I saw an episode of the F Word the other day, and it featured an Argentinean restaurant that served empanadas, among other things. Gordon Ramsay was so delighted by them, that I felt like trying to make some of my own and see if I could pull it off. I had some ground beef in the freezer, and as you already may know… I’m not crazy about ground beef, so making a filling for empanadas sounded like a good way to eat it.
A couple of days later I made the dough, from a recipe I found online. It was very easy to make, and I was surprised to see how easy it was to handle. It didn’t break appart at all, so forming the disks was easy. The ground beef filling is my own recipe, I always use lean beef to avoid that awful taste that lingers in your mouth all day. These empanadas are winners, I made 12 and gave some to my mother in law, they didn’t last one day. Don’t be afraid to try this recipe I promise you it is not hard to make.
Recipe From: Epicurious
Yield: Makes enough for 12 pastries
2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 stick (½ cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 large egg
⅓ cup ice water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- Sift flour with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.
- Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. (Mixture will look shaggy.)
- Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour.
A Foodies’ Original
1 lb ground beef, lean cut
½ white onion, finely diced
½ red bell pepper, finely diced
½ carrot, finely diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
¼ teaspoon Oregano
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
1 cup tomato sauce
2 teaspoons sugar ( to correct the taste if tomato sauce is to acidic)
- In a large pan, heat a bit of olive oil and sauté the onions, bell pepper, carrot and garlic clove for a few minutes, until the onion is translucent.
- Add the beef, the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and add the rest of the spices. When the beef is no longer pink and has started to brown, add the tomato sauce. Correct flavoring by adding a little sugar if the tomato sauce is too acidic.
- Let this mixture cool to room temperature.
Form and bake empanadas:
- Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces and form each into a disk. Keeping remaining pieces covered, roll out 1 piece on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 5-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick).
- Spoon about 2 tablespoons filling onto center and fold dough in half, enclosing filling. Press edges together to seal, then crimp decoratively with your fingers or tines of a fork. Transfer empanada to a baking sheet. Make 11 more empanadas in same manner, arranging on 2 baking sheets.
- Lightly brush empanadas with some of egg wash and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer empanadas to a rack to cool at least 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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