Mini empanadas, “empanaditas,” are a really popular street food throughout the world, and the shapes and fillings vary from country to country. An empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry, and its name is derived from the Spanish/Portuguese verb “empanar,” meaning to wrap or to coat. Many countries with Spanish influence like the Philippines have adopted these empanadas. I’ll introduce all of you to the method I used; I used a biscuit cutter so they are smaller and can be considered empanaditas, but if you use the back of the drinking glass to cut them, they’ll be bigger and can be classified as empanadas. So let’s proceed…
1 lb. Organic ground beef (thawed, rinsed and drained on a colander, sorry not seen in the picture, already in the frying pan)
1 onion (finely chopped))
3 cloves garlic (crushed in a garlic crusher and chopped)
1 potato (finely diced)
1/2 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup green peas (frozen and thawed)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup broth
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
1/3 cup brown or white sugar
1 and 1/2 stick butter ( cut in small cubes)
1 large egg
1//3 cup iced cold water
A rolling pin
1. Heat a deep frying pan and put in the ground beef, stir until the fat and liquid get extracted, once brown and no longer pink, add the onions and stir, add in the garlic and stir for 2 minutes till the onions are translucent. Add a cup of broth, stir and cover, boil and simmer on low until the beef are tender for 10 minutes. Check if tender according to your preference.
2. Add carrots, potatoes, raisins and green peas, stir well. Add the salt, pepper, soy sauce and potato paste, mix very well and cover and put on low simmer for another 10 minutes. Don’t burn and if too dry you may add more broth.
3. Check and taste if the vegetables are tender to your liking, turn off the stove, uncover and let it cool, set aside.
4. Mix very well in a huge mixing bowl the following: 3 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/3 cup sugar.
5. Add the squared butter and mix with your hands until it resembles coarse crumbs. Beat a large egg and mix in a small bowl, add 1/3 cup of iced cold water and mix well then add to the huge mixing bowl. Mix well and punch in the middle and throw flour on the kitchen table or marble square and turn the dough and shape into a ball and wrap with a plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Throw more flour on the table and place the dough and cut into half, roll the half with a rolling pin as thin as possible and cut with the biscuit cutter like this….
6. Gather the cut dough and gently roll again with a rolling pin like this…
7. With your right hand, pick up the rolled piece of dough into your left hand and put a teaspoon of the filling with your right hand then overlap the half and pinch the sides together until you created a half moon shape with fillings secured inside. Lay the raw empanaditas on a plate and push the end of a fork (prongs up) into the sides all around it, just like in the picture below….
8. If you cannot finish everything, put the left-over filling in the refrigerator and gather the left-over scrap dough, rolled with the remaining half dough, rolled with a rolling pin and add together and shape into a ball again and cover with plastic and refrigerate also. You can resume making more the following day.
9. Beat a large egg in a small bowl and brush it on top of the raw empanaditas already laying on a wax paper-lined pan and bake at pre-heated oven at 375ºF for 15-18 minutes.
The fork really did a great job of crimping the sides, right? As always, they are flavorful and you can add whatever fillings you want.