I suddenly decided I wanted to make empanadas. So I did. I am a very goal oriented person indeed.
Empanadas (flaky pastry dough containing filling of meat, vegetables, cheese, etc) are seen in lots of different countries, from Southern Europe to Africa to Latin America/Mexico to the US to Southeast Asia (basically everywhere). I personally don’t like the Filipino version that much (raisins, meh!), but I love the Hispanic varieties. I stumbled upon this awesome Ecuadorian site called Laylita’s Recipes, and after searching through tons of empanada recipes, decided on this Argentinian one. The crust was absolutely delicious and flaky.
These do take some effort to make, but having friends over sped up the process and was way more fun. The trickiest part is making sure the meat doesn’t explode out of the crust from overstuffing.
This is a rather hearty meat pie, so you can only eat so much at once, and it’s excellent accompanied by a salad or vegetables. This makes about 15 medium empanadas
Empanadas Mendocinas (Argentinean beef empanadas)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 egg yolk
½ cup butter, chilled
¾ cup warm milk
½ tsp salt
BEEF PICADILLO FILLING:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced (1 cup)
1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp chili powder / crushed red pepper
½ tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp fresh oregano
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
¼ cup sliced green olives
1 egg, lightly whisked
Mix the flour and salt until well combined. Add the chilled butter, cutting into chunks (or pulsing with a food processor) until crumbly. Add the egg yolk and the milk slowly, and mix until small dough clumps form. Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and cut out round disc shapes. Use the empanada discs immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.
BEEF PICADILLO FILLING:
Combine the ground beef, paprika, chili powder/red pepper, and cumin in a large bowl.
Heat olive oil, and add the onions. Cook until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Add the ground beef mixture and cook on medium heat until the meat is done. Once cooled, mix in the chopped green onions and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 400 F
To assemble the empanadas, add a spoonful of the meat mixture on the center of each empanada disc. Add egg and olive slices.
Brush the edges of the empanada discs with the egg. Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges gently with your fingers. Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg for a golden glow when they bake. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden.