Contemporary Fiction Author, Infrequent Blogger & Retired Clown

Mrs. Lovett’s Meat Pies (Empanadas)

Mrs. Lovett’s Meat Pies (Empanadas)

Last week, our low temperature dipped down to 59 one night (before rising back into the high 80’s the next day) so you know what that means right?


Naturally, I immediately dug out my boxes of Halloween decorations and went to town. I worked up a serious appetite constructing my Halloween village and covering my house in spider-webs (and pretending like the ones that already existed due to my poor housekeeping skillz were there for show).

I wanted to make something Halloween-y and the first thing that came to my mind was an empanada recipe I tried over the summer.

If those two things don’t seem connected at all…let me explain…

One of my favorite St. Augustine restaurants is the Spanish Bakery, this tiny old block building in a garden off St. George Street that serves the only empanadas I’ve had that come anywhere close to what I ate during my trip to Spain a decade ago. They’re just the right amount of spice, the dough is perfect, the flavor is amazing.

I’ve been searching forever for a recipe that might come close and finally decided just to make one up using crescent rolls for dough (I’m not crazy enough to try and make my own dough, sheesh) plus ground beef, tomatoes, peppers and onions.

I was so excited for this recipe and had visions of how my little crescent-moon shaped pastries were going to turn out…

…only they emerged from the oven looking more like Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies from Sweeney Todd.

Still, they tasted amazing (and were not made with, um, less savory meats as in Mrs. Lovett’s case) and I’ve repeated the recipe a few times since then (though I have not yet perfected the appearance of them).

So now I think I’m just going to accept my failure and turn it into success by pretending like their slovenly shape was intentional for the Halloween season.

Great plan, right?

So here’s my recipe if you’d like to try Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies at your next Halloween event (bonus points if you dress up one of your kids as Tobey and have him sing the song for your guests).


1 Pepper (I used a green pepper because I had it on hand but red pepper would probably be better)

1 Medium-sized tomato

1 Medium-sized white onion

1lb. Lean Ground Beef

1 Packet Taco Seasoning

1 Cup of Shredded Cheese (4 Cheese Mexican Blend)

2 Cans of Crescent Rolls

Start by combining diced onion and diced pepper in a frying pan with a little olive oil. Sautee until onions start to turn brown, then set aside.

Mix the ground beef and taco seasoning, brown in pan. When it’s almost done, add onions, peppers and tomatoes, let simmer for a minute or two.

Roll out your crescent dough, mashing together the pre-cut lines for the triangles. Add flour to the rim of a glass or bowl of your preferred size (I used a glass about 4 inches wide). Cut out as many circles as you can, then mash together dough and roll out again until you’ve used all the dough.

Place a circle of dough on non-stick cookie sheet and add meat mixture to the center, add a dash of shredded cheese to your liking. Cover with another circle and mash them together (you know you love my use of the technical term “mash”).

Depending on the size of your circles, it makes about 6 meat pies.

Pop in the oven at 375 for 12 minutes or until dough is browned and you’re ready to go!



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