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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pastelillo de Carne

“Pastelillo” which is similar to an empanada, except the dough is a little different.  The dough for a pastelillo is thin and flaky, most empanadas are a little more dense. 

I am really excited to share this recipe with you. I made this in honor of one my oldest and dearest friends, Thomas Colon. We have been friends for 30 years! Wow...that just made me feel a bit old! haha.  This is one of his family dishes, from Puerto Rico. So Thomas...Please let me know how I did??
On a side note...this normally has olives in it, but I do not like them, so it was omitted for my tasting purposes. Certainly add whatever type of olive you like!  I have also included the dough recipe, however you can use the Goya Discos
 (turnover dough). 

I hope everyone enjoys this!   


1 ½ lbs beef tips, diced small 
2 potatoes, diced very small
1 onion, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp. sofrito
2 envelopes of Sazón
olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 cup water
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 whole cloves

Heat skillet at med-high, drizzle with olive oil. Sauté onions, garlic and sofrito until onions are translucent.
Drizzle beef with olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. Add beef, potatoes, cloves, bay leaves, Sazon’ and water to skillet, stir and cover. Simmer on a medium heat. After 20 minutes, remove the cloves. The mixture should cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender and the liquid has turned into almost like a thick gravy.


3 1/2 cups of flour
2 1/2 tsp of salt
2 tsp of baking powder
3 1/2 Tbs. of canola oil, chilled
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup of water (more or less)
canola oil for frying

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade add the flour, baking powder, salt and chilled canola oil. Pulse to cut in the canola oil into the flour mixture. Add the egg and pulse until blended. Add the water a little at a time, until the dough forms a ball. Dust a workspace with flour, collect all of your dough. Knead the dough using your palms. Knead until the dough is soft and smooth. Form into a ball, cover with a cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Roll dough out into a rope about 15 inches long. (I roll, pull and squeeze) Once rolled out cut off disks about 3/4 of an inch think. Dust your rolling pin and workspace and roll out into a thin paper circles.

Make sure you get the oil nice and hot, you need the oil to be a least 1 ½” inch deep. Take your disk of rolled out dough, and fill with 1 spoonful of filling.
Wet the edges of the dough with water. Fold over to make a half moon, Trim the edges if you need to make them even. Pinch the dough together using your fingers, then go over it, pressing it with the teeth of a fork. You now have a pastelillo!!

Take your pastelillo and carefully drop into the oil. You should almost immediately begin to puff and float, cook on each side about 2 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
Drain on a plate with paper towel, let cool and enjoy. I like to dip them in sour cream!! YUMMY!

Served with Pea Jag...recipe was previously posted.


Rosalba said...

They look like italian Calzoni. I love the way some foods look very similar around the world.

Theresa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theresa said...

They certainly do Rosalba! It is amazing how things relate in different cultures. : )