Gary cooks

Spiced Beef Empanadas with Tomato Salsa & Lime Sour Cream

Preparation time:
30 mins
Cooking time:
20 mins
4 serves

I adore empanadas. For years I made this dish whilst I cooked in Boston. One of the reasons I love them is because you can put whatever you like into the filling, just like a ravioli. I’ve gone with a tomato salsa and lime sour cream as they work really well with the spiced beef. Feel free to up the spiciness of this dish by adding a pinch or two of dried red chilli flakes. Should you make them spicier my advice would be to make extra lime sour cream and it will balance out the spice.

  • Ingredients

      For the Empanada Dough:
    • 400g all purpose flour
    • 170g cubed butter, cold
    • 1 egg
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 70g water
      For the Egg Wash:
    • 2 eggs
    • Splash of milk
      For the Spiced Beef:
    • 500g cubed beef (passed through the Kenwood Chef Titanium Meat Grinder twice) (See Tip 1 in Chef's notes)
    • 1 red chilli, finely diced
    • 1 small white onion, finely diced
    • ½ red pepper, diced small
    • 8 sprigs fresh coriander, chopped
    • 2 spring onions, washed and sliced thinly
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 potatoes, boiled and mashed
      Tomato Salsa:
    • 4 ripe plum tomatoes (See Tip 2 in Chef's notes), quartered, de-seeded then diced small
    • ½ red onion, finely chopped
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • Generous pour of olive oil (if you prefer the salsa a bit more wet, use more oil)
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 8 basil leaves, sliced wafer thin
      Lime Sour Cream:
    • 4tbspn Thick sour cream
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • Zest of ½ lime
    • Three twists Cracked Black Pepper
    • 2 Pinches Salt
  • Method

      For the Sour Cream (See Tip 3 in Chef's notes):
    • Combine all ingredients and set aside.
      For the Tomato Salsa:
    • Combine all ingredients, adjust seasoning and consistency to taste and set aside.
      For The Pastry:
    • Sift the flour and add to the food processor.
    • Add in the butter and salt and pulse until it crumbles.
    • Add the egg then the water bit by bit until a dough ball is formed.
    • Drop onto a flour dusted surface and knead into a smooth ball.
    • Wrap and place in the fridge for 45 mins to 1 hour.
      For the Spiced Beef:
    • Heat a heavy based pot and add in the beef.
    • Sauté until golden, season well then add in the chilli, onion, peppers and season.
    • When cooked through strain off the fat but reserve.
    • Mix in the coriander and spring onions followed by the mash potato bit by bit until the mixture dries a bit. If it gets too dry simply add in a little of the reserved fat.
    • The mixture should be dry but quite soft.
    • When the pastry has been rested, remove from the fridge and roll out thin (approx. 1/8”).
    • Cut with a regular scone cutter.
    • Place a spoonful of meat mixture into the center of the empanada dough and then bring the two ends together and press just like you would a ravioli.
    • You can then press the edges with a fork.
    • When complete, mix two eggs with a splash of milk and brush each empanada.
      Pre-Heat your oven to 180C:
    • Put some greaseproof paper on some roasting trays and place on the empanadas and glaze with the egg wash.
    • Bake until golden. Approx 16-20 minutes.
    • Serve with the tomato salsa and lime sour cream.
  • Chef's notes

    • 1. When buying the beef make sure there is a little bit of fat on it. A good gauge for minced meat is the 85/15 one. i.e. 85% meat, 15% fat.
    • 2. Any type of tomato will do. The key thing is that it’s ripe. Look for the deepest red coloured ones and you can’t go wrong.
    • 3. Yoghurt or crème fraiche will work equally as well. Just try to get a heavy set one as thicker is best. It’ll allow for the addition of the lime juice.
    • 4. Empanadas are also lovely fried.
    • 5. You can make the pastry ahead of time and keep in the freezer or the fridge prior to making the dish for up to 3 days. You can also have the Spiced Beef mixture made up to three days ahead of time.

More by Gary O’Hanlon