Two recent posts about empanadas, here and on Cachando Chile, have produced a flurry of requests for a recipe for those who cannot just pop over to the neighborhood empanada shop. Chilean caterer and cooking teacher extraordinaire, Sonia Rodríguez de Hoftstadt kindly offered to share her foolproof, no-fail recipe for Empanadas de Horno–de pino (beef)–of course!
Sonia is truly a woman of the world, the daughter and wife of diplomats, she has spent much of her life abroad, lived in 9 different countries, and speaks 5 languages. She was trained as a simultaneous interpreter and finally turned to her true passion: food from around the world. She teaches and caters through her company “El Toque Gourmet,” and is currently working on a book of the same title. Her specialties include (but certainly not limited to!) Asian Cooking, Mediterranean and European Food, American Desserts, and Chilean Asados.
And now, what you’ve all been waiting for….The Recipe!
Empanadas de Pino de Horno / Chilean Beef Empanadas
Recipe by Sonia Rodríguez de Hofstadt
Tried and tested over and over, these are the very best and easiest—if not the healthiest—empanadas. There is no need to chill the dough, but if you are not in a hurry, make the filling the night before to let the flavors mellow. They freeze well. These empanadas are a bit smaller and plumper than the ones sold commercially and remember—traditionally empanadas in the shape of a triangle are spicy with ‘ají’ (chili pepper).
Pino (Beef filling):
500 g (½ kg) lean beef (posta negra) connective tissue removed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoon cumin seed
5–6 tablespoons oil
4 medium onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons paprika dissolved in
¼ cup beef broth (60 cc)
3 tablespoons seedless white raisins soaked in
¼ cup beef broth (60 cc)
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground fresh pepper to taste
1 tablespoon flour
3 green or red chili peppers (optional)
Process meat into small cubes the size of peas. Add ground cumin and let stand half an hour. In a non-stick pan heat cumin seeds until they pop. Add oil and sauté the onions. Do not brown, but cook thoroughly (25 min). Add the meat to onion mixture. Add paprika mixture to meat, add salt and pepper and cook at low heat until meat loses its color. Add soaked raisins with the broth. Add flour. Consistency should be saucy, but not soupy. Cool.
If using chilies: divide filling in two and add chopped chilies to one of the halves.
12 black olives
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced in quarters
(This flaky, crisp dough is also excellent for double crust pies)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter (115 gr)
½ cup shortening (115 gr)
5 ½ cups flour (370 gr)
In a small pan heat salt and milk to lukewarm. Remove from heat. Add egg, butter and shortening and stir till dissolved with a hand-held electric blender.
Mix into flour using your hands and work the dough until it is soft and easy to handle (not more than two or three minutes are necessary). Make a long roll and divide into 12 egg-size pastry balls. (The last ball is smaller but you make up for it with the trimmings left over as you roll and cut the other ones).
Make one empanada at a time and place them directly on a non-greased oven tray. Roll each ball into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. With an inverted 8-inch cake pan trace the circle and cut a perfect round.
Place about ½ cup filling on the upper half of each pastry round. Stuff one olive into the filling and add one-quarter of egg. Moisten the rim of the pastry Fold the dough over the filling to make an empanada and press hard on the wet rim with your knuckles to make it stick. Tuck the rims straight to make a rectangle. If making some empanadas with chili, mold the curved edge of the pastry and flute to shape them into a triangle. Press hard at the corners with your thumbs and prick the top a single time with a toothpick for the steam to come out in the oven. Brush top with egg yolk mixture. Bake in preheated hot oven (400ºF/200ºC) for about 30 to 35 minutes or until nicely brown. Make sure dough is well cooked in between creases. Serve hot.
Published in the AAC Spotlight in 1994