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Mini Pulled Pork Empanadas


Pulled Pork Empanadas

Pulled Pork Empanadas

Photo and Recipe: Diana Rattray

A tender, flaky cornmeal crust encases a bite of juicy, delicious pulled pork. What more could you possibly want in an appetizer? These flaky 2-bite appetizers will surely impress your guests, or make larger empanadas for lunch or dinner. Serve these hand-held mini pies with extra barbecue sauce and coleslaw.

If you don't have leftover homemade pulled pork, you can use your favorite brand. Just cook as directed and cool before filling the empanadas.


Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 17 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 2 minutes

Yield: Makes 2 1/2 to 3 Dozen


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons chilled butter, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons ice cold water, plus 2 to 3 more
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups seasoned pulled pork mixed with a little barbecue sauce, cooled
  • Egg Wash
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons milk or cream



In a food processor or large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar. Pulse in the food processor or whisk by hand to blend thoroughly.

Add the chilled butter pieces and pulse about 10 times or cut in by hand using fingers or a pastry blender. The mixture should look like coarse meal a few small pea-size pieces.

If using a food processor, dump the contents into a large bowl. 

In a small bowl or cup, whisk the egg yolks with 6 tablespoons of ice cold water. Drizzle the egg and water mixture over the flour and butter mixture in the bowl, then toss to mix. Add a tablespoon or two more, until the mixture begins to form clumps. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and begin kneading, adding tiny amounts as needed until the dough is not too moist but holds together. 

Divide the dough into two disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 25 to 30 minutes to chill. 

Take a dough disk out of the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/8-inch thickness. Add small sprinklings of flour, as needed to keep the dough from sticking.  You'll have about 24 ounces of dough.

Have the pulled pork ready. It should be moist but not at all runny. If stringy, chop a bit. 

Put the 2 tablespoons of milk or cream in a small bowl or cup.

Heat the oven to 400° F. Line two large baking sheets (half-sheet size, about 18- x 13-inch)

Using a 3- to 3 1/2-inch cutter, cut out dough circles. Put the dough scraps together and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before rolling them out again. You'll have about 15 to 18 circles, depending on the size of your cutter.

Put about 1/2 tablespoon of pulled pork mixture into the center of a circle. Dab a little of the milk or cream all around the edge. Fold over to encase the pulled pork and press around the edge to seal. Crimp around the sealed edge with the tines of a fork. Place on one of the parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough circles.

Repeat with the remaining disk of dough in the refrigerator. 

Prick the top of each filled empanada with a fork or end of a paring knife to make a steam vent. 

Combine the egg yolk and 2 teaspoons of milk or cream. Brush lightly over each empanada. If you get a little too much egg wash on one, dab with a paper towel to soak up excess.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown.

Makes about 32 to 36 mini empanadas.


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