These are made the traditional Chilean way, filled with beef, onions, spices, and stuffed with hard-cooked egg quarters and brined green olives.
- For the dough:
- 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 1/4 cups ice water
- For the filling:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 3/4 pound of ground beef, preferably chuck
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
- To finish the empanadas:
- 12 brined green olives, pitted
- 3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise into 12 quarters
- An egg wash made by beating 1 egg in a small cup or bowl
Make the dough: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt about 6 to 8 times until combined. Add the butter and pulse again (about 16 times) until the butter bits are about the size of peas.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, then add the water in 1/4-cup increments, stirring it in with a rubber spatula. Press the mixture against the sides of the bowl to form a cohesive dough (you may not need all of the water).
Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface and divide in half. Form each portion into a ball, then flatten to a 6-inch disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days) before using.
Prepare the filling: Sauté over medium-high heat the olive oil, garlic, beef, and onion until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spices, hot sauce, and salt and pepper and continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside until cool. The filling can be made a day ahead of time.
Assemble the empanadas: Roll out one of the refrigerated disks of dough on a well-floured surface into an 18-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out circles 6-inches in diameter with a knife (I used an overturned bowl as a guide) and transfer them to two large foil-lined baking sheets. I got about six 6-inch rounds from each disk. Make sure you cut the rounds carefully since you won’t be able to re-roll the scraps. (They toughen if overhandled.) Repeat with the remaining disk of dough.
Add about 2 heaping tablespoons of the meat mixture to the center of each dough round, as well as the olives and egg quarters (1 per empanada), then fold one edge of the dough over to create a half-moon. Crimp the edges with the tines of a fork. A tight seal will keep the empanadas from bursting. The empanadas can be refrigerated up to 3 hours before baking.
Bake the empanadas: Preheat your oven to 425°F. Brush the tops of the empanadas with the egg wash and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating the pans for even browning. (If using a convection oven, as I did, bake for 21 minutes at 400°F.)
Makes 12 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club