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(meat) pie for dinner.

April 27, 2014

i made my picadillo the other day & i made a lot. really a lot.  so when my boy & i decided to do some weekend cooking, we decided to make empanadas – those delicious meat pies with various savory fillings – chicken, potato, chorizo…  the list goes on.  picadillo – with ground beef, olives & raisins –  happens to be a fairly traditional filling & also my favorite.  some folks are intimidated by making pastry / dough but this recipe comes together easily & rolls out beautifully, resulting in an incredibly flaky crust.


empanada pastry (makes 12 large empanadas)
from the joy of cooking
3 C all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
10 T unsalted butter, cold & cut into small pieces
2 T solid vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
10 – 12 T ice water

1 egg, lightly beaten
1 T milk
freshly cracked salt & pepper

picadillo (recipe below)

preheat oven to 400 degrees.

place the flour, baking powder & salt into a food processor & pulse until combined.  add the butter & shortening & pulse again until just barely combined & mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs.  transfer the mixture to a large bowl & drizzle ice water over the top.  moisten dough and gather together into a ball.  flatten into a flat disk, wrap tightly in plastic & refrigerate for one hour.

roll out the dough 1/8” thick on a lightly floured surface and cut into 6-inch rounds.  gather scraps and re-roll until you have twelve rounds.  spoon ¼-C of picadillo onto one half of each round of dough.  moisten the edges of the rounds with water (i use a pastry brush but you can also use your finger) & press the edges together, creating half-moon shapes, to completely enclose the filling.  use the tines of a fork, making a nice pattern, to seal the edges.  place on a baking sheet 2” apart.

mix the beaten egg & milk together and brush over the tops of the sealed empanadas.  top with a sprinkle of cracked pepper & salt.

bake empanadas in for 20 minutes or until deeply, golden brown.  serve warm.

picadillo (enough filling for 12 empanadas)

1 T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 lb. ground beef (15 – 20% fat)
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 potato, diced (about 1 C)
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. gound cloves
¼ tsp. chili flakes
¼ C raisins
½ C pimento-stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped
salt & pepper to taste
½ C slivered almonds

heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat.  add onion, garlic & bay leaf & sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.  add beef & sauté until cooked, breaking up with back of a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes.  add all remaining ingredients & simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender & picadillo has thickened. season to taste with salt & pepper.  discard bay leaves & stir in almonds.




6 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily Fisher permalink
    April 27, 2014 11:15 pm

    My EMPathy for those who can eat this? NADA!

  2. Cristina permalink
    April 28, 2014 2:29 am

    karena kept bringing more and more delicious food to the table…the empanadas absolutamente deliciosas!! Thank you for loving so much to cook and US!!

  3. rieneke permalink
    April 28, 2014 6:25 am

    They look great Karena! And… I wrong? But do I recognize the plate you serve them on?

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