Monday, September 19, 2011

Beef Empanadas

Well, Logan came and went, and we made some delicious food and drank lots of delicious wine and ciders. Mushroom raviolis were an adventure (they turned out slightly deformed but delicious) but our masterpiece of the weekend was definitely these beef empanadas.
Not all of them were beautiful, but by the second batch we got them looking presentable. And honestly, it wouldn't have mattered if these looked horrendous, because they taste amazing. A nice golden crust filled with meat, cheese, potatoes and onions...what's not to love?

Beef Empanadas
adapted from Handle the Heat
Makes about 40 empanadas  

For the Dough:
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups butter
 5 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbs. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika

For the Filling:
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 pound ground beef (85-90% lean)
salt and pepper to taste 

2 small russet potatos, peeled, finely diced, and boiled (about 10-15min.)1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese (or white cheddar)

For the dough:
Heat water and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted. Mix flour, salt, and paprika in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Pour a little of the warm butter mixture in and stir with fingertips to make a wet paste. Pour in remaining liquid and work the dough with your hand until you get a wet, oily dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

For the filling:

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onions, garlic and spices until the onion is soft, about five minutes. Add beef, season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and cook until beef is browned. Drain off the fat. Place filling in a large bowl and when cooled, add potatoes. Mix to combine.

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a large baking pan with non-stick spray or line with parchment. Divide dough into about 40 golf-sized balls. Using a rolling pin and plenty of flour, roll out dough balls into 5″ circles. Place 3 tablespoons of filling in the center of each dough circle. Sprinkle filling lightly with cheese. Fold over and press edges firmly to seal. Crimp with the back of a fork. Place empanadas on baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.*

*Notes: these can be frozen and baked from the freezer, simply add 10-15 minutes onto baking time. To reheat empanadas, bake at 350 for 5-7 minutes until hot (don't microwave them or they will burn something fierce, I learned the hard way).

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