Meat pastelillos with green apple

Apple season doesn’t have to be all about pies and crumbles. A lot of savory dishes complement well with apples and other seasonal fruit. From pork chops and roasted apples to apple and carrot soup, you can find lots of great savory dishes. This week, for instance, we took a little inspiration from northern European dishes to create a new take on the popular Puerto Rican breakfast pastelillo or turnover made with ground beef.

You can usually find these pastelillos de carne at local bakeries (panaderías) all over the island and is basically baked puff pastries filled with a simple savory meat filling. Sometimes, they also have a light sugary glace on top, but not always. It makes for a great brunch item or quick breakfast any day of the week. Here’s our little take on it with granny smith apples. 

Pastelillos de Carne con Manzana Verde
  • 1/2 Onion, diced 
  • ½ Small cubanelle pepper, diced
  • ½ Pound ground chuck
  • 1 ½ Small Granny Smith apples, diced
  • 1/3 Cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ Cup of pine nuts (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to saste
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon(optional)
  • Puff pastry sheets
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Egg, beaten 

1. Sautee the onions, garlic, and peppers with a drizzle of olive oil. Add a sprinkle of salt.

2. Once translucent, add the apples, cilantro, pine nuts, sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Add the meat and incorporate it well into the mixture. Adjust the salt and add pepper. Cook until meat is fully cooked. Drain extra fat and let it rest.

4. Use a round glass to cut the puff pastry into small disks. Place one as the base, fill with the meat mixture and place another disk on top. Seal the pastry by making indentations in the corners with a fork. Brush the pastries with a mixture of beaten egg and a splash of water.

5. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Bake the pastries on lightly greased parchment paper for about 20 minutes, depending on the size. Bake until golden.

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