Empanadas – Meat stuffed amazingness!

My adorable friend Katie came over and helped me make 24 of these delicious “meat pies”, which made it even more enjoyable to make, while I rolled out the dough, and added filling, she placed them on the pan, did the crimping, and made sure each one got a touch of egg wash.  It was a really fun way to spend the afternoon.

Each pie is filled with ground beef, onions, spices, tomatoes and raisins – they are wonderful with a side of cooked spinach and garlic, and a dollop of sour cream.  The other thing I really like about this recipe is how simple it is to make the dough, and while it’s chilling you make the filling and give it time to cool. Also John wanted me to mention that the eggs seemed strange at first, but when he got a bite of the yolk he wanted more egg!

Empanada Dough – 24 pastries
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons salt
2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 eggs
2/3 cups ice water
2 tablespoons white vinegar

Sift flour and salt into a large bowl and blend in cubed butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. In a seperate bowl beat together eggs, water, and vinegar. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated.

Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and bring it together, then gently knead once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into a flat rectangle (about an inch thick), wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

While the dough is chilling make the filling.

Empanadas – 24 pastries
4 hard-boiled eggs, cut into 6 slices each (lengthwise)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (sirloin preffered)
1 1/2 oz box of raisins
3 tablespoons chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes, reserve 4 tablespoons juice, and drain
1 recipe of Empanada Dough, from above
Canola Oil

Heat a large saute pan with olvie oil and cook onions over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened. Add garlic, cumin, oregano and cook. Stir in beef and cook, breaking up lumps, until no longer pink.

Add the raisins, olives, salt, pepper, and tomatoes with reserved juice, then cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced but mixture is still moist, about 5 minutes. Prepare a plate with papertowel, and spread the meat ontop. The papertowel will absorb any excess oil.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets with silpats.

Roll out an empanada disk on about 6 inches round. Place 2-3 tablespoons meat mixture on one half of the disk and top with a slice of egg. Moisten edges of disk with eggwash and fold over to form a semicircle, crimp with a fork. Place empanada on silpat, brush with canola oil. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.

Once a baking sheet is filled, bake for 10 minutes. If you think the empanadas are too light, brush empanadas with egg wash, bake 3 more minutes. Baked they won’t be as crunchy as typical empanadas, and if that’s what you are looking for, heat vegetable oil to 360 degrees F, and fry empanadas 4-6 minutes (don’t forget to flip it).

As for eating and storing:
You have multiple options…these can be eaten right away, stored in a container and reheated in a pan with a little canola oil to add crispiness, refrigerated for a few days, or placed in the freezer for a quick snack over the month. To reheat, place in the oven at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes.

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Oh and the lovely lady in the photo is my helpful friend Katie! Bon Appetit!

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