The perks of cooking with beer…


Sometimes as we go grocery shopping for some particular recipe, there’s no doubt the cashier must be perplexed by what we buy. One time there was this rock/metal-looking guy and while we were paying he asked if we could invite him to the party, too, because it looked awesome!


That time we were buying chocolate, rice krispies, Mars, whiskey, chips, mayo, bread, cheese and salami. Not the healthiest list ever, but at least you could find a common goal: party!


Yesterday, together with all the ingredients for this empanadas, we also got some random items we wanted to try… and as a result the granny behind us was pretty baffled but what she saw in the basket. We got really healthy stuff like non-fat greek yogurt, rolled oats, depurative tea, biologic strawberries, diet-friendly cereal bars. And then we got guinness, tequila, ice-cream and chocolate. Best of two worlds 😀


Anyway, what are the perks of cooking with beer? The answer should be pretty obvious. You open a beer to cook with. But the recipe just calls for 1/4 cup or, in this case, half a beer. So what should we do with the remaining deliciousness? Should we keep it open in the fridge and make it lose all the bubbles?

Didn’t think so.


Cooking with a good wine has the same perks. Liquor… well… We will need to buy a bottle of Irish Cream soon, is it a good idea to finish it all, while cooking? What about… if we bake Whiskey brownies? Are we really able to fill a baking tin with the mixture while totally drunk?


There’s only one way to find out, is there not?

Now, let’s talk about this recipe just a minute. Imagine a traditional irish dish that goes on a holiday in a warmer place, because it’s still too fucking cold, even if it’s March!! So, guinness and beef it is, but we went beyond the tradition just a bit. In fact, the filling of these empanadas is a guinness beef stew with only 2 main changes: 1. the beef is ground and 2. you have to let almost all the broth/sauce reduce in the pan.

This same filling should be really good inside potstickers or phyllo sheets! Of course you may use your favourite empanadas dough or fry them, as you prefer. But isn’t this a beauty?


St. Patrick Special: Guinness Empanadas

  • Servings: 10 medium sized empanadas
  • Difficulty: easy/medium - you have to do some basic kneading
  • Print

While cooking

Listen to: Judas Priest – Breaking the law

Drink: Guinness – Damn, this recipe asks for HALF of it, so you’re left with only half!! Open another one!

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 2 cups flour (250 grams)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water (125 ml), warm
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 230 grams ground beef
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced fine 
  • 1 medium potato, diced fine
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 cup peas (cooked, cans ok)
  • 1/2 Guinness (165 ml)
  • 1 tbs worcestershire sauce


  1. Dissolve the salt in the warm water. Mix oil, water and flour, and knead the dough for 2-3 minutes. The surface may remain a little rough, with some little spots of oil still showing, but that’s ok
  2. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with a plastic wrap, let rest for about an hour at room temperature
  3. Heat some oil in a pan and sautĂ© the onion for about 2 minutes, until it starts to get soft. Add the ground beef and try not to let it stick to itself, breaking it with a wooden spoon for the first minute or so…
  4. Cook at low heat for 4-5 minutes and then at medium for another 4-5, until the meat is cooked through and a nice brown color
  5. Add all the other ingredients and bring to a boil, adding salt and pepper to taste
  6. Reduce to low heat and let simmer for at least 9-10 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and the broth is almost all gone
  7. Let it rest and cool down a little while you wait for the dough to be ready… Remember your half Guinness. If you already finished it, remember you can open another one.
  8. Grab your rolling pin and your dough. You should notice is much more smoother now! Cool! Roll it as best as you can, since it’s VERY elastic it can be a bit frustrating. Use some round object to cut it, some cups or glasses with the diameter of about 5 inches (13 cm) should be ok! It all depends on how big you want your empanadas. Fill them with as much filling as you can without breaking them (yummier). Pinch them close with your most artistic method and cut some slits on the top, for the steam. Brush them with milk or egg wash for some color, but that’s optional 🙂
  9. Bake in the oven (no need to preheat) at 390° F (200° C) for 30 minutes, then turn on the broil and bake for an additional 5 minutes, until they get crispy and golden, but NOT too dark!!
  10. Drizzle some worcestershire sauce or sriracha on top, especially if the filling was a lil too dry (like ours), and serve with some veggies on the side. Our bell peppers and spinach are CLEARLY shamrocks, are they not?

Now for the final touches:

  • Calories: 190 each empanadas
  • Fridge: if there are leftovers, yes for 2 days, but on the 2nd they will get soggy
  • Freezable: yes
  • Next day: they taste even better, just don’t let them get soggy!!
  • Cold: so-so…
  • Hot: perfect
  • Re-heating: you can use a microwave, still good

10 thoughts on “The perks of cooking with beer…

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