat and the salt and let it cook for about 8 minutes, until cooked and lightly browned.
- Pour in tomato puree and let it season, stirring often, for 5 to 6 minutes, until it has deepened its color, thickened in consistency and lost the raw flavor. Pour in the chicken broth or water, cumin, cloves and cinnamon. Stir well and let it cook 15 minutes more.
- Add the raisins, almond and olives, mix well and taste for seasoning. Cook for 5 more minutes. If needed, add more salt. The filling should be nice and moist.
- Just remember, once it cools, it will dry a little more as it will absorb the juices. Turn off the heat. You can make the filling up to two days ahead of time, let it cool, cover and refrigerate.
48comments inPicadillo Empanadas of the Immaculate Conception
I have to try making them. Thank you for the receipe.
My pleasure Cecilia!
Hi Pati! I am truly addicted to your shows. I was born in Mexico City, moved to the USA when I married, and I have lived here for the past 56 years. I love to cook, something I learned as a young bride, I never had the opportunity to cook whilst at home, as you know many households have cooks. My husband was so patient and loved everything I “tried cooking” even if was bad! Therefore, it gave me the opportunity to learn to cook and experience different cuisines of the world. Mexican cooking is so versatile and has outstanding dishes!
I made the empanadas, and we all loved them: absolutely delicious, and thinking of making a recipe going back to 1540 made by nuns made it even more special. A few points – reading the recipe, I decided not to add the extra broth, I was concerned it will make it too soupy. If I should have done so, please advise. Cutting the circles, I should have cut them to your specifications to four to five inches, mine were smaller. Now I have leftovers of the delicious picadillo – I will use this to make chiles poblanos and BTW, I love the recipe from your book “Mexican Today.” Felicidades Pati!
As long as you guys loved the empanadas as you made them, by all means stick to your recipe Kitty. Chiles rellenos is a great idea for picadillo left overs, yum!
Haven’t made anything yet. This will be my first time cooking this ethnic type of food since my wife of 50 yrs. Passed away from Covid and l definitely need to add spice to my life. Not burning spicy because l enjoy the flavor coming through especially a good sauce.
You will love these empanadas Richard because they are not spicy at all but still full of flavor!. Un abrazo and my condolences on the passing of your wife.
Dear Pati, I made this recipe yesterday, and we shared with the neighbors, everyone loves these empanadas. This was a very easy and tasty meal. Thank you for sharing your recipes, I have made at least a dozen of your recipes. Love your cooking and watch your videos all the time.
Thanks so much for following Paula, and for spreading the love 😉
¡Hola! ¿Se podrían hacer estas empanadas con harina sin gluten o con masa de maíz? Se ven muy ricas
Claro que si Irma, si las haces cuentame como te salen!
Me encanta ver tus programas, no me los pierdo. No solo aprendo platillos diferentes, también aprendí a conocer mas Mexico.
Muchas gracias Magda, que alegria que disfrutes el programa, te mando un abrazo!
CAN THESE BE MADE WITH PUFF PASTRY?
They could of course, let me know how they come out!
Vamos a cocinar este fin de semana , gracias por la receta.
Espero que hayan disfrutado las empanadas!
I am looking forward to making your recipe for empanadas. I have really enjoyed making recipes from you Pati, and these empanadas look amazing. Thank you so much for your emails to me way down in Western Australia, I always watch your shows and enjoy seeing you cook with your boys. Family is everything.
Thanks for watching all the way in Australia! Un abrazo, Carole 😉
Jodi Marie Martin
Wow, the history of empanadas, very impressive, and thoroughly interesting, best of all the receipes sound delicious….thanks for sharing
My pleasure Jodi!
Great recipe, We made picadillo for dinner last night to eat with white rice and cassava boiled. We have leftovers so we are going to make these. For Holidays I will try with the pork. Love cooking love your show ❤️
Thanks so much, left over picadillo is perfect for empanadas!
I wonder if I could make the dough gluten-free with rice, almond, coconut or cassava flour?
I do not see why not Diane!
Gracias por la receta esas empanadas tienen una pinta yumy yumy las prepararé este fin de semana tu muy bien Paty saluditos
Espero que te hayan gustado!
😋 These are delicious Pati! Question: Can the Baked Empanadas be frozen? How to Reheat? Thanks!
They can be frozen and then just thaw and reheat in the oven when ready to serve them. However, I would recommend to freeze them before baking and then bake when you want to eat them 🙂
I’m from Mexico City live in the USA many years ago I love empanadas, but we are Gluten Free, do you think I can make it just substitute the regular flour for GF flour?, I will appreciate your comment, thank you
I have not made them that way, but I don’t see why you couldn’t, go for it Graciela 😉
Karren La Puma
Not sure what I did wrong , but I had twice the amount of filling than I could use for the pastry recipe. Also I did not add the broth because the meat mixture was so soupy. I think the tomatoes were very juicy. I have a lot of filling, so I think tomorrow I will make another batch of pastry and put together and freeze the empanadas for later. Filling is delicious, just the proportions were off. We will see how they taste Ina few minutes. Love watching your show.
Glad you liked the Picadillo Karren, with leftovers you can always serve them on top of rice the next day or with pasta for a Mexican style Bolognese. Picadillo is also great in tacos or tostadas, it is really a very versatile recipe, enjoy!
These are excellent
So happy you liked them Bob!
Maria Teresa Escobar
Me encantan las empanadas y esta es una exquisita receta.Espero poder prepararlas corr3ctamente y disfrutarlas con la familia,en el fin de semana.
Mil gracias Pati,Yo siempre veo todos tus programas cuando salen en TV y hasta he grabado tus episodios.
Eres una magnífica Chef,hermosa y talentosa.( Y me encanta ver cuando cocina JuJu..)
Abrazos y éxito siempre.
Atte.Maria Ateresa Escobar
Muchisimas gracias por tus lindas palabras MAria Teresa, abrazos para ti y para tu familia, espero que disfruten las empanadas 🙂
Hola! Wondering if this dough os ok for frying? Was thinking of making some sweet empanadas like sweet potato/pecans or pineapple or is there a different dough recipe?
Watch your show on Create whenever I get the chance.
Hi Steve, this dough is yummy with a sweet filling because it has some tartness due to the nata. I also have another dough recipe that is perfect for sweet empanadas, here it is in case you want to try it: https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/five-spice-pecan-plum-empanadas/
Pati, just curious. Can you tell us more about the “Immaculate Conception” in the title. Is this recipe from a church or where?
Of course David, in this other post your can read more about this story, have fun! https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/empanadas/
Elizabeth, North Dakota
Oh my goodness, Pati! These were the most delicious, rich, sweet and savory empanadas I have ever had! SOOOOO good, thank you!
Glad to hear you loved them Elizabeth!
Jon & Bry
We are making the picadillo tomorrow for tacos. Hola from Austin, TX!
Hola Jon and Bry in Austin! Enjoy the tacos.
Mil gracias, Pati!
Saludos afectuosos desde el estado de Carolina del Norte…
Nos gustaría tener la receta de las empanadas de dulce de coco que hacen en Mérida, Yucatán. Sabes cómo preparar el dulce de coco para rellenar las empanadas?
Espero suibir esta receta pronto!
Chef Cesar A. Ramos del Campo
I prepare this empanadas and are to die for
Thank YOU Cesar!