The famous Brazilian meat pies also known as empanadas! We really enjoy having empadas in the summer either for lunch or dinner with a salad! They are excellent to take on a picnic or to a party as an appetizer (see below). Bonus…they can be eaten hot or at room temperature! If you wish, you can add a few red chili flakes to spice them up a bit. I like to do this when I make smaller appetizer size empadas.
1 med. sized onion, minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp. EVO
1 lb. lean ground beef
½ tsp. ground coriander
Pinch of ground ginger
2 med. sized ripe tomatoes, peeled, cored & coarsely chopped**
1 tsp. light brown sugar (golden sugar)
2 Tbsp. minced parsley
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
½ tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
**(opt.) red chili flakes to taste (I do like to)
Dough for empadas (see below) or purchased pie crust
Saute onion & garlic in EVO in a large skillet for 5 minutes or until very soft. Add ground beef and cook until browned, breaking up clumps with a fork.
Mix in all remaining ingredients & cook uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally until tomato juices have cooked down & mixture is quite thick; about 20 – 25 minutes. Remove from heat & cool to room temperature.
I think this dough works very well for the “pies”. It’s flaky & the egg wash makes them all nice & shiny.
2 2/3 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into bits
2 large eggs , lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. sour cream
Egg Wash: Beat 1 egg & 1 tsp. cold water together
Make the dough:
Sift the flour & salt into a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl combine the eggs & sour cream. Stir into the flour mixture with a fork until it forms a dough. Form dough into 2 balls, dust with flour, flatten slightly & wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour before rolling out. You can prepare the dough in the food processor, I always do. Just make sure when you add the egg & sour cream you only process until dough begins to clump, remove from processor and form into 2 balls, flatten slightly & wrap in plastic wrap. Roll out the dough, 1 ball at a time, to 1/8” thickness.
For 4 large empadas: cut each ball of dough in half & roll out 2 pieces of dough at a time to form circles; using half the filling place the filling on each of the two dough circles, leaving a 1” border. Brush with cold water. Fold over the other half of dough, enclosing the filling. Fold over the edges and crimp or press with the tines of a fork to seal. Make a few decorative slashes in the top of each one to allow for steam to escape, or prick decoratively with a fork. Continue with the remaining 2 pieces of dough in the same manner. Place empadas on a baking parchment lined baking pan. Brush with egg wash and bake in a preheated 375 F oven for 25 – 35 minutes until bubbling & browned.
For 6 (or possibly 7) – 6” empadas: roll out each ball of dough & using a 6” saucer as a guide, cut into circles. Fill, crimp & seal, brush with egg wash and bake as above.
For appetizer size empadas: cut the dough out with a round biscuit cutter into 3 – 4” rounds. Fill, crimp, seal , brush with egg wash & bake as above.
To see how to prep the tomatoes, click How To Peel And Seed Tomatoes.