22 March 2011

Pastelillos de Carne & Arroz (Beef & Rice Empanadas) Puertorrican Style

Traditional Puertorrican Pastelillos aren't prepared like these. When I was little, my mom used to go every sunday to the Panadería (Bakery) and buy Pastelillos de Carne like the ones here (minus the rice).

They were made with Puff Pastry and stuffed with delicious seasoned beef. Cut round, then baked until flaky and golden brown.

Mine are a little bigger and cut square, but equally delicious. To make the stuffing even more special, I added yellow rice to the beef. It makes a complete meal, even if the health status is questionable. 

I'm not ashamed to say that I ate two of these for lunch... They're really big! You can, of course, make them smaller or bigger depending on what you like.

These are perfect as a make-ahead appetizer for a party. Assemble them the day before and bake 30 minutes before serving.

An entire sheet of Puff Pastry (12 ounces)
1/2 pound of Ground Beef
1/4 cup chopped Onion
1/4 cup chopped Italian Green Pepper
3 tbsp Raisins
3 tbsp Nuts
3 tbsp White Wine (optional)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
Salt and Pepper
Cooking Spray

For the Rice:

1/2 cup Rice
1 cup water or Chicken Broth
Saffron (to make it yellow)

-Cook the onions and peppers with some oil until browned.

-Add the ground beef and wine (or water) and cook for 8 minutes on medium heat.

-Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium high heat until the beef is done. The beef should be dry with no sauce.

-In a separate cooking pan boil the water, then add the rice, some saffron, 1 tsp of oil and some salt. Bring it to medium heat. 

-Once the water has evaporated, bring the heat down to low and cover the rice. Cook for 20 minutes on very low heat.

-On a separate bowl mix the rice and beef. You may end up with more than what you actually need for this recipe. But don't worry, eat it while the Pastelillos cook. 

Mix the rice and beef.

-Now take the puff pastry out of the package and roll it a little to smooth it. Then cut it into four pieces. Or smaller pieces if you're making appetizers.

Smooth the dough.
Cut into four equal squares.

-Put about a half cup of the beef and rice mixture in the center of the square.
I'm working with two pieces at a time. 

-Fold the dough over the mixture. Cut the corners a little bit to make them perfectly squared and pretty. then press the edges with a fork. 

-Spray the top of the dough with some cooking oil spray or apply a little egg. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. 

-Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy it hot or cold. 



Delicious Shots said...

It looks soo good, I love them! and I love your pictures too! Hugs

Taylor said...

These look delicious! Perfect for National Empanada Day on April 8th!

Yadi I. said...

Taylor: I didn't know there was a National Empanada Day! I'll prepare a special Empanada for that day.

Maria said...

They look so perfectly golden and flaky! Delicious!

Jenn W said...

These look so delicious! I can't wait to try this recipe out. How many pastries are you able to make with this recipe? Of course making them the size you did. I'm thinking of making them for dinner soon and I want to make sure I buy enough of everything. :)

Thanks for the recipe!

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