Colombian Empanadas

Ever since I was introduced to the Colombian version of empanadas, I’ve been meaning to try making my own. For some reason this urge struck me again last month and I decided to go for it. This is actually the result from the second time, served with cole slaw and Aji (a sauce make with chilis, cilantro, vinegar and other stuff). The basic recipe for both the empanadas and the Aji are from My Colombian Kitchen.

I had been worried about the difficulties of working with the fragile masa based dough. The key trick (which I’m sure is not needed by the experts who make them more often) is to roll the dough between two sheets of plastic. Here, I’ve cut the edges of a freezer bag which won’t wrinkle like saran wrap. I buttered the surfaces with a thin film of pork fat to help the dough release from the plastic.

While the circle of dough is still supported by the plastic add a dollop of filling. I used all ground beef vs the beef and pork mix in the recipe. The filling is basically meat cooked in a sofrito mixed with mashed potatoes (without the milk or butter). I did the sofrito from scratch but I bet it would work with the pre-made sofrito that comes in jars.

I used more meat than the recipe called for because it was a 1 lb tube of frozen ground beef from Rosenthal, and who wants to deal with half a pound of leftover previously frozen raw ground beef. Now I have leftover empanada filling in the fridge, but it’s cooked.

Then fold the whole thing and crimp the edges while it’s still on the plastic!

Released from the plastic and staged on waxed paper. Not that pretty but not bad for just the second time.

Deep fried for a few minutes at 350F. I used our wok to minimize the amount of oil needed to submerge them when cooking 3-4 at a time. This ended up being just a couple of cups.