How to Make a Filipino Baked Beef Empanada

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Empanada is one of the Filipino recipes derived from another country and became favourite and popular over the years. 

It is a stuffed pastry that has different filling variations, from pork, beef and chicken combined with choices of vegetables. This has a savoury filling with a buttery and flaky crust.

In this recipe, I chose to make a ground beef filling with the common ingredients which is diced carrot, potato, raisins, and green peas. Bell pepper is an optional ingredient depending on your preference. Some people also like to add an egg yolk in their filling. The crust, if you compare to other countries’ empanada, Filipino recipe has a little bit of sweet taste crust. This recipe can be baked or fried. If you choose to fry it, skip putting egg wash over the crust. This is a great recipe to share to the family or to bring in a potluck party or get together with friends.

HOW TO MAKE A FILIPINO-STYLE EMPANADA

  • Use cold ingredients (butter, water, egg, flour mixture) to get a buttery and flaky crust.
  • Cool the meat filling and make sure to drain it, so it won’t tear or ruin your crust.
  • Make sure not to over fill the empanada for easy sealing and so as not to break or open the pie.
  • To seal the empanada, you can use an empanada moulder or braid or can easily use the tine fork.
  • Make sure not to overmanipulate the dough mixture. If it dries up, you can always chill back for few minutes.
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EMPANADA INGREDIENTS:

CRUST:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 stick or 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup very cold water
  • Pinch of Salt
EMPANADA FILLING:
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 2 tbsp. raisins
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper (optional)
EGGWASH:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1/8 tsp salt


INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Start by making the crust. Whisk the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
  2. Add the cold butter to the flour mixture. Combine them together by using a pastry blender if available, otherwise use your hand to mix the butter and flour mixture.
  3. Add very cold water to the mixture slowly and mix until just well-combined. if the mixture does not hold together, you can add more water but very slowly and making sure not to put too much water and not too overmix.
  4. Make the mixture into a ball and wrap it with a cling wrap and chill in the fridge for about 2 hours.
  5. While waiting for your crust, you can make your beef empanada filling. Heat a wide pan. Pour cooking oil. Pan-fry diced carrots and potatoes. Set aside.
  6. In the same pan, saute garlic and onions until soft and translucent.
  7. Add ground beef, break into pieces and sear, until the pink colour is gone over medium to high heat.
  8. Add tomato sauce,. Lower temperature to low to medium, cover and simmer until the meat is cooked.
  9. Add diced bell pepper (optional) and raisins, and green peas. Add soy sauce and water. Simmer for few minutes.
  10. Add back the cooked potatoes and carrots. Cook until the liquid is reduced. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Drain your beef filling in a colander and let it cool.
  12. Meanwhile, take out the chilled dough and divide it into half. Flatten it using a rolling pin.
  13. Cut the flattened dough in circles using a round cutter or if not available, you can use a round bowl. Cut out any excess dough.
  14. Lay down the prepared round dough on a flat surface and fill it with a spoonful of the meat mixture. Press the edges firmly with your fingers and seal it with the tines of the fork. Repeat the procedure with the remaining dough and mixture.
  15. In a separate small bowl, whisk egg, milk and salt for your eggwash.
  16. Arranged prepared empanadas in a lightly greased baking pan and brush each empanada with the prepared egg wash. Bake for about 30-45 minutes at 180 to 200 degrees Celcius or until lightly browned.
  17. Let it cool for at least 2 minutes before removing from the baking pan. Enjoy and share it with your loved ones.
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