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Ground Beef Esfirra

Course Main
Cuisine Brazilian
Keyword beef, Brazil, Brazilian, meat, pie
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time: 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 Esfirra



  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons margarine softened
  • 1 egg


  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 medium tomato seeded and chopped
  • 1 bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water (about 105 degrees Fahrenheit). Let sit for about 10 minutes until frothy.
  • In the bowl of a large food processor fitted with a dough blade or a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Mix in margarine and egg until the dough comes together. If too dry, add water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough is soft and smooth.
  • On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until elastic, about 5 minutes. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and roll each one into a ball. Place a cloth over the pieces and let rise in a warm place for 3 hours.
  • After 2 1/2 hours, heat peanut oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Fry the onion until soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato and pepper and cook until pepper softens, about 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon, cloves, and cumin. Fry until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the beef, thyme, salt, and pepper, breaking up the beef into small pieces. Cook until the beef is browned and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and oil a large baking sheet or line with parchment.
  • Roll each ball of dough flat. Place about 2 tablespoons of cooled filling in the center of the flat square and fold the dough over on three sides to form a triangle. Pinch the seams closed. Place the filled esfirra on prepared baking sheet. Bake until the esfirra are golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve hot.