An empanada is a dough pocket filled with anything you want. The most common (that I know of) are chicken, beef, and cheese. Today I went for beef because ground beef is pretty much my favorite thing ever. You can eat these as an appetizer, a snack, or a main meal if you have enough of them!
Empanadas de carne
Servings: 5 (2 empanadas each)
1 lb lean ground beef
1 green onion, finely minced
5 cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp all purpose seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 large tomato, chopped
1/2 large green pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, chopped (you can use onion too)
dash of salt and pepper
1 cup beef stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pack Goya discs (I found these at Wegmann's, you can probably find them in any store with a real hispanic food section or try to make your own dough!)
1 egg, slightly beaten
Combine the first 5 ingredients very well with your hands, so everything is mixed seamlessly and the ground beef is broken down. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. Toss the tomato, green pepper, garlic, shallot, salt and pepper and cook until the tomato juices start to run, about 3-4 minutes. Then toss the meat in there and cook until it is all a little brown. Finally add the beef stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. When the meat is done, make sure your Goya discs are completely unfrozen. Roll one disc out a little bit with a rolling pin and place about 2 tbsp of the meat filling in the center. Fold it over, making sure you match up all the edges. Then take a fork and press down on the edges to merge them together. Carefully flip it over and do it again on the other side.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 15-20 minutes. I've seen other recipes that only bake these 20 minutes without flipping them over, but that didn't work for me. Follow your gut, the dough should be completely cooked and they should look golden. When they're done, let them cool before you eat (or you'll burn your tongue, guaranteed!)
We took these to a picnic and they held very well. Just wrap them individually in aluminum foil and place them in a sealed container. That will keep the heat and you can eat them still a little warm - so delicious!
What does that smile tell us then?