Stuffed meat pies are part of nearly every culture. This very popular Chilean version builds on the pino—sauteed and beautifully seasoned ground beef—by adding a bounty of other flavors to the filling.
For the dough:
- 3-3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and kept chilled
- 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 ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the assembly:
- 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered lengthwise
- 12 brined large green or black olives, pitted
- 3/4 cup golden or sultana raisins
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon of water
Make the dough: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt just until combined. Add the chilled butter and pulse again until the butter bits are about the size of peas—be careful not to overprocess.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, then add the water, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring and pressing it into the flour mixture with a spatula until you get a cohesive dough (you may not need all the water).
Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface and divide into 12 portions. Form each portion into a ball, place the balls on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour for easier rolling.
Prepare the filling: Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the garlic, beef, and onion and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spices, hot sauce, and salt and pepper and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes until the meat is cooked through. Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.
Assemble the empanadas: Set out two large baking sheets. Working on a well-floured surface with a well-floured rolling pin, roll one of the dough balls into a 6- or 7-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick.
Place 2 heaping tablespoons of the meat mixture in the lower half of the round and arrange an olive, an egg quarter, and a tablespoon of raisins on top of the meat. Fold the upper half of the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape. To seal it, fold up the edge along the half-moon by about 3/4 inch and crimp all along the way with the tines of a fork for a braided look. Use a large spatula to transfer the empanada to one of the baking sheets. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls.
Bake the empanadas: Preheat your oven to 425°F. Make an egg wash by breaking the egg into a small bowl and whisk it thoroughly with the tablespoon of water. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the tops of the empanadas with the egg wash. Bake on two racks in the oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating the pans at the halfway mark for even browning.
Makes 12 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club