Panamanian Beef Empanadas

It’s empanada season again! These were adapted from Food & Wine magazine. Crazy good! We made both small ones and large and doubled the recipe; there was a bit of filling left over (which we just ate). Serve with Malbec or beer.

2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 t white vinegar
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups flour
1 t salt
1 T sugar
1 stick cold, unsalted butter, diced
 In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, salt and butter until it looks like coarse meal. Combine the eggs, vinegar and wine and drizzle over the flour mixture; pulse until just combined; knead the dough a couple of times just to get it to come together- don’t manhandle it!  Form dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

1/2 lb ground beef
1 T veg oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 red pepper, small diced
1 medium plum tomato, diced
1 T tomato paste
2 T white wine
1 t ground annatto (achiote)
1 packet Goya Sazón con Cilantro y Achiote (if you can’t fine this just add another 1/2 t of ground annato and use a little more salt)
chopped cilantro

For egg wash:
1 egg
1 T milk

Heat the oil, add the onion and red pepper and cook for about 5 minutes; add the garlic and ground annatto and cook just for about 1 minute. Add the meat and cook until no pink remains. Add the tomato, tomato paste and wine and cook until most of the liquid evaporates, about 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and the Goya seasoning; add more salt if needed.

Preheat the oven to 350º

On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8″ thick. With a 3″ cutter (or you can use a larger size to make large empanadas- just use more filling in that case), cut out as many rounds as you can. Brush off the excess flour and spoon 2 t of filling onto each round. Fold the dough over in a half-moon shape and crimp edges with a fork. I had to moisten the edges with a bit of water to get them to stick together. Put the formed empanadas on a rimmed, parchment lined baking sheet and keep covered with plastic as you are working on forming them all. Brush the empanadas with the egg wash and bake for about 25 minutes.

Note: these can be frozen after they are baked and reheated straight from the freezer at 350º for about 15 minutes or so.

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