Easy beef empanadas

March 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Beef empanadas and the name Evita Peron don't usually belong in the same sentence, but they do in this case. Mindy Lym, the star of Contra Costa Musical Theatre's "Evita," shares her recipe for these tasty little meat pies.

Recipe: Beef Empanadas
Empanadas, little pies usually stuffed with beef (the national dish of Argentina) are a favorite traditional dish in Argentina. These are eaten by hand and they are often enjoyed as a snack, or may be carried to school by students or to the fields for cattle ranchers for lunch

Empanada Dough
Prep Time: 15 minutes


  • 3 cups flour (plus a little more for kneading)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons shortening


1. In a bowl, beat the water, egg, egg white and vinegar together. Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the 3 cups of flour and salt.

3. Cut the shortening into the flour mix with a pastry blender or two butter knives. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and pour the liquid ingredients from the first bowl into the center.

4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients with a fork until it becomes stiff.

5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it just until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth.

6. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but never more than 24 hours.

Tip: If you want to keep the dough longer than 24 hours, you can freeze it.

Servings: Makes approximately 10 six to eight-inch empanadas.

Beef Empanada Filling
Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 small potatoes, diced into one inch cubes and boiled until soft
  • 1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green olives, finely chopped
  • 2 hardboiled eggs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup raisins, soaked in warm water for 1 hour (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon oil


Sauté the onions and garlic in the oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Put the ground beef in and begin to brown. When the beef is cooked through, add in the broth, green olives, raisins and bring to a simmer. Let the liquid reduce until it's almost gone. Fold in the eggs and potatoes and place by the spoonful into your prepared empanada dough and cook accordingly.


1. For each empanada, roll ¼ cup of dough into a 6-8 inch circle.

2. Put 1/2 cup filling on the circle, and fold it in half.

3. Press the edges of the dough together with your fingers, or use a fork, and poke a small hole in the top using a toothpick. Place on a greased cookie sheet.

4. Repeat process until all the dough and filling are used up.

5. Bake 10-15 minutes in an oven preheated to 400 degrees.

Don't Cry For Me Walnut Creek!
"Evita" comes to the Lesher Center for the Arts this March

Contra Costa Musical Theatre (CCMT) will present the popular Tony Award-winning musical "Evita" at Walnut Creek's Lesher Center for the Arts, March 27 through April 26, 2009. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's unmistakable and beloved score includes such songs such as "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina," "You Must Love Me," and "Buenos Aires."

Tickets for "Evita," ranging from $37 to $41 (with discounts available for seniors, youth, and groups), are on sale now at the Lesher Center for the Arts Ticket Office, 1601 Civic Drive in Walnut Creek, 925.943.SHOW (943-7469). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.lesherArtscenter.org

"Evita" is the story of Eva Peron, a poor Argentine girl who grew up to be one of the most worshipped and celebrated women in history. The show highlights her relationships with tango singer Agustin Magaldi, played by Derrick Silva, and rising political figure, Juan Peron. Peron, played by John Hetzler who is reprising his Shellie-award winning performance, eventually became the President of Argentina while Eva became a hero to the poor and working classes. The musical also follows Eva to her untimely death at age 33, an event that many Argentineans mourned deeply. She was idolized and remains an iconic figure to this day.

"Eva Peron's story is a very powerful one. Audiences will be very moved as they see her story brought to life and experience the profound effect she had on the people of Argentina," said Scott Strain, president of CCMT. "This is a new take on 'Evita,' and even those who have seen the musical before have never seen it like this. Our use of multi-media is ground-breaking for the Lesher Center.""

"Evita" Brings New Faces to Contra Costa
The prospect of portraying the amazing life story and legacy of Eva Peron in a compelling musical has attracted many new people from around the Bay Area to Contra Costa Musical Theatre, including the show's director, choreographer and two lead performers. Eva will be played by San Francisco's Mindy Lym and Che by San Francisco's Alex Rodriguez. Lym and Rodriguez will be joined by more than 40 cast members from across the Bay Area who will be portraying many characters throughout the show from peasants to aristocrats.

The cast will work alongside such CCMT favorites as Shellie-Award-winning musical director Karl Pister, Shellie-Award-winning set designer Kelly Tighe and costumer Marianna Ford. Joining CCMT for the very first time is choreographer, Suzanne Brandt.

Director Kevin T. Morales, a very familiar face on the Bay Area theater scene, recently re-located to New York, but is returning to the Bay Area to stage "Evita."

"I'm very excited to be involved with 'Evita' and have many ideas about telling Eva Peron's story to make the audience feel like they are brought back in time," said Morales. "They will also see how Che starts off as an intelligent college student and over time becomes the aggressive and angry militant figure with which people are more familiar."

Wells Fargo is a generous sponsor of CCMT's "Evita" as well as other programs and events at the Lesher Center for the Arts. CCMT would also like to recognize the Diablo Regional Arts Association (DRAA), who generously provided funding for the impressive multi-media portion of this show.

Based in Walnut Creek, Contra Costa Musical Theatre has a long history of producing dynamic musical productions and providing a home to local and national talent. CCMT has won more Shellie Awards for musicals than any other company, including a virtual sweep at last month's awards ceremony, winning six Shellie Awards for its smash hit "Cinderella," including Outstanding Production of the season. Since their move to the Lesher Center for the Arts in 1990, they have produced more than 30 full-scale productions, including the East Bay premieres of "Disney's Beauty and the Beast," "Urinetown, the Musical," "The Full Monty," and "Titanic, the Musical." More information on CCMT can be found at www.ccmt.org.