Pork Empanadas

    3 hours 45 minutes

    A pork butt is slow-cooked to make a savory filling that's tucked inside a homemade pastry. These can be frozen baked or unbaked, and the pork and empanada dough can be made ahead of time.

    4 people made this

    Serves: 16 

    • Filling
    • 1kg pork butt
    • 1 onion, quartered
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 cup chipotle salsa
    • Dough
    • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
    • 3/4 cup masa harina
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 100 g lard
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1/2 cup milk

    Preparation:50min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Extra time:2hours35min  ›  Ready in:3hours45min 

    1. Filling: Place pork in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add onion, garlic, salt, oregano, cumin and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. While pork is cooking, prepare dough.
    2. After the pork has simmered for 1 1/2 hours, remove from liquid. Place pork in a baking dish and bake for 1 hour or until meat shreds easily with fork. Remove from oven (keep oven turned on) and shred into small pieces. Add salsa to shredded pork.
    3. Dough: Sift together the flour, masa harina, baking powder and salt. Add the lard to the dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg and 1/2 cup milk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the egg mixture and stir with a fork until the dough comes together in a ball. Divide the dough into 16 even pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place in a container, cover, and refrigerate.
    4. Empanadas: Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Lightly grease a baking tray.
    5. On lightly floured surface, flatten a piece of dough with the palm of your hand. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to make a 12cm circle about 6mm thick. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling in the center of the dough circle. Brush edges of dough with milk. Fold dough over filling. Pinch edges together. Crimp with fork to seal.
    6. Place on prepared baking tray and repeat with remaining empanada dough. Leftover filling can be frozen or used in tacos, tamales, or burritos.
    7. Bake in preheated oven until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove to rack and cool for about 5 minutes. Serve warm.

    Cook's Notes:

    You may substitute vegetable shortening for the lard, if you prefer.

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    Reviews in English (37)


    These were delicious, but to save time, instead of making the pastry part, Goya makes empanada discos in pkgs of 10 in most grocers freezers. This saves lots of time. You can make the filling ahead of time, then thaw the discos and right in the oven.  -  22 Apr 2007  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    DH devoured these. I have much more respect for people who willilingly prepare things like this on a regular basis. =) This recipe did prompt me to go buy those rings that go on your rolling pin to get the dough thickness accurate and a pastry mat with the circles. Next time I'll probably double the pastry dough recipe since I got 16 balls that ended up much too thin and tended to tear when the empanadas were shaped. DH also wants to try them with the meat filling from the Puerto Rican Meat Patties recipe on this site.  -  20 Jan 2002  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    Pretty good. I added 3 ancho chiles (dried/deseeded) to meat/water mixture, and after meat cooked and chiles soften, I took 2 cups of reserved juices and blended with chiles, this made a thicker sauce and alot of flavor. They were a hit at graduation party!  -  22 May 2001  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)