Pies for Pi Day: Beef empanadas

Pies for Pi Day: Beef empanadas

Yield: 4 servings


For the homemade empanada dough

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 egg

1/4-1/2 cup water, adjust as needed

For the chimichurri sauce

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more

3-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 Fresno chile or red jalapeño, finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced

2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the beef empanada filling

4 tablespoons butter or oil

1 white onion, diced

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tablespoon dry oregano

2-3 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons annatto or achiote powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pound ground beef

1 egg, whisked

Method of Preparation

For the empanada dough

1. Use a food processor to mix the flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixed.

2. Add the egg and water, in small increments, and continue pulsing until a clumpy dough forms.

3. Split dough into two large balls; flatten slightly into the shape of disks. The dough can be used immediately or refrigerated until ready to use (1-2 days max).

4. To make the empanada discs, roll out dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate).

For the chimichurri sauce

1. In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, garlic, shallot and chile. Let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro, parsley, and oregano. Using a fork, whisk in oil. Remove ½ cup of chimichurri to a small bowl, season with salt to taste, and reserve as sauce. Cover and chill for at least three hours or overnight.

For the beef empanada filling

1. Heat butter in a large skillet. Add onion and crushed garlic. Cook until onions are soft.

2. Add oregano, ground cumin, ground achiote/annatto, and salt and pepper.

3. Add ground beef, stir and cook until the meat is fulling cooked. Taste and adjust any seasonings to your personal preference. Let beef filling cool down completely before using to fill empanadas.

4. Place a generous amount of beef filling in the center of each empanada disc.

5. Fold empanada discs and gently seal the edges with your fingers. Then twist and fold the edges of the empanadas with your fingers. For extra sealing, you can use a fork to press down on the edges.

6. Refrigerate the empanadas for 30 minutes-1 hour.

7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees for medium sized empanadas, or 375 degrees for smaller empanadas.

8. Place the empanadas on baking sheet, lightly greased or lined with parchment paper.

9. Brush the empanadas with the whisked egg mix; this will give a nice golden glow when baked.

10. Bake at the empanadas for about 20 minutes, or until golden on top.

11. Serve warm, along with your choice of dipping sauce.

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