Jan 25, 2012


My brother is serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Bueno Aires Argentina. (We're also know as Mormons)

He wrote us a letter recently telling us about some of his favorite foods. His favorite right now is Empanadas. He described them as turnovers but instead of fruit in them there was meat and potatoes and veggies. All I could really think about was Raspberry Turnovers with meat and it almost made me sick. So I started looking through cook books and online and I found a recipe that looked rather yummy and thought that I'd give it a try.
Here is the recipe.

For the Dough:
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Finely Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 cup Lard or Vegetable Shortening (Crisco)
3/4 cup Warm Milk
1 Egg, beaten

For the Filling:
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Chopped Onion
1 clove Garlic
2 tbsp minced Jalapeno Pepper
1/4 cup drained Ro*Tel Tomatoes
4 ounces Lean Ground Beef (Elk)
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Coriander
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cornstarch (or 1 tsp Flour)
1/2 cup finely Shredded Colby-Jack Cheese

Preheat oven to 375*

In a medium bowl combine the flour, cheese, salt and baking powder...mix well

Add lard and with fingers, fork or pastry blender work the mixture until the lard is well distributed

Warm milk and beat egg into it

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the milk mixture

Stir until the mixture forms a ball, you may need to add more flour if mixture is too sticky
(I used my hands, pretty much treat it the way you would with regular bread dough)

Cover and allow to rest while you prepare the filling

In a skillet over medium heat add oil to warm

Once oil is warm add onions and cook until they being to soften, about 3 minutes

Add garlic and jalapeno and cook for another minute or until fragrant

Add the ground beef (elk) and brown meat

As meat is browning add cumin, coriander, salt and cornstarch (or flour substitute)

Add in the drained tomatoes and cook for another minute before removing the pan from the heat

Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before adding the shredded cheese

Line two sheet pans with parchment paper (opt)

Divide the dough into four pieces and on a floured surface roll it out until its very thin (about 1/8 in)

Cut out 3" circles of dough

(**I didn't separate the dough into four pieces. I just rolled out the whole thing and I wanted bigger empanadas. The 3" are great for appetizers but since this was dinner we went with a lid to some Tupperware**) 

Add a teaspoon of meat filling (for appetizer) or as much as desired that will fit (for dinner)

Fold the dough over and press to seal

Crimp the edges with a fork

Repeat until you have filled your pan or the ingredients are all gone

Brush tops with egg wash 
(I forgot and didn't do this)

Back for 18-20 minutes or until puffed and lightly golden

Allow to cool slightly before serving.

We served ours with Guacmole and it was rather delicious. Let us know what you think!!!

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