When a food crosses all cultural boundaries, it seems to indicate something really special about that food. It shouldn’t be surprising that a version of hand pies can be found in almost every culture. I found recipes from South America, Italy, Germany, India, China, Great Britain and more. It makes sense, here is a food that uses the most basic ingredients—flour, water, fat—to create a dough that is wrapped around whatever is on hand, be it meats, beans, fruits, vegetables, cheese, etc. and is baked or fried for a portable meal. Dough that doesn’t need to rise and a meal that can be taken with you to eat as you travel seem to have been important factors to ancient cultures.
Today, they are more of a treat- a delicious way to enjoy sweet and savory fillings from around the world. Inspired by our southern neighbors, our resident chef, Sarah House, came up with these beef empanadas with peppers and onions and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Our test kitchen added a little bit of Gluten Free Masa Harina to our Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix to make an enticing crust for a succulent slow-cooked beef filling.
Beef Empanadas with Peppers and Onions
Contributed by: Sarah House for Bob’s Red Mill Test Kitchen
Prep Time: 40 minutes | Rest Time: 60 minutes| Cook Time: 110 – 115 minutes | Yield: 10 – 12 servings
- 16 oz (1 bag) Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix
- ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Masa Harina (58g)
- 12 Tbsp Butter or Lard, cold, cubed (170g)
- 8 Tbsp Shortening, cold, cubed (99g)
- 8 – 10 Tbsp Ice Water (120 – 150 mL)
- 16 oz boneless Beef Chuck, cubed
- 1 cup Water (240 mL)
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt, divided
- 10 oz diced, mixed Bell Peppers
- 1 ½ cups chopped or thinly sliced Yellow Onions (170g)
- 2 tsp minced Garlic
- 1/8 tsp ground Cumin
- ½ tsp grated Lime Zest
- 1 – 2 tsp fresh Lime Juice
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tbsp Water
In a large bowl, combine Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix and Gluten Free Masa Harina. Cut in butter and shortening using a pastry blender or two knives until crumbly. Add water gradually and mix until the dough sticks together, adding additional water if needed. Flatten dough into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, combine beef, water and ¾ tsp kosher salt in a large skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until beef is tender, about 1 ½ hours. Add additional water if necessary so the beef is at least ¼ submerged.
Remove lid, add peppers and increase heat to high. Stir well and cook until peppers are very soft and most of the water has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
Remove beef and peppers from the pan and drain off most of the remaining fat, leaving 1 tsp in the pan. Add onions and remaining ¼ tsp kosher salt and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden, about 5 – 7 minutes. Add beef & peppers to the onions along with the garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring vigorously to break beef into smaller pieces, until beef is warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in lime zest and juice. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
To form empanadas, remove dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature until malleable. Divide dough into 3 oz portions (about 1/3 cup each). Using a plastic-lined tortilla press or a rolling pin with the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper, press or roll each 3 oz portion in to a 7-inch round.
Fill each empanada with 1 oz of filling (about 2 Tbsp), leaving a ½-inch border around the edge. Lightly brush the edges with water and fold over to create a half circle. Pinch the seam or crimp with a fork to seal. Place on prepared sheet tray.
Whisk together the egg and 1 Tbsp water. Brush tops of formed empanadas with egg mixture and bake until golden, 20 – 25 minutes. Serve immediately or let cool and serve at room temperature.