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Eating Alpha#5: Empanadas de Pino A Chilean Coal Miners Breakfast

Updated: Feb 2, 2021

Alpha, Episode 5. How & Why Should I Pray?


One of the many inspirational stories in this Alpha episode is how God answered the prayers of 33 Chilean Miners who were trapped 2300 ft below the earth during a mining accident in 2010. Soon after the collapse of the main tunnel, Mario Gomez began leading the men in fervent daily prayer meetings, calling out to God to rescue them.

Even though they only had enough food to last three days, through good planning they were able to stretch out their food supply for 16 days. Just as they finished the last of their food rations they were found on the 17th day through a probe that was used to bore through the ground. However it took another 52 days for the miners to be rescued. During that time the miners' families and friends created a tent City where they would do the trapped miners' laundry, send each other messages and prepare food to send down to the trapped miners through the boreholes until they could be rescued through a special capsule that was raised and lowered through the earth.

The most common food that the miners ate were Empanadas de Pino, a classic Chilean Empanada with ground beef, hard boiled eggs, raisins and olives. These authentic Chilean Empanadas are garnished with Roasted red peppers, a simple grilled Yellow Corn Salsa and fresh Avocado slices.

Our Alpha host Nicky uses three simple colours to communicate three ways God answers prayer. Similar to a stop light, the green Avocado represents a yes, the grilled yellow corn represents wait, and the red grilled peppers represents when God says no.

How often do you pray?

Have you ever experienced God answer your prayer? If so how did he answer your prayer?

What is your attitude towards God when you are when he says wait or no?

The Miners waited for 69 days for God to answer their prayers. What are you currently trusting God for?


This makes about 8 -10 6” Empanadas

Prep time 35 min, Cook time 20


Shortcut option, use Pillsbury ready made pie dough. This can be found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores.

Baked Empanada Dough

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 teaspoon salt

  • 6 oz unsalted butter (1 stick of butter = 4 oz)

  • 2 eggs. 1 for the dough, and one for an egg wash.

  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of water or milk adjust as needed to obtain a soft and smooth dough

Pino Beef Filling

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 2 teaspoons cumin

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1/2 cup black olives, chopped

  • 1 beef bouillon cube (dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water)

  • 2 eggs

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons flour

Green, Yellow and Red Garnish

  • Green: Sliced Avocado

  • Yellow: Frozen niblet corn or Corn Salsa

  • Red: Prepared Salsa, Roasted Red peppers or sliced tomatoes.

Making homemade empanada dough:

  • Mix the flour and salt in a bowl.

  • Add the butter in small pieces and mix into the flour with your hands with a pastry cutter or by crumbling and pinching the butter in the flour until the butter represents small peas.

  • Crack the egg into a small bowl and mix with a fork. Add the mixed egg and the water or milk (in small increments) and mix with your hands until a smooth dough forms.

  • The dough can be used immediately or wrapped in plastic and refrigerated until ready to use (1-2 days max).

  • When you are ready you use your dough, set it on the counter to warm up a little before rolling.

Prepare the Pino Beef Filling:

  • Gather ingredients.

  • Hard boil the eggs for 8 minutes. Let cool in cold water. Peel and slice the eggs.

  • Chop onion, mince the garlic.

  • Place a medium sized frying pan on medium heat. Melt the oil and butter.

  • Cook the onion and garlic until translucent.

  • Add the ground beef and seasoning and brown the beef.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of flour. Stir in well

  • Add the beef bouillon cube and 1/4 cup hot water. Stir well

  • Once the beef and onions are fully cooked, turn off the heat and gently mix in the raisins and olives.

  • Let cool for a few minutes or place in fridge for Empanada assembly the next day

Filling and baking the Empanadas

  • Preheat Oven to 375F

  • Peel and slice the cooled eggs.

  • Cut your large ball of dough into the number of empanadas that you want. Then roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface (cutting board or counter top). Roll out to 6 - 7” round circles of dough, about 1/8” thick.

  • Mark a light line the divides the circle of dough in half

  • Place 3- 4 tablespoons of beef filling on one half of the dough leaving 3/8 of an inch border.

  • Top with a piece of sliced egg.

  • Fold over the second half of the dough over the beef filing.

  • Fold and crimp/pinch the dough around the edge together

  • Brush with beaten egg wash.

  • Place in Oven at 375F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Place baked empanada on plate. Garnish with your red, yellow and green ingredients.

Gloria A Dios!

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