Make amazing, unforgettable pork empanadas with this juicy pulled pork filling which we've combined with apples for an extra burst of flavor, perfect for holiday buffets. They're so satisfying you'll crave them often and so easy to make that you'll make them as often.
By- Last reviewed . Published Nov 19, 2011
Why we ❤️ it
The combination of the flavorful pork filling and the flaky pastry crust is hard to resist. Pork empanadas are also convenient to eat, as they are portable and can be easily carried and eaten on the go.
This pork filling for empanadas and pastelitos combines some staples of the Dominican seasonal celebrations: pork and apples. I am sure it will be a success at your holiday celebration (Thanksgiving – if you celebrate it – Christmas and New Year).
What are pork empanadas?
Pork empanadas are a widespread style of savory pastry famous around Latin America. Empanadas are made by enclosing the filling in a fried or baked empanada dough. Pork empanadas are stuffed with pork meat of your choice: minced, pulled, or ground pork.
Pork empanadas can be served as a snack or appetizer and sometimes as a convenient dinner, depending on their size and diameter.
The easiest way to make empanadas is to buy pre-made empanada discs. You'd need to stuff them with this pulled pork filling, fold them, seal them by pressing with a fork, and frying them.
But nothing beats freshly-made empanada dough. Here are my favorite dough recipes:
Fried empanadas dough (with video)
Baked empanadas dough (with video)
Yuca empanada dough (with video)
Apple and pork empanada stuffing.
- If you have some leftover puerco asado, use it and skip to the shredding step.
- Instead of apples, you can add raisins, dates or prunes. I've tried all these and they all have their own charms.
- Feel free to add a touch of hot sauce if you so dare. I loved it too.
- For this recipe use some type of firm apple, like Fuji, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious or Envy apple.
About this recipe
In this recipe, you make the pork filling from scratch and combine it with apple for extra holiday flavor. But pork empanadas can also be a terrific way to reuse leftover pork from your Christmas dinner. You can even adapt it to your taste by changing the seasonings and spices or even making them spicy if you feel adventurous.
The combination of savory, juicy pulled pork and gently sweet apples will surely be a success, especially with my fellow Dominicans. We absolutely love combining sweet and savory flavors.
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Pulled Pork Empanadas [Recipe + Video] Filling and 3 Dough
- Season the pork with 1½ teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, and paprika.
- Place the meat and onion in a small pot or large skillet, and pour in the vinegar and enough water to cover it.Boil covered over medium heat until the meat is very tender and flaky, adding more water during the process if it should need it to prevent it from burning (20-25 mins).Once the meat is cooked through, let the juices evaporate and brown the meat in the fat released (or add butter if there's not enough fat). Remove it from the heat.
- Using two forks, shred the pork as finely as possible. Set the meat aside.
4. Adding apples
- Core and dice the apples and add them to the still-warm meat.Mash the apples a bit with a potato masher, then let everything cool to room temperature.Between the heat from the meat, and the heat frying the empanadas later, the apple will get a bit softer. If you want the apples even mushier, you can heat everything and cook and stir until the mixture reaches your preferred consistency.
- Keep covered until it's time to work on the empanadas, or refrigerate for up to 72 hours.
Leftover pulled pork empanadas fillingIf you have some leftover puerco asado, use it and skip to step 3.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
Pork empanadas are amazing on their own, but you can serve them alongside a bowl of your favorite dip, like avocado mayo, sour cream, and cilantro avocado dip, mayoketchup sauce, or even our flavorful Salsa wasakaka.
Some empanadas fillings may be spicy, but most are not. People who love spicy food can add a few drops of their preferred hot sauce to the filling before or after cooking the empanadas.