As soon I saw the recipe for Empanadas in my Chile-themed Kitchen Trotter box, my mouth watered - I made some fantastic Baked Cheese Empanadas a while ago that were as tasty as they were simple to put together.
This recipe used two ingredients from the box - a mysterious exclusive-recipe empanadas filling mix and some more of the ubiquitous Chilean seasoning, Mapuche Spice (also known as Merken).
The empanadas filling mix contains dehydrated onions, raisins, dehydrated black olives, cumin and chilli.
The first thing to do is rehydrate it in water - its smell reminded me of French onion soup from a packet, so you could either substitute that and add in the extras, or make your own with fried onions and spices, mixing in some black olives and raisins at the last minute.
Empanadas & Pebre Chileno
1 pack ready-made shortcrust pastry (or make your own with 250 g flour, 70g softened butter, 1 egg,1tsp salt, 1/2tsp sugar, 3-4tbsp warm water)
1 packet empanadas filling (or make your own with onions, raisins black olives, cumin and chilli)
1 clove garlic
1tsp Mapuche spice (Merken) or use chilli powder
4 eggs (optional)
drizzle of olive oil
1 clove garlic
1tbsp olive oil
2tbsp lemon juice
Fry up a clove of garlic (finely chopped) in a little olive oil. (Looking at these photos, I really need to get some new pans !)
Add in the rehydrated onion mixture (or finely chopped onions) and gently fry for a couple of minutes. Chop the steak into 1cm squares and add to the pan, as well was the herbs and spices. Cook until the meat is browned then add the wine and leave to simmer for 20 minutes until the wine is absorbed. (I actually veered away from the recipe here - I had some leftover cooked steak from the day before so I left out the wine altogether and just drizzled over some lime juice and pomegranate molasses. This gave it a lovely zesty, tart flavour.) I also left out the eggs because I already had too much filling, but if you are using them, you need to hardboil them and chop them then add them to the mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning (salt, pepper, Mapuche spice, lime juice, pomegranate molasses).
Use a large cookie cutter to cut rounds out of the pastry and put a spoonful of filling in each one. Fold over, press down the edges to seal and brush with a little milk.
Pop them on a greased baking tray and put them in the oven at 180° for 20 minutes until nice and golden.
While they are cooking, make the pebre by finely dicing the tomatoes and onions, adding the chopped coriander and a pinch of Mapuche spice and mixing. I had some of empanadas filling left over so I just mixed that in with the finely chopped tomato. Add a drizzle of olive oil and chill in the fridge until the empanadas are cooked.
These were suggested as a starter but I served them as a main meal with rice and the pebre. I cooked up some chicken nuggets for the kids because I wasn't sure they'd approve but they wolfed down the lot (and the chicken nuggets !!).
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