On the ninth day of Christmas The Pink Whisk sent to me…..Mini Beef Empanadas
Makes 20 Small or 8 full size.
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp baking powder
Cold water to combine (70-90ml)
225g lean minced beef
1 onion, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
100ml beef stock
1 egg, beaten for glaze
Begin by making the pastry. Place the flour, baking powder and turmeric in a large bowl. Whisk lightly to combine evenly. A whisk does it better than a spoon! A pink whisk does it even better….
Add the lard and butter diced into chunks and rub into the flour using your fingertips. I am completely contradicting my food processor pastry method here – why? It’s 4.30am, and I can’t sleep so have decided to bake, as the boys are asleep and I probably don’t need a helper at this time in the morning the pastry is going to have to be made by hand! Pah!
Once the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs start to add the water a little at a time. To prevent overhandling and making the pastry tough I mix with a table knife.
Add the water and mix gently until the pastry comes together.
Wrap in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge for now.
To make the filling, heat the oil in a pan and add the mince and onion. Fry until browned.
Whilst that’s doing measure out the spices, in a little bowl, because you’re pretending you’re on Blue Peter. You mean you don’t do that? – C’mon!
(If anyone’s reading I would really love a slot on Blue Peter – Dear Jim, could you fix it for me?)
Add the spices to the pan and fry for another couple of minutes.
Now add the stock to the pan and simmer until it’s practically reduced to nothing. I’m wondering why the fab smell hasn’t woken up the boys?!
Remove from the heat and set aside to cool – hot filling makes the pastry greasy and difficult to handle so you’ll have to be patient!
Preheat the oven to 180c (fan)/200c/Gas Mark 5.
Roll out the pastry on your worksurface lightly dusted with flour. Just work with half at a time, it’s easier than man handling a huge amount of pastry!
Cut out fluted circles using an 8.5cm round cutter.
Prepare two baking sheets either greasing well or lining with baking paper. Place the pastry circles onto the trays.
Dollop on the filling and then wet around the edge of the pastry.
Seal together the two edges, squeezing to seal the filling inside.
Fill the baking tray and then brush (or spray) the empanadas with egg glaze.
Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until the pastry is cooked through and lightly golden brown.
Serve – hot or cold, perfect for snacky Christmas teas, buffets or lunchboxes!
Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire