Empanadas

We are all likely familiar with Empanadas, which is a breaded stuffed dumpling. They are believed to be a derivate of the Samosa and originated in Spain, Portugal, and León. Not sure why there are three regions, but that is what Wikipedia says.  There is a Catalan cookbook from 1520 which has an empanada recipe that is stuffed with seafood.

Empanadas are common in south America due to the Spanish influences to the area and are very popular in Argentina. In Argentina they have shops that only sell Empanadas with all the different stuffing types. I came across a recipe with a Mendoza style empanada. When I was in Argentina, Mendoza was a highlight of my trip where I got to experience the wine region there. So this is the stuffing I pick to make.

The first step is to make the dough and then roll it out. This isn’t difficult for me any more with my handy kitchen aid mixer. While the dough is resting I make the filling, which is also straight forward. The next step is to roll out the dough and cut it into circles. I have a circular cookie cutter and use that.

IMG_4576

 

Add the meat filling, a slice of hard boiled egg and then an olive.

IMG_4577 IMG_4578 IMG_4579

As you can see the cookie cutter I have is about the size of an egg. There is no way that I’m going to be able to to fold this in half. So I take another circle and place that ontop. This works well and they are ready to be baked.

Some friends arrive and I cook the empanadas for 15 minutes, but they are not quite done. Intending to leave them in for another 5 minutes, I’m distracted with pouring drinks and chatting, and end up leaving them in the oven for an additional 20 minutes. They are a little over done.

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The meat is a bit dry, so I would recommend par cooking the meat. However they are good especially with some chimichurri sauce.


Recipes

Empanadas Mendocinas

Original recipe can be found here

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), chilled and cut into 12 pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 4-5 tbs water
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 onions
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • green olives, pitted and cut into slices, about 6
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into rounds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 egg
  1. Mix the flour and salt in a mixer.
  2. Add the butter, egg and water until a clumpy dough forms.
  3. Knead for 5 minutes.
  4. Form a ball, flatten slightly, and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  5. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat.
  6. Put the onions, sliced finely in rounds, in a frying pan and salt them. Saute until they start to become translucent, then add in the beef, salt and pepper.
  7. Cook the ground beef
  8. Stir in the paprika, cumin, and crushed red pepper and mix well.
  9. Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate).
  10. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator/freezer to use later.
  11. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
  12. With a tablespoon, put a little of the meat filling in the center of the dough round
  13. Add a slice of the olive and a piece of the hard boiled egg.
  14. Moisten the edge on the top half of the round with a little water on your finger.
  15. Fold the bottom half of the dough up until the edges meet and seal with your fingers by pressing down. The empanada should have a half-moon shape.
  16. With a fork press the edges of the Empanada.
  17. Beat an egg in a cup and bruch the top of each sealed empanada
  18. Put the empanadas in the oven to bake for 20 minutes-they should be sizzling and very golden brown on top

 

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