Recipe courtesy of Ana Sofia Pelaez

Pastelitos de Carne (Picadillo-Filled Pastries)

Getting reviews...
By the time the holiday cooking fever has broken, there is very little entertaining ambition left for New Year's Eve. Whether you're having people over or looking for something to bring, summoning the energy to head back into the kitchen can be a challenge. Pastelitos de carne - well-seasoned picadillo cooked in a sofrito of peppers and onions and tucked into flaky pastry - are a staple Cuban-American parties and easy way to see out the year. Though ordered by the tray-full in Miami bakeries, they're simple enough to make at home with prepared puff pastry dough. Raisins, capers and olives are added to a simmering pot of ground beef to find the right balance of sweet and savory. They can be as hearty as full-sized empanadas or cut into smaller tapa-sized rounds to feed a crowd. Versatile and easily adapted for leftovers, these pastries can also be filled with ham, chorizo or shellfish. With the clock winding down, it's good to have options.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 55 min
  • Yield: About 40 pastries
Share This Recipe


For the picadillo filling:

Glaze (optional):

For the pastry:


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the beef and break it up so there are no lumps. Add the raisins, wine, oregano, salt, pepper and sugar (if using). Simmer covered over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until mostly dry. Stir in capers and green olives and adjust the seasoning. Set aside to cool. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a steady simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick liner. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the first sheet of pastry to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out 18 to 20 pastry rounds using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter. Cover each round with beaten egg wash. Add one tablespoon of the filling to the center of each round. Roll out remaining sheet of pastry and cut out an equal amount of pastry rounds. Top each filled round, pressing down the sides to seal. Brush the tops with beaten egg wash. Set in the preheated oven and bake until lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes. 
  2. To glaze, remove the pastelitos from the oven and lightly brush with simple syrup, if using.

Fudge Factor

Train Frontman Pat Monahan's Dark Chocolate Obsession Feb 11, 2013

By: Cameron Curtis

Train frontman Pat Monahan, an avid chocolate lover, shared with us his top five reasons for eating dark chocolate.

Sifted: Plan-Ahead Valentine's Day Desserts Feb 6, 2013

By: Lauren Miyashiro

Get our take on the best in food news, recipes and more from around the web, including the best Valentine's Day recipes.

Review: Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert's Chocolate Bar Nov 16, 2012

Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert have teamed up with master chocolatier Christopher Curtin to create the "Good & Evil" chocolate b …

The Craziest Chocolate Creations for American Chocolate Week Mar 17, 2013

It’s officially American Chocolate Week. Check out photos of mind-blowing chocolate creations.

Over-the-Top-Delicious Treats to Satisfy Your Food Obsession

Are you infatuated with ice cream? Do you lust over lobster? Swoon at the sight of chocolate? Here's the best recipe for each food …

Chocolate Desserts

Indulge in our decadent chocolate desserts, from cookies and cakes to puddings, souffles and truffles.

How to Chop and Melt Chocolate

Lots of recipes call for melted chocolate. Follow these step-by-step instructions to do it properly.

Essentials: Chocolate Basics Sep 1, 2016

Satisfy that chocolate craving in your very own kitchen. All you need is baking chocolate and a little know-how. It also helps to …