Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Empanadas Chilenas

Empanadas Chilenas - Chilean Meat Turnovers

Serves 10

2 cups Pino (beef and onion filling - recipe below)
5 cups bread flour, approx.
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup water, approx.
3 large hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut in wedges
1 small egg white

*Prepare Pino filling a day in advance.*

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heap the flour on a pastry table. Make a depression in the center and add the shortening, egg yolks and vinegar. Mix well using your fingers. Dissolve the salt in the water. Sprinkle some of the water over the flour mixture and rub the dough between your hands until it is smooth and fairly stiff. Gather the dough in a ball and knead it until it is no longer sticky, adding the water and flour as needed (these last three steps can be done in an electric mixer). Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. Then roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick or thinner. The dough will be stiff, elastic and difficult to roll at first. Cut circles about 9 inches in diameter. Place about 2 tablespoons if Pino in the center of each pastry circle, making sure there is at least one olive and egg wedge in each empanada. Dip your fingers in the filling juices and run them around the pastry's edge. Fold the dough to make a semicircular turnover. Press around the filling removing the trapped air and sealing the turnover. Use a fork to make a decorative edge. Paint the top with egg white. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.

Pino - Beef and Onion Filling

Serves 10

Pino is the juicy and spicy meat filling used in several of the classic Chilean criolla recipes such as Empanadas, Pastel de Choclo, Pastel de Papas and Pastel Rellenas. Pino is what makes Empanadas Chilenas so different from the empanadas made in Spain and other Latin American countries.

3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon Ají de Color or Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Pasta de Ají (see recipe in the Aliños post)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon flour
2/3 cup Caldo (see recipe in Sopas post)
1/2 cup golden raisins
24 pitted black olives
salt to taste

In large frying pan, melt half the butter with the oil and saute the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the paprika, cumin,oregano, black pepper and Pasta de Ají; set aside. In another pan, saute the beef in the remaining butter and oil; do not brown or overcook. Combine the onion and beef mixture in the larger pan. Dissolve the flour in the Caldo and add it to the mixture. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring until thickened; the end result should be juicy. Add the raisins, olives and salt to taste. Cover and store overnight in the refrigerator.