Empanadas Paisas (Meat-Filled Turnovers)

READY IN: 3hrs




  • Combine the onions, scallions, salt, pepper and ground cumin seed in a plastic bag large enough to hold everything. Add the meat and marinate overnight.
  • Remove meat from the marinade, reserve marinade.
  • Brown the meat in the vegetable oil, then add the reserved marinade and add water. Cook until the meat is tender (40 minutes). Remove and grind the meat. Save the stock from cooking the meats.
  • Sauté the onions and scallions in 4 Tbsp oil. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry an additional 3 or 4 minutes.
  • Mix in the ground meats and meat stock and cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Peel and mash the cooled, boiled potatoes and add them to the meat and vegetable mixture.
  • Mix the salt, pepper and ground cumin seed into the meat and potato mixture.
  • For the dough:
  • Boil the dry yellow corn in sufficient water to cover the corn, for about 30 minutes.
  • Put the cooked corn through a grinder.
  • Add the salt, cornstarch and brown sugar to the ground corn.
  • Knead the dough until it is thoroughly mixed and forms a firm ball.
  • Pick off small pieces and form into the size of small balls. Flatten each piece thin.
  • Put about 1 tsp of the meat mixture in the center of the flattened ball. Fold over and pinch edges together to close and form a pretty edge.
  • Place in deep, hot vegetable oil and fry about 3 or 4 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove and put on paper towels in a colander.
  • Serve immediately or reheat in a paper bag in the oven prior to serving.
  • The meat mixture can be made in advance and stored in the freezer, but the dough must be made fresh the day of use.