These empanadas have a hearty beef and lentil filling encased in crisp pastry crust flavoured with smoked paprika that I have adapted from Savoring Time in the Kitchen. Thanks, Susan!
Empanadas are popular throughout South America and traditionally these little meat pies are fried, but I prefer to make them slightly healthy by baking them. Serve these as appetizers at parties or as a simple lunch or dinner.
|Minced Beef Filling||Pastry Dough|
- For the filling: Heat butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Increase heat to high. Add minced beef and cook, stirring to break up any lumps, for 3 minutes or until browned. Stir in the paprika, cumin and chilli. Cook until aromatic. Add tomato puree, lentils and sultanas. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 6 minutes. Stir in chopped olives and season to taste. Cool completely.
- For the empanada dough: Combine the spelt flour, smoked paprika, and sea salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter and rub until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. In a separate bowl, whisk the beaten egg, (reserving 1 tablespoon for brushing) and ice water together. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture to bring it together, then wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Line a large oven sheet with baking paper.
- On a floured table top, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Then, cut fourteen 8cm rounds, using a pastry ring mould. Drop 1 tablespoon of beef mixture in the center of each round. Fold in half to enclose the filling, pinching the edges to seal. Crimp the edges using your fingers or the tines of a fork.
- Place empanadas on the prepared tray. Brush with the reserved egg and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden and crisp. Serve warm.