Who doesn’t love food that you can hold in your hand? The beauty of empanadas is that the rich, buttery dough can be filled with almost anything - sweet or savory. Our Ancho Chili Powder is mild-medium in heat and adds magnificent depth to the beef and vegetable filling we chose. Ancho chiles have a wonderful, darkly sweet flavor, so we added a little Alderwood Smoked Salt for just a touch of smoky contrast. They can be served either hot or at room temperature; we like ours with salsa, sour cream and a Hibiscus Margarita. They freeze well, so make a bunch and plan to enjoy them another day, or surprise yourself at how quickly your guests devour the extras.
Ancho Chili Beef Empanadas
For the Dough
4 1/2 cups flour
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
2 large eggs
2/3 cup ice water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
For the Filling
1/4 cup olive oil
5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup sliced black olives
For the Egg Wash
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
To Make The Dough
- Sift flour into a large bowl. Add salt and chilled, cubed butter. Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, mix together until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, chilled water and vinegar and add to flour mixture.Combine until well incorporated.
- Empty onto a lightly floured surface and knead just enough to bring the dough together. Cut dough in half and form each half into a rectangle. Chill for at least 1 hour.
To Make the Filling
- In a heavy skillet heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onions, red bell peppers and garlic and saute until softened. Add Alderwood Smoked Salt, Ancho Chili Powder and Mexican Oregano, and saute for about 1 minute.
- Add ground beef, breaking up any lumps and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add olives and mix well. Taste for seasoning, adjust as needed. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.
To Assemble the Empanadas
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator. Cut each rectangle into 12 pieces. Form into discs and cover with a towel.
- On a lightly floured surface, take one of the pieces and roll it out into a circle (about 1/8 inch thick). Holding the circle in the palm of your hand, place 2 heaping teaspoons of the chilled filling in the center.
- Fold the two edges of the circle together over the filling. Press the edges to seal. Using a fork dipped in flour, crimp the edges so the filling won't escape.
- Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling. Lightly brush the empanadas with egg wash.
- Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. They are done if they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes.
- Serve with salsa and sour cream.
World Spice Merchants http://www.worldspice.com
Categories: Caribbean, Latin America, Main Meals, Recipes, Snacky Bits
Tags: Alderwood Smoked Salt, Ancho Chili Powder, Appetizer, BBQ, Beef, Empanadas, finger food, Hand Held, Make Ahead, Mexican Oregano, party time, Picnic, snacks