Braised beef, chorizo and roasted tomato empanadas

Empanadas filled with beef, chorizo and roasted tomatoes.
Empanadas filled with beef, chorizo and roasted tomatoes. Photo: William Meppem

A rich, intense beef dish that won't at first seem especially Latin American if you're hoping for chilli and heavy spicing, but it showcases the subtle elegance of great Mexican cooking. You can cook this in a slow-cooker instead but reduce the water so that the meat is barely coated at the start. Otherwise cook, covered, in a heavy lidded pan in the oven for two to three hours or on a diffuser pad on the stove-top – you will need to keep a close eye on it to stop it burning.


40g chorizo, either sliced thinly or chopped

20g unsalted butter

300g diced shin of beef

2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

50ml white wine

100ml water

2 tsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp white flour

1 tsp salt, or to taste

1 tsp brown sugar

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp ground cinnamon

6 twists ground black pepper

10 cherry tomatoes, to serve

10-15 slices pickled jalapeno, to serve

handful chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve

To assemble

1 batch empanada dough, fridge cold (recipe here)

1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt

flour for rolling


1. Put the chorizo and butter in a deep, heavy-based ovenproof pan over medium heat and fry until the chorizo gives up its oil into the butter.

2. Scoop the pieces of chorizo onto a plate, then put the beef in the pan with the garlic and cook until it starts to brown. Add the wine, water, vinegar, flour, salt and sugar, stir well then cover and pot-roast in the oven at 170C (150C fan-forced) for two to three hours, checking every hour to make sure the meat is barely covered with liquid but not soupy. To cook in a slow-cooker, put the browned meat and chorizo in the dish and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.

3. Once the beef is very tender, add the spices and pepper, and adjust the salt to taste. Cook on the stovetop over a high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated.

4. Meanwhile, roast the tomatoes in a dish in the oven until soft and slightly charred. Serve with the braised beef, parsley and pickles (serves 2).

5. To use as an empanada filling, shred the beef roughly with two forks, combine with the roasted tomatoes, pickled jalapenos and parsley and refrigerate overnight then proceed according to the instructions below:

To assemble

1. Preheat oven to 220C (200C fan-forced).

2. Take 100g dough and knead it into a pliable ball, then using a little flour, roll it into a thin round about 18 centimetres in diameter.

3. Spoon two tablespoons of filling into the centre of the round, leaving a margin of dough clear, then brush egg wash around the edge.

4. Fold the pastry in half over the filling, pressing the edges together to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork or twist the edge into a rope to seal then place on a baking tray and brush with beaten egg.

5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before serving.

Empanada dough recipe

If you like this recipe, try my zucchini, olive and bean filling.

Find more of Dan Lepard's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.

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