Beef Tongue Empanadas

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Beef Tongue Empanadas

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Forget about the chicken for Empanadas you have to try making with the cheap cut beef tongue. I know a lot of you out there are going to think EEEWW but don't think POT ROAST because once braised it has a very similar texture and taste. This is also closer to the meats that would be used in a real Spanish Empanada. Most of the filling you will find to be from leftovers or the leftover meat after butchering all tossed into a pot and braised for hours with spices and vegetables. This recipe uses my Asian Sauce with some extra Ginger added to make each one of these bites intensely flavored. You don't need a lot of beef tongue to go far in this recipe.



Beef Tongue Empanadas

On 18/09/2011 (Sunday) at 6:02 pm by Benny.
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  • Prep Time:
    20 min
  • Cook Time:
    5 min
  • Ready Time:
    25 min


6 pieces


  • 1 pound of beef tongue sliced to about 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 cups napa cabbage shredded
  • 2 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • stick of cream cheese

Braising Sauce

  • 2 cup light soy sauce
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup miram
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • One tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • two large knobs of ginger
  • Vegatable Oil for frying


VIDEO Empanada Showcase

Now to start you can either use good quality store bought empanada dough or you can make your own. I’ve included that recipe at the bottom.

Start by making your braising sauce which will be good for many other recipes just combine all the ingredients whisk together and store in the fridge until use.

Now lets get the beef tongue braising in a small pot place your sliced beef tongue in and fill to the top with water. Now for a pound of beef tongue add about 1/2 cup of the sauce and 2 large knobs of fresh ginger. Turn up the heat, bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Cover and let cook for about 3 hours making sure the pot is always full of water adding if needed.

To finish bring the water back to a boil (after the 3 hours) and start reducing the liquid until it is becoming a glaze on the beef tongue making sure neat the end to stir it around constantly so it does not burn and reducing the heat. (see photo for what it should look like when ready) Take out and shred like you would pulled pork.

In another bowl combine the Napa cabbage and mustard and mix well together.

Now its assemble time, I made two sizes of empanadas but you can make any size you want its all about hot you fill them. You are going to not want to over stuff them and you will know this and how to adjust the amount once you make your first one and it wont close properly :)

Start with your circle of dough and put in the middle a small amount of the mustard Napa cabbage followed by a equal amount of beef then a little knob of cream cheese. (see photo for example). Now wet the edges with water and fold in half and press down the edges making sure the dough is tight around the filling. Using a fork crimp the edges making sure they are sealed well and let set in the fridge for 15 min before frying.

You can either deep fry these or you can shallow fry them which is what I did (you can also bake them but really….who wants to do that) make sure if shallow frying you have at least 3/4 of an inch of oil in the pan and using a candy thermometer check that you get the oil between 350-375 for frying.

Carefully put your empanadas in the hot oil and move them around while frying when its golden on the one side turn over and finish the other side until the same. Drain on a paper towel and serve either hot or they are great at room temp as well.







Here is a quick and easy recipe for that a friend sent me and I have been using that works great for Empanada dough.

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup ice water
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Sift flour with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps.

Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. (Mixture will look shaggy.)

Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour.


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