Empanadas with Shredded Beef
Chef Helen Cavallo of "Food & Bounty" is making this tasty treat with homemade masa.

Ingrdients for Masa

  • 1 1⁄2 cups precooked cornmeal (masarepa) (recommended: pan brand)
  • 2 cups of hot water, just boiled

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt to taste

Ingredients for Ropa Vieja

  • 2-3 lbs brisket

  • 1⁄2 lbs red onion, med dice

  • 1⁄2 lbs red or green pepper, med dice
  • 1 lbs roma tomatoes, med dice

  • 1 ea. jalapeno, sliced thin (approx. weight 2 tbsp.)

  • 5 ea. garlic cloves, smashed & minced

  • 1⁄2 lb. red skinned potatoes diced

  • 3- 5 tbsp. salt on brisket & all veggies (depending on size of brisket & your taste)

  • 4 tsp olive oil

Tools for Assembly

  • 1 quart size storage bag with left and right sides cut

  • 1 tortilla maker or rolling pin

  • 1 heavy bottom drinking glass / coffee cup

  • 1 spoon

Ingrdients for Aji (Fresh Herb Sauce)

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded

  • 1⁄2 cup cilantro

  • 1⁄2 cup scallions

  • 1⁄2 cup tomatoes

  • 1⁄4 cup parsley

  • 1 lime
  • Juice of half a can or bottle of beer (approx. 6 oz.) *You add other half to braising liquid of ropa vieja (see recipe above)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt to taste

Shredded Beef Empanadas - Home & Family

Directions for Masa

Mix all ingredients together in mixing bowl with a fork. Dough will come together quickly. Make 1 big disk of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap until ropa vieja is ready and assembly can begin.

Directions for Braise

1. Oil heavy sauté pan, get pan very hot, heavily salt & pepper brisket and sear all sides till golden brown / remove meat and set aside.
2. Add veggies (except potatoes) to sauté pan and brown, heavily salt & pepper.

*add potatoes to braise once everything has been cooking for about 1.5 hrs.

3. Add all ingredients to a large stock pot/ dutch oven that will hold brisket and veggies together.
4. Add water to cover salt again.
5. Tightly cover pot with foil and lid place in 325-degree oven for approx. 2-2.5hrs or until meat is fall apart tender.

*don’t forget to add potatoes at 1.5 hrs. off cooking

Directions for Empanadas

1. Take 1 heaping tsp of masa and place midway between the storage bag so that the flap you can lift from top to bottom.

2. Place storage bag w masa on your tortilla maker or roll out a round shaped disk of dough.

3. Place a tsp. of the meat and veggie mixture on the masa disk so that you can flip masa side over and you can make a little turnover.

*masa dough always stays in the storage bag as it helps it from sticking

4. To seal empanadas, place your glass over the masa & filling you just made and pull down on the empanada by heavily sealing the sides and pulling so the shape takes on a half moon.
5. With extra dough from sides peel away and add to masa batch, repeat all steps until you have used up all the masa and have created approx. 20 empanadas.


350 degrees, heat a fryer or deep pot with canola or vegetable oil to cover empanadas.
Gently place empanadas in oil, cook approx. 5 min until golden brown.

Directions for Aji

1. Place all ingredients in a blender, pulse until everything is incorporated & still chunky.

2. Store in a container in the fridge for up to 10 days.

3. Serve with your favorite meals for extra flavor & a kick.

Get more information about this episode >>