I was pretty impressed with these empanadas from Food Trucks: Dispatches and Recipes from the Best Kitchens on Wheels by Heather Shouse (TenSpeed, Apr.), the recipe coming from an Argentinian family that parks their “slightly ramshackle truck” at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. The dough was great: flaky yet firm. I had to add a bit more water than the recipe called for to get it to hold together, but then it was pretty smooth sailing rolling it out. The beef filling with hard-boiled eggs, olives, and raisins was simple and flavorful; I loved it on its own, but once it was encased in the dough it became a bit muted. If I made these again I would kick up the seasoning a bit and maybe make a dipping sauce, too. Overall, this recipe’s a good jumping off point from which to experiment with empanada fillings, but I might cut down on the ingredients since after making my 12 I had a lot of extra beef left over.
Beef Empanadas from Food Trucks: Dispatches and Recipes from the Best Kitchens on Wheels by Heather Shouse
Makes about 12 empanadas
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ cup margarine, at room temperature
¾ cup water
2 tablespoons corn oil
3 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
½ cup diced roasted red bell pepper
¼ cup chopped green olives
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 tablespoon raisins (optional)
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle flour over it.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour with 1 teaspoon of the salt, 6 tablespoons of the margarine, and the water, stirring with a spoon and then using your hands to thoroughly blend the dough. Roll the dough out to a thickness of ¼ inch, then spread the remaining 2 tablespoons margarine on the dough’s surface. Lightly sprinkle the dough with flour, fold it in half and then in half again, and then roll it out again to a thickness of 1/16 inch. Cut out about 12 circles from the dough using a 5-inch ring mold.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the onions and the garlic. Stir in the ground beef and season with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, pepper, parsley, and oregano. When the beef is lightly browned, add the bell pepper. Increase the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the beef is fully cooked. Let cool and then stir in the olives, hard-cooked eggs, and raisins. Put 2 tablespoons of the filling in the middle of each dough circle and fold the dough in half to form a half-moon, pressing the edges together firmly and pinching them all around or pressing them with the tines of a fork to seal. Place the empanadas on the prepared baking sheet and brush them with the egg yolk. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.