Although Greeks are masters at putting things into pies, they don’t have a corner on the market. I really enjoy a simple butter pastry, and when stuffed with beef, onion, tomato and smoked paprika, you have what I call pie perfection. Here is my version of the legendary Spanish masterpiece.
What you need for the pastry:
- 3 cups flour (plus more for kneading)
- 75g softened butter
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp Spanish sweet paprika (optional)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 egg beaten (to brush on before baking)
What you need for the filling:
- 250g beef mince
- 1 sweet onion minced
- 2 green onions chopped
- Olive oil
- 1 green pepper (roasted and skin removed and chopped)
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp Spanish sweet paprika
- Handful chopped parsley
How it’s done: (pastry)
- Combine flour, salt, and paprika in a mixing bowl. Cut in butter until you have a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs.
- Beat together eggs and vinegar and add to the flour. Mix until a stiff dough forms.
- Place on a floured surface and roll into a smooth ball. Do not over work the pastry!
- Wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
How it’s done: (filling)
- In a frying pan brown the beef and sweet onion. Set aside.
- Combine in a saucepan with a drizzle of olive oil: green onion, green pepper, tomatoes, tomato paste and paprika.
- Simmer until the mixture has reduced to a nice paste (about 20 min.)
- Add the beef and cook for another 10 minutes, adjusting seasoning as necessary.
- Set aside, add the parsley and let cool.
- On a floured surface roll out the pastry until it is about 1/16th of an inch (2mm)
- Cut all your pastry to desired shape. I wanted rounds, so I used a 2 inch cutter and cut a top and a bottom for each empanada.
- Take a spoonful of filling and place it in the middle of your bottom round.
- Dip your finger in a bit of water and wet edge of the pastry.
- Place another piece of pastry on top of the first with the filling and gently push the edges down to close the wetted edge.
- Take a fork and gently pinch the the edges to seal the pastry.
- Continue with all the pastry until you have run out.
- Place the empanadas on a cookie sheet and brush with the beaten egg.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 20-30 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.