Vivian's shredded beef empanadas Stuffing Ingredients: 1 Big (about 4-5 lbs) top round roast (or your favorite carne para birria) Water 1 large onion 1 green pepper 3 cloves of garlic 1-2 cubes beef (or chicken if you prefer) bullion 1 stalk of celery all spice (to taste) 1 or 2 tsp cumin (to taste) Salt and pepper (to taste) 1 package of Sazon Goya (see picture below-you can find at any supermarket’s latin isle) Add enough water to cover the entire roast. Cook meat with all above ingredients (put them whole, no chopping needed) preferably in a crockpot or a dutch oven until it falls apart. I put mine in a slow cooker over night and next morning I take the beef out and pull it apart with a fork. I strain the veggies out of the beef broth and set it aside for later use. I then prepare a "guiso" as follows: 1 finely diced green bell pepper 1 finely diced red bell pepper 1 finely diced onion 1 finely diced tomato 1 cup finely diced cilantro Olive oil Worcestshire sauce (to taste about 1-2 tbsp) Balsamic vinegar (1-2 tsp) cappers and green olives to taste Preparation: Cook all above with enough oil and over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until all veggies are cooked to your liking. Add the shredded beef and about ½ cup of the beef broth and stew for about 15-20 minutes. Keep the broth handy in case the beef dries and add a little bit at a time. For stuffing, you want your meat to have enough juices so it’s tasty, but not too much so it leaks out of the empanada. You can now set it aside until it cools and you can do this one day ahead and save in the fridge. Empanada dough This is a recipe for the empanada dough I found on the internet. I’ve used it and it’s very easy. Ingredients: 3 cups flour (plus a little more for kneading) 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup cold water 1 egg 1 egg white 1 teaspoon vinegar 3 tablespoons shortening Preparation: 1. In a bowl, beat the water, egg, egg white and vinegar together. Set aside. 2. In a separate bowl, mix together the 3 cups of flour and salt. 3. Cut the shortening into the flour mix with a pastry blender or two butter knives. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and pour the liquid ingredients from the first bowl into the center. 4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients with a fork until it becomes stiff. 5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it just until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth. 6. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but never more than 24 hours. Roll the dough out just like you would for tortillas. six-inch empanadas. Makes approximately 10 Now, my preference is to keep “tapas” or discs handy in my freezer for when I need them—it saves a lot of time. I prefer the “Fargo” brand for baking—see picture below. You can also find the Goya brand at some Food City Supermarkets. For the Fargo brand, your best bet is to go to Lee Lee’s Oriental Supermarket on Orange Grove. http://www.leeleesupermarket.com/ Fill the discs generously with the meat stuffing and brush the edges with an egg wash (1 egg +2 tbs of water) for better seal and press with a fork or use an empanada mold—see pictures below. Brush top of empanada with the egg wash for a golden crispy look. Bake following the package’s instructions or at 400 degrees for 20-25 mins on a greased cookie sheet. Serve warm with Aji sauce (recipe follows) or your favorite salsa and enjoy! Colombian “Aji” (Salsa): Also one I found on the internet and it’s very easy: Ingredients: 1 seeded jalapeño or habanero (if you like more heat) pepper ½ cup white vinegar ¼ cup water ¼ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar 1 tablespoon lime juice 2 tablespoons vegetable oil ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (you can also add parsley if you’d like) ½ cup chopped scallions ½ cup chopped tomato DIRECTIONS 1. Put the vinegar, water and pepper in a blender for 2 minutes. 2. Place the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix. Add the vinegar and habanero mix to the bowl and mix well. 3. Pour in a glass jar and cover. You can refrigerate up to 10 days.
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