Chef Chris Valdes’ Fried Cuban Picadillo Empanadas
Vegetable oil for frying, as needed
8 ounces ground beef
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, medium dice
1 medium green bell pepper, medium dice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup raisins
¼ cup pitted green olives, sliced
12 frozen Empanadas shells, thawed
1. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, stirring to break it up into small pieces, until browned and cooked through about 5 minutes. Add cumin, garlic, onions, bell peppers, salt, and pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, white wine, raisins, and olives continue to cook until all of the flavors have come together and the liquid is mostly absorbed for about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool and drain off any excess fat.
2. On a lightly floured surface, place the thawed empanada shell and add 3 heaping tablespoons of the meat filling onto each center. Bring the edges together and fold, pinch the edges gently to seal with the back of a fork. Place the empanada on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining empanadas.
3. Heat 2 inches of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add empanadas to pan, but do not over-crowd, 1 or two empanadas at a time. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip empanada and cook for another 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve