Empanadas (Argentine style)

Submitted by: Ashley Medina
Empanadas are a South American pastry, and popular as a street food. They can contain any number of fillings, ranging from meat to fruit. Each country has its specialty- I chose my Father's recipe, which he learned in his native Buenos Aires.

Serves: 4-6

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Ingredients

DOUGH
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-2 tsp salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes, or 1 cup vegetable shortening
2 eggs
2/3 cup cold water
2 tbs white vinegar
FILLING
1 lb ground beef or turkey
4-6 hard boiled eggs
1 cup green olives
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tbs ground cumin powder
1 tsp chili powder or pepper flakes
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Sift the flour and salt in a large bowl. Blend in the butter or lard with your fingers until it breaks up. The flour should now have an even, course texture (the butter lumps should be no larger than a pea).
2. Beat together the eggs, water, and vinegar in a bowl. Add this to the flour mix, blend.
3. Place the mixture on a floured surface. Knead with the heel of your hand to bring the dough together. Cover in a cool place for an hour.
4. Roll out the dough to ~1/8 of an inch thick. Cut into circles about 4-6 inches in diameter and lightly flour.

Filling
1. Heat some oil in a large saucepan. Mince the onions and garlic, add to the pan. Cook until the onions become translucent.
2. Add the ground meat. Break it up with with a spoon and cook, stirring until lightly browned. Drain off fat.
3. Mix in the cumin, chili powder, and sugar.
4. Chop the hard boiled eggs and halve the stuffed olives. Carefully mix into the meat mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare and Bake
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
2. Stuff the dough wrappers: Place 2-3 tablespoons of the filling in the center of each circle. Dampen the outer perimeter of the dough.
3. Fold over, forming a semicircle. Pinch a corner of the dough, and fold that section onto itself. Pinch and pull out another 1/2-inch section and fold over, so that it slightly overlaps the first piece. Repeat along the length of the folded side, until you create a braided or twisted seal.
4. Place the folded Empanadas on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

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