Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Beef Empanadas

Tomorrow after work I am going home for a long weekend to visit my family.  I haven't seen some of my family members since Christmas, so I am pretty excited.

Whenever I have a trip or something exciting right after work, I cannot pay attention to my work tasks for the life of me.  I already know that tomorrow isn't going to be a super productive work day.  I'll have too much on my mind.

I have wanted to make empanadas for a while.  I went to Peru earlier this Summer, and we ate empanadas several times.

According to Wikipedia, empanadas are made in Southern Europe, Indonesia, and the Philippines, in addition to South America.  Who knew?

The word empanada comes from the Spanish work empanar, which means to wrap.  It's a very appropriate name.  They originated in Galicia (Spain) during the Moorish envision.  

They were brought to the Americas, Philippines, and Indonesia by the Spanish colonizers.  Each South American country has their own variation.  

This is a phenomenal recipe.  It is one of the best things I have posted on this blog.  It is comfortably in the top five percent.

The filling recipe cam from epicurious.  They fried their empanadas, and I baked mine.  They also didn't provide a recipe for the empanada crust.  They suggested you buy dough from the store, which I would have done if I lived hear a latin market.  The crust recipe came from Martha Stewart.  It reminded me of a pie dough.  It was buttery, flakey, and delicious.

I made the filling first.  That way the filling had time to cool while I made the crust.  The ingredients for the filling are 2 hard boiled eggs, 1/2 medium onion, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 3/4 pound ground beef, 2 tablespoons raisins, 1 1/2 tablespoons pimento stuffed green olives, and 1 14 ounce can drained whole tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of tomato juice reserved.

I cooked the onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions had softened.  

I added the cumin, oregano and garlic and sauteed the onions for another minute.

I added the ground beef.  I broke up the beef into chunks with my wooden spoon as it cooked.  I cooked the beef until it wasn't pink.  The recipe said this takes around 4 minutes.

I added the raisins, chopped green onions, chopped tomatoes, salt, and pepper into the cooked beef.  My picture doesn't show that the tomatoes are chopped, but I had to remove them from the pan, chop them, and then place them back into the skillet because I didn't read the instructions well.

I added the two tablespoons of reserved tomato juice.

I continued to cook the filling until the juices had reduced.  This took about 5 minutes.  The meat was still moist, but it wasn't soupy. 

The ingredients for the crust are 4 cups all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup cold butter cut into small pieces, and 1 cup cold water.  I used a beaten egg to cover the empanadas with an egg wash before baking.

I added the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.

I stirred the flour mixture together before adding the cold butter. I pressed the butter and flour mixture together with my hands.

I slowly added the ice water.  After each addition, I mixed the dough together.

I stopped adding water once the dough came together.

The dough makes 8 empanadas.  I grabbed an eighth of the dough and formed a flat disk.

I spooned a healthy quantity of the beef mixture into the center of the disk of dough.

I placed two slices of the hard boiled egg on top of the ground beef filling.

I folded the dough over and sealed the edges together by pressing the edged together with my finger.

I placed the empanadas on baking sheet.

Once all the empanadas were formed, I covered their surfaces with a thick coating of egg wash.

I baked the empanadas for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.  I rotated the pan 180 degrees half way through the baking process.

These were amazing!  They were mouthwatering, savory, and aromatic.

The raisins, eggs, and olives were exquisite additions to the filing.  I had a little extra filing left over, but I ate it with rice.

The crust was really flakey and buttery.  It was one of the better crusts I have made.  It was definitely better then the last pie crust I attempted. I give these empanadas two enthusiastic thumbs up.


Joanne said...

I have always wanted to try my hand at empanadas and had no idea they were traditionally made and in so many parts of the world!

laura said...

Me neither! They are fun to make!