Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Beef Empanadas

I have been making empanadas over the years since I was a kid. I have used quote a few different recipes for the filling and the pastry, always with delicious results. Below is my recipe for empanadas that I have revised from various earlier recipes. I have combined this with Marcus Samuelsson's recipe for peanut-mango sambal sauce from his book, New American Table (a truly great cookbook). I used my own recipe for the pastry and filling since his contains pork, which I don't eat.  These beef empanadas were delicious and went nicely with the nutty, yet tart and fruity sauce.

Sasha's Beef Empanada Filling
2/3 lb lean ground beef
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup raisons
salt and pepper to taste
1 small onion, diced

Sasha's Empanada Dough
1 cup skim milk
three small packages (about one ounce) dry active yeast
1 T butter, melted
1/4 cup of cold water (approximate)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Marcus Samuelsson's Peanut Mango Sambal
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tsp coriander
3 T unsalted, roasted, skinless peanuts
2 birds eye chilis, crumbled
1 tsp ground ginger
1 cup coconut milk
2 T sugar
1/2 T fish sauche
1 mango, pitted and chopped into cubes

First, warm the milk in the microwave a bit. Add the sugar and the dry active yeast, and let rest until it becomes foamy and yeast activates, about ten minutes. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Form a well and add the liquid with the yeast. Add the water and butter (melted) as well and combine into a dough.  Knead dough until smooth, to get rid of any lumps. Allow to rise in a well-oiled bowl (covered) for about an hour.

While the dough is risking, prepare the filling. Saute the onion in olive oil and mix in the spices, beef and other ingredients. Cook until the beef is done and the mixture is combined and flavorful.

Using a square shaped cookie cutter, roll out the dough and cut into 3 inch squares. Fill with a teaspoon or so of the empanada filling and pinch to form a triangle. Seal, and brush with an egg white. Bake for 30 minutes or so at 325, until lightly browned.

To make Marcus's sambal to serve these, combine the garlic and coriander with a mortar and pestle. Add the peanuts, after pulverizing them in a food processor. Cook at medium heat in a pan until golden. Add the fresh ginger, ground ginger, coconut milk, and sugar. bring to a simmer and cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a blender, and add the fish sauce and the mango. Puree until smooth and serve as a dipping sauce for the empanadas.  Alternatively, if you prefer a lumpier texture, you can just stir in the mango cubes like Marcus suggests.

1 comment:

  1. These look awesome, you did a really good job. Have never thought of making my own I always just buy the frozen kind at Costco, well I am going to change that, thanks.


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