Beef and Onion Empanadas
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
6 to 7 tablespoons ice cold water
1 pound lean ground beef
¼ cup diced yellow onion
¾ cup recaito (recipe below)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 head garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1 cup packed)
½ medium orange bell pepper, chopped (or 3 small ajies dulces)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
To make the crust, place the flour, salt, and butter in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts, 5 to 6 times, until the butter is distributed throughout the flour in small pieces.
With the processor on low add the water 1 tablespoon at a time. Pause at 5 tablespoons and allow the dough to begin to come together in the center of the bowl. Continue to add water until the dough forms a ball. Remove the lid, gather the dough into a ball and transfer to a flat surface. Form into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
While the dough rests, make the filling. Brown the beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 5 minutes, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. Add the onion. Continue to cook until the beef is no longer pink, about 3 more minutes. Drain any grease if necessary.
Recaito: Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Turn on low for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the container as needed. Process on high for 15 seconds, until a thick sauce forms. Refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Stir in the recaito and salt and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll the dough on a floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a 4 ½-inch biscuit cutter to cut the dough into circles. Re-roll the dough until you get 10 circles. Place them all on a flat surface and transfer an equal scoop of the cooled filling onto each circle. It will be approximately ¼ cup filling for each. Fold the dough around the filling to create a half-moon. Pinch the ends together to seal each empanada.
Place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, or on a non-stick baking sheet. Whisk together the egg and water in a small dish. Brush each empanada with the egg wash.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. All to cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Recipe and photography by Lori Rice, for the National Onion Association