Mexican empanada recipe
There is no definitive Mexican empanada recipe: only the recipes for the pastry remain fairly constant. The fillings can be anything and everything, sweet or savory, heck, even sweet AND savory. But the most common, by far, is a combination of beef and vegetables. For a really authentic Mexican dish, however, you've got to have some peppers in there, especially jalapenos.
For the pastry:
At most specialist Latin food stores you can find frozen empanada dough discs, which are more expensive but also more convenient. Making dough from scratch doesn't taste much different but is obviously more labor-intensive. You can also customize the ingredients by adding spices and herbs to compliment or contrast with the flavors of the filling.
For around twenty medium empanadas you'll need:
- 3 cups of all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 6 oz of unsalted butter cut into 12 pieces, fresh out of the fridge
- 1 egg
- 4-5 tablespoons of water
- 1 egg, beaten with a little milk
1. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl or food processor.
2. Add the butter, egg and water and mix until it forms into a single lump of dough. No especially vigorous kneading is required.
3. Roll into a ball and place in the fridge for about half-an-hour.
4. Roll out the dough on a cutting board and cut out discs around a small plate or with an appropriately-sized cutter.
5. They can be used immediately or refrigerated/frozen for later.
For the filling:
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 4 jalapenos, deseeded and chopped
- 2 small potatoes, diced into one inch cubes and boiled until soft
- 1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup green olives, finely chopped
- 2 hardboiled eggs, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup raisins, soaked in warm water for 1 hour (optional)
- 1 teaspoon oil
1. Sauté the onions in the oil over medium heat for two minutes.
2. Add the garlic and jalapenos and cook for another minute.
3. Add the ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir.
4. When the beef is nicely browned, add the broth, raisins and bring to a simmer.
5. Let the liquid reduce until it's almost gone.
6. Fold in the eggs and potatoes.
7. Let the mixture cool, as hot filling will loosen up the pastry and make it harder to work.
To make the empanadas:
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Spoon some filling into the middle of each pastry disc.
3. Fold the dough in half over the top of the filling, forming a pocket. Squeeze as much air out as possible and glue the seal with the egg wash. Crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers for a traditional look.
4. Glaze the crust with egg wash.
5. Grease or line a baking tray with wax paper and arrange the sealed empanadas.
6. Bake for fifteen to twenty minutes, or until golden brown.
7. Serve hot.