For those of you out there who aren’t yet familiar with the empanada, here’s all you need to know: 1. They’re essentially the Spanish version of a Hot Pocket. 2. They’re fucking delicious. As you may have noticed, I’ve been on somewhat of a beef kick lately. I know, bad me. I will throw in a fish or chicken recipe soon, pinky promise. Until then, let’s focus on these killer beef empanadas. I must warn that these handheld treats may require a bit more work than most of the recipes I’ve shared thus far. Why? Pie dough, that’s why. I’ve included the easiest pie dough recipe I have in hopes that I won’t scare you off. This being said, if making dough is enticing you to run for the hills; don’t! Take your sprinting gear off and wait a damn minute. There is a simple solution and it comes in the form of store-bought pie dough. Just because I prefer to make my own doesn’t mean that your empanadas will be lesser if you don’t. The most important part is the mouth-watering filling, after all. Scroll below for this Cheesy Beef Empanada (and Easy-Peasy Pie Crust) recipe!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 lb of ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp of ground cumin
- 1 tsp of dried oregano
- 1 tsp crushed red peppers
- 1 tsp chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 tbsp of diced jalapenos (depending on how spicy you want to go)
- ½ cup of Monterey jack cheese, grated
- ½ cup of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 egg
- Sour cream (optional)
- Green onion for garnish (optional)
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2 sticks of cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 6 – 8 tbsp of ice water
Here’s what you’ll do:
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- On medium heat, add ground beef, onion and garlic to a large skillet. Cook until ground beef is browned. I recommend breaking up the beef, leaving as little large pieces as possible. Drain grease and return to pan.
- Add cumin, oregano, red peppers and chili powder and stir.
- Add tomato sauce and jalapenos and stir. Lower heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add a little bit of water to the edges of your dough before filling to help seal.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove the pan from heat and allow the beef to cool.
- (If you went with store-bought crust, skip to #9.) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add cold butter pieces and mix into the flour with a food processor or pastry cutter. Add 1 tbsp of water at a time, tossing the mixture with fork, until there are no dry piles left at the bottom of the bowl. Bring mixture together into a ball.
- With a rolling pin, roll thin and flat onto a floured surface. I cut my dough into circles by using pressing a cereal bowl down onto it.
- Spoon about ¼ cup of beef filling onto one half of cut out circles of dough. Add a sprinkle of Monterey jack and cheddar.
- Fold dough over and using a fork, close the edges be pressing to seal.
- Place each empanada onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- In a bowl, whisk egg with 1 tbsp of water. Using a pastry brush, brush egg wash over the top of each empanada.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
- Remove from oven. Garnish with green onion and serve with a side of sour cream for dipping.
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