Panama Empanadas

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Pastry dough



Pastry dough

  1. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl and cut in shortening.
  2. In another bowl, combine water, vinegar, and egg yolks; mix well.
  3. Add the liquid to the dry mixture.
  4. Mix with your hands and form into a ball.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


  1. Mix beef, pork, salt, pepper, and cayenne together.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the meat well in batches and set aside.
  3. Sauté onions, bell peppers, chiles, and garlic until soft.
  4. Return meat and any juices to the pan.
  5. Add tomatoes, raisins, vinegar, thyme, allspice, and nutmeg.
  6. Simmer until meat is very tender, about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add and simmer another 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.


  1. Beat the egg and water together.
  2. Remove dough from the refrigerator and cut in half; return half to the refrigerator.
  3. On a lightly floured surface roll out thin.
  4. Cut 6" circles [1] (a 2½ lb coffee can works fine).
  5. Add a generous portion of filling to the center of each circle.
  6. Fold the dough in half over the filling and crimp edges well with a fork.
  7. Pierce the tops of the pastries with a fork and brush tops with the egg/water mixture.
  8. Place on a greased cookie sheet.
  9. Repeat for other half of the dough (note: the scraps from the other batch may be rolled in with the second half).
  10. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 minutes or until golden.
  11. Serve either warm or at room temperature.


  1. If smaller, cocktail sized pastries (Empanaditas) are desired cut the pastry circles to 3½ inches. A large tuna can works just right.