Friday, October 2, 2009

Empanadilla de Carne (Mini Galician Meat Pies)

This is a repost of my old post for "Empanadilla de Carne" I feel I didn't do such a good job last time at taking the pictures, and just didn't make them the best I could. I'm reposting it.

This recipe is "Pilar Lechuza" who cooks traditional home-style Galician food, she is what I consider the "Queen of Empanadas" she is very skillful at what she cooks, and of course the "Empanadas" of other countries originate in Galicia, Spain (or so it is claims).

Ingredients for dough:
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-1/2 cup water
-1/2 cup oil (preferably oil released from cooking the filling, but if not I suggest heating olive oil on medium heat until it get's hot then turn off and stir in a big fat pinch of sweet smoked spanish paprika to infuse the oil, don't burn the paprika be careful, then strain and use to make dough)
-1/2- 1 teaspoon salt
-plain all purpose flour (as much as needed to form dough)

Ingredients for filling I used today:
-1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
-1 onion minced
-1 green bell pepper minced
-5 cloves garlic finely minced
-1 can 8 oz. tomato sauce
-salt to taste (about 1 1/2 teaspoon)
-1 heaping teaspoon sweet smoked spanish paprika
-3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (seems like a lot but it will be drained to be used to make the dough this oil will be very flavorful for the dough)
(1) Prepare filling by heating oil, sautee onions and bell peppers 5 minutes on medium high add meat season with salt and brown rendering the meats fat on medium high, then add garlic sautee until fragrant, then add sweet smoked spanish paprika stir a bit when fragrant add tomato sauce stir and raise heat, let the tomato reduce and oil starts frying it. Finally remove heat and put meat filling on a strainer to drain fat over a large bowl about 5 minutes which will be used to make dough mine yielded exactly 1/2 cup flavored oil.

(2) Set aside meat drained meat mixture and leave oil in large bowl, in large bowl add dry white wine, water, and salt, start stirring in flour little by little with your hand until the dough no longer sticks to your hand and becomes workable. Transfer to a floured surface, work dough.

(3) Stretch dough out on floured surface with a rolling pin, cut into round flat circles using whatever you have, put some meat filling and fold over, seal with a fork. DO NOT SEAL WITH WATER the dough is oily and water will not stick. It doesn't need egg either, just press well, and seal with fork. The dough tends to shrink, I cut it into circles from the rolled dough, then again roll out those circles individually to and proceed with adding filling and sealing.

(4) Heat oil on medium high to high (but not super high) to fry empanadas, fry until browned on all sides. Drain, set on a large plate with paper towels to absorb oil, I used a large baking pan.I didn't have enough filling to finish all the dough so we made a thin large one which ended up being delicious and crispy as well.
I served it with a raw salad for my late lunch

IMPORTANT PLEASE NOTE! Fillings can vary:
(1)Shredded "Fricasse de Pollo" which is a chicken stew (see recipe by clicking on link)
(2)Picadillo without the potatoes leftover see recipe for "Picadillo Salteado"
(3)Leftover "Ropa Vieja" (shredded beef)
(4)Or Pilar Lechuza's filling done in the old post which was a tasty ground pork filling click on link. It's in spanish though. The filling is basically ground pork sauteed in olive oil with onion, garlic, and a large grated tomato seasoned with salt and sweet smoked paprika
(5)Cooked rotisseri shredded chicken mixed with grated cheese of your choice (I like Monterrey jack)
(6)Any leftover meat dish in a sauce shredded. Take any meat cooked leftover meat, shred or chop finely it, sautee lots of minced onion, maybe garlic in olive oil, add a little tomato sauce maybe some sweet smoked spanish paprika and there's your filling.


These came out delicious, just made they are very crispy and delicious, enjoy hot and fresh because over time if left out they lose their crispiness, you'd have to reheat them in the oven at 375 or something to get them crispy again. Or the toaster oven. So best enjoy fresh :)

ALSO I make another delicious Empanada dough that Marilyn from "My Cuban Traumas" taught me :) check out the post for "Empanadas Cubanas" larger meat pies are "Empanadas Gallega" (Galician Pies) I'll start making a larger variety of those in the winter using Pilar's knowledge and what I have available. :)