After a couple days of craving empanadas and having nowhere to buy them, I decided to make them myself. I figured it couldn’t be too hard and I could freeze the rest. I went for a classic meat empanada, and the entire process took a couple of hours. After taste testing, of course they weren’t quite as spectacular as Valeriana’s but they were very tasty, and family approved.
Here is the recipe I (kind of) followed, courtesy of foodnetwork.com (I doubled this to make leftovers to freeze)
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup lard or shortening
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
Oil or shortening, for frying
For the empanada dough: Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the lard with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then whisk in the stock. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and knead until a dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the empanada filling: In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and garlic salt and cook until the beef is cooked completely. Drain the grease and set the beef aside.
In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the tomato paste, vinegar, cumin, chili powder, oregano, seasoned salt, garlic, bell peppers and onions. Cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the beef and let them love each other with fire over low heat for about 5 more minutes. The mixture should be moist but not dripping wet. Now you are ready to fill the empanadas.
Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out 4-, 5- or 6-inch rounds, depending on how large you prefer. Add some meat filling to each empanada and fold the dough over in half to enclose the filling. Use a fork to press and seal the edges closed. You can refrigerate the uncooked empanadas for up to 3 hours.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees F. Fry the empanadas until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes.