Meat Pocket Mini-Pie: Lamb Raisin Apricot Mushroom Empanada

A new protagonist in the epic saga of meat pockets – Pie Maker! In April, I crafted and shared my first try at empanadas (chicken and chorizo), chapter 5 in the series (view earlier chapters here). Today I share with you Chapter 6, prepare for the mini-pie revolution. Let me set the stage for you: fantastically exciting birthday gift this year from Mom = Breville Pie Maker and unknown source of inspiration to make something savory and lamb-y and a recipe to springboard from at Murphy Goode Winery.

Result: Lamb empanadas with raisins, apricots and mushrooms (pie maker not required by AWESOME!)

Ingredients – 12 empanadas:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tsp. Spanish paprika or smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ lb. ground lamb
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano oregano or thyme or rosemary
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ cup beef or chicken stock
  • ½ cup approx. of seedless raisins and chopped dried apricots (obviously you don’t have to buy them but I had a few lonely apricots left)
  • 8 kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped mushroom (I used one portabella this first time around)
  • Optional add ins: a chopped hard-boiled egg, figs or dates instead of raisins, diced potatoes, rice

For crust

  • Knock yourself out and make from scratch OR
  • By premade pie crust and/or puff pastry. For the pie maker it suggests puff pastry as the top layer but pie crust ok for bottom. I had both and thus used
  • For making empanadas in oven, use an egg wash to coat dough before baking


  1. Make your crust dough or defrost your premade. DON’T let it get too warm or it will gum up, shrink, stick and all around not work. Pictures of failed crust below.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a sauté pan.
  3. Add the onions, mushrooms, paprika and cayenne and sauté over medium heat until light brown around the edges, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add the lamb, garlic, oregano or thyme or rosemary, salt and cook until all the liquid has evaporated (although there won’t be much I found).
  5. Add the beef or chicken stock and continue cooking until the stock has almost evaporated.
  6. Mix in the raisins, apricots and olives. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  7. Stir in any additions such as, hardboiled egg or cooked potatoes. Salt to taste and set aside. Remember that the stock is a bit salty and your butter might be too, if you didn’t use unsalted.
  8. If using the oven: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until approximately 1/8″ thick. Cut out circles or squares approximately 5 inches in diameter. Don’t overload with filling, just about a heaping tablespoon with a ½-inch border. Dab the border of the dough with the juices from the filling or with water to help seal. Fold the dough over to form a half-circle or triangle, pressing the edges together with your fingertips or the tines of a fork to seal. Arrange the empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the empanadas with the egg wash (beaten yolk and water). Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the empanadas to a serving platter or individual plates. Serve hot.
  9. For Pie Maker: Use the included cutter to make the bottom circle out of pie crust or puff pastry and the top circle out of puff pastry. No need to use egg wash it seems. Follow maker instruction to press dough into pie slots, add filling (~ ¼ cup or so) and bake for 8-12 minutes
  10. Best reheated in a toaster oven, if there are any left.

Not quite ready!

Can’t win them all! I think the dough had warmed up too much. Will precut circles and freeze them for next time, keeping them in the fridge in between batches. We just dug out the good stuff and avoid the dough parts.

The Breville Pie Maker is a real winner and I look forward to many a more pie – sweet, savory, egg, left over etc……

4 thoughts on “Meat Pocket Mini-Pie: Lamb Raisin Apricot Mushroom Empanada

  1. Great article! I bought mine used yesterday and don’t have the cutter rings or press. How many inches is the inside and outside diameter on the cutting ring please? If you can help me, I sure would appreciate it so I can try your recipe. Thank you!

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