Recipe for: Beef and Potato Handpies

Beef and Potato Handpies
For the dough:
1½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup water
1 large egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water, for eggwash
For the filling:
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1½ lb lean, ground beef
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
12 large pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped
3 to 4 Yokon Gold potatoes, or red (about ½ lb), peeled and sliced
1 tsp granulated onion
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp tomato paste
½ cup chicken broth


Preperation Time: 50 Minutes

Cooking Time: 50 Minutes

Total Time: 100 Minutes

Servings: 20


Beef, South Africa, Jonathan Melendez, The Candid Appetite, Hand Pies

Best paired with


1. Make the dough first: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, masa harina, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the melted butter. Gradually add 1⁄2 cup to 3⁄4 cup of water, working it in with your hands to incorporate; the dough should be easy to handle and not sticky. If the dough appears to be dry add a bit more water, as needed. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium flame. Add the ground beef, and cook, stirring for 5 minutes, until the meat gets browned. Add the onion and garlic and continue to saute until the onions sweat and become translucent. Add the diced red pepper, green bell pepper, diced potatoes, and olives. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Season the mixture with the spices. Add the Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste. Mix thoroughly. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, until the mixture is soft. Pour in the broth and simmer for 3 minutes. Allow the filling to cool before stuffing the empanadas.

4. Once the filling has cooled, remove the dough from the fridge. Grab some of the dough and roll it in between your hands forming it into a small ball, the size of a golf ball. Place it on a sheet of plastic wrap or a sandwich bag that has been cut at the sides. Using the palm of your hand squish the ball down and form it into a circle about 1⁄4 inch thick. Place a spoonful of the filling in the center of the dough circle. Fold in half and close the edges with your fingers. Crimp the sides as to avoid any spillage during baking. Repeat with the remainder of the dough and filling. Placing the shaped and filled empanadas onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

5. Whisk together the egg and water to create the egg wash. Brush each empanada liberally with the wash and bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with creamy cilantro sauce (recipe follows). Enjoy.


About The Chef
Jonathan Melendez 
is a passionate food photographer, cook, baker, and recipe developer whose blog, The Candid Appetite, has appeared on such sites as Bon Appetit, People, Cosmopolitan, The Kitchn, and Today. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.