I’m really enjoying jumping out onto a new ledge with different ethic flavors! I mentioned earlier this week that I’ve really been in the mood to cook and try some new flavors. Not that I don’t love a big bowl of homemade pasta most days, but I’ve been interested in other ethnic flavors as well. My friends over at Banfi sent me a bottle of their Natura Carmenere recently which is a wine from Chili. I typically gravitate towards the Italian wines but something about this wine really got me interested in trying my hand at some Chilean cuisine. After a bit of research I settled on making homemade Empanadas de Pino which are a meat turnover with a fresh salsa.
I want to talk a little bit about this wine first. Carmenere actually originated in France and the name comes from the word ‘crimson’. These grapes are actually rarely found in France these days and more prevalent in Chile. The flavor of this wine is very intense! There are cherry aromas and notes of chocolate and spice. These flavors pair well alongside of the spicy empanadas. I also love that this wine is made of 100% organic grapes.
These empanadas are a little tasky but once you get the hang of rolling the dough and closing off of the filling it will be a breeze. I recommend making a batch and freezing any that you don’t plan to cook right away. And don’t forget to make a batch of the Pebre for serving! The spicy, fresh flavors will really come out when you pair this up with a glass of Natura Carmenere.
- 6 cups onions, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or smashed
- 2-½ tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup chicken or beef stock
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For the dough:
- 7 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces vegetable shortening
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons white wine (optional)
- 1 tablespoon salt dissolved in 1½ cups
- warm water
- To finish:
- 24 pitted black olives
- 3 or 4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and cut into wedges
- ½ cup golden raisins
- Egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
- Pebre for dipping
- To make the filling: Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add onion and sauté lightly for a few minutes. Add garlic, oregano, paprika, cumin and Cayenne pepper, stirring occasionally but not browning. Add the ground beef and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dissolve flour in stock and add stock to mixture. Cook uncovered for up to 15 minutes, or until most of the juices have evaporated. Mixture should be moist but not runny. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- To make the dough: Sift flour onto a clean, smooth work surface. Make a well in the center; add the shortening, butter, wine and some of the salt water. Using a wooden spoon and adding more salt water as needed, combine ingredients as quickly as possible until you get a soft dough. Do not overwork the dough or it will result in an overly tough pastry. Wrap in a kitchen towel and let sit for 15 minutes.
- To finish: Preheat oven to 400°F and set up a station to fill and assemble your empanadas. Before assembling, roll the dough into a log and slice into a dozen equal pieces. Working with one slice at a time, roll dough pieces into circles about 8 inches in diameter and about ¼ inch thick. Put at least two full tablespoons of pino mixture onto each circle, topping the mound off with two olives, a wedge of hard egg and a few raisins. Leave a margin of about ¾ inch and brush the margin all around with a little water. Then close the empanadas by folding each in half. To secure the filling, place the straight edge of the half-circle toward you; then fold in the left edge, the right edge, and the top to make a square. Seal the corners with your thumb, making a deep imprint.
- Brush empanadas with egg wash and poke three small holes into each with a toothpick so that they breathe and won’t open during baking. Bake 20 minutes, or until the pastry is nicely browned and the filling is piping hot. Serve immediately with freshly made pebre.
This is a sponsored post from Banfi Vintners. All opinions expressed are my own.