Margarita's International Recipes


Pastes de papa con carne

Meat and Potato Pasties


Pastes de papa con carne are the Hidalguense version of Cornish pasties. Cornish miners came to Hidalgo in the early 19th century to work in the silver and gold mines in the region and brought their culinary traditions with them. Pasties - which quickly took the Spanishized name pastes, were a convenient lunch for miners to take to work. They kept the filling warm and, at the time, they were made with an extra thick layer of braided dough at one end, the miners would hold the pasties by that end with their usually dirty hands and then discard it rather than easting them.

With time, pastes were adopted by other Hidalguenses, particularly in the mining towns of Real del Monte and Pachuca, who adapted them to the ingredients and flavors they favored. The filling for this pastes recipe is really very similar to that of Cornish pastries, though instead of rutabagas, Hidalguenses use leeks. That is an inspired choice.

I found several recipes for the pastes shells, most of them including all purpose flour, lard and baking powder. Some included milk, while others beer or hard alcohol. Descriptions of the shells say they vary from somewhat bready to somewhat flaky. To me, it sounded like the shells are pretty similar to the La Salteña brand of empanada shells available in Latin markets (at least in California), so I decided to use these rather than making my own. While I will have to go to Hidalgo to ascertain how close these came, I'm sure it's close enough.

I didn't have eggs, so I didn't brush the pastes - that's why they are so pale in the photo. Brushing them will make them look golden and beautiful. I did brush some with milk and sugar - what I usually do to my empanadas - and that worked great as well.

The results were quite good. I love leeks and they shined in this recipe.

Print PDF

Meat and Potato Pasties


  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 large leeks, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large potato, peeled and shredded
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 dozen empanada shells (available at Latin markets)
  • 1 egg, beaten


Heat oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the chopped onions, leeks and green bell pepper and cook until the onions are golden. Add the beef and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the shredded potato Season with salt and pepper, turn heat to low and continue cooking until all the ingredients are cooked through. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F.

Fill empanada shells with the meat mixtures, fold over and crimp the edges together. Transfer them to a greased baking sheet. Brush them with beaten egg. Cook until golden, around 15 minutes.

Adapted from a recipe at Cocina Vital

Hidalguense Recipes | Marga's International Recipes | Marga's Best Recipes | Marga's Food Blog | E-mail