Monday, December 6, 2010

Empanadas Colombianas (Colombian Empanadas)

Colombian empanadas are meat filled patties, some people make them with chicken or pork, but most prefer shredded beef.  They are eaten throughout Colombia year round as breakfast or a snack, you can also get them at any Colombian restaurant or bakery in the US.
I usually make them around the holidays because they do take a lot of work. These are so good and almost addicting, you can't just have one! I learned how to make them by trial and error when I was living in Japan. I probably made them about 5 different times before I got the recipe just right! Here is a quick picture tutorial!
Here's what you need:
For the filling: 
  • 1 lb. Top round steak(or any other similar type of pork)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 red potatoes, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • salt and cumin to taste
  • 2 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 1 packet of sazon con cilantro y achiote

  • Vegetable oil for frying the empanada
 For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 bags of Masarepa (finely ground corn meal)24oz.

  • 1 packet of sazon con cilantro y achiote
  • 4-5 cups of hot water
  • Salt to taste
  • extra water to keep hands wet

 Here's how to do it:
  1. Cook the meat in water over medium heat for a few hours so that it becomes very soft. Reserve the leftover broth.
  2. Cut the cooked meat and remove all the fat. Throw it in a food processor.
  3. Boil the peeled  potatoes for about 15-20 minutes. when they are done cut them into small pieces.
  4. In a large pan heat about 2 tbsps of vegetable oil and add the chopped onion and garlic, when it becomes translucent add the tomatoes. Season with salt, cumin and sazon. Saute that over medium heat for a few minutes.
  5. Add the shredded meat and potatoes to the onion mixture and cook on low heat for a few minutes, add some of the broth so that it becomes a little moist and not too dry.
  6. Prepare the crust: In a large bowl add the water, sazon and salt to the cornmeal and knead with your hands. it needs to be soft enough to work with but firm enough to stick together and form a ball. Scrape all of the dough from the sides and cover it while you make about 50 small balls, roughly the size of a golf ball
  7. Place the dough on  plastic wrap and place another piece of plastic wrap over it.
  8. Flatten it out (wet hands work best for this). 
  9. Add a heaping tablespoon of meat to the dough
  10. Fold the empanada by folding the dough and seal the edges with your fingers. Lift up the plastic wrap and finish sealing it with your fingers.
  11. Now with the help of a spatula gently put the empanada in the hot oil. Let it fry for 3-6 minutes, depending on how hot your oil is.
  12. It should be golden brown and crispy when done.
  13. Drain them on a paper towel and eat them right away, they will get soft and soggy if you wait too long to eat them.
          This recipe makes about 50 empanadas
Here are some pictures of my family enjoying them :)




*Serve empanadas with Aji. A colombian chili pepper sauce, super delicious!!!


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