I'd like to think these meat filled pastries are universal. Virtually every region in the world has a version of it. They vary in size and in fillings and obviously called different names but still is essentially the same 'ol thing. Called empanada in Spanish influenced countries and birdie in Scotland. Make them a bit bigger and they are called pasties in Cornwall.
I was supposed to do Stel's chicken empanada but I didn't make it to the supermarket to buy the all important asparagus soup. So I scrounged for a recipe where I had all the ingredients and found Carolina Acosta's handiwork in the Maya Cookfest 1 cookbook. Some things I have to change like omitting the hotdogs (I didn't have them) and increasing the pork and chicken. I did not precook the chicken just cooked them from raw. And as usual reduced the oil and butter. Turned out okay I thought, however, I surmised I should have stuffed more fillings in each parcel.
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp minced garlic
1 medium onion - chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped bacon
1 cup minced pork
1 cup chopped chicken meat
1 cup peeled and diced potato
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup raisins - chopped
2 hardboiled eggs - sliced
2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup butter
5-6 Tbsp cold water
- Saute garlic and onion in oil.
- Stir in the bacon and fry for a few minutes.
- Add pork, cook in medium heat for about 15 minutes. Mash from time to time to break up meat. Add chicken stock 1-2 Tbsp at a time if the pork is getting too dry.
- Add seasonings - Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt and pepper.
- Add chicken, cook in medium heat for a further 10 minutes or until chicken meat is opaque and cooked thru. Again add chicken stock a little at a time if it's getting too dry.
- Add potatoes, peas, and raisins. Cook until peas and potatoes are cooked through (about 5 minutes). Blend in the butter.
- Remove from heat and cool.
*For the pastry:
- Combine well the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl.
- Cut in butter to the flour mixture with pastry cutter or two butter knives until particles are pea-sized.
- Add water a tablespoon at a time while tossing the flour mixture with a fork until all the flour is moistened and can be formed into a ball. Press the dough ball while turning a few times to incorporate all the flour in.
- Wrap in plastic cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200C/fan 180C/400F/gas mark 6.
- Remove cling film from the dough and flatten with a rolling pin on a floured table or surface and shape into a log. (I usually use greased paper at the bottom and plastic cling film on top)
- Cut a piece and form into a ball about the size of a golf ball (1-inch in diameter).
- Flatten on the surface and roll out thinly into more or less a round shape.
- Put a heaping tablespoon of the filling mixture on the rolled out dough and top with a slice of hard-boiled egg.
- Pull one end or half of the dough over the other forming a half-circle shape.
- Seal edges by pinching by hand or with the tines of fork while cutting excess dough in the process. Repeat with the rest of the dough and fillings.
- Arrange empanadas on a lightly greased baking sheet and brush tops with egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp milk).
- Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove and serve warm or cold.
*Note: You may also deep-fry the empanadas instead of baking.