Empanada-a Spanish or Latin American pastry turnover filled with a variety of savory ingredients which can be baked or fried
Sounds good, right…I mean who doesn’t love a good turnover? Only instead of that yummy dessert turnover, why not make it into a meal! I won’t lie to you, though. While these empanadas are not particularly difficult to make, they are definitely time-consuming. I promise they will be worth the time and effort that goes into making them.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 stick butter, cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 large egg
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 lb ground venison
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 cup chopped pickled jalapenos
- 1 large potato, diced
- 1 cup corn
- 2 cups water
- 1 egg + 1 tsp water (for egg wash)
- kosher salt
Additional tools needed:
- Rolling pin
- Biscuit/cookie cutter (4-5″ diameter)
- Pastry/paint brush
- Small bowl of water
For the dough, whisk together dry ingredients. Using pastry cutter (or hands), cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add egg and water. Mix thoroughly. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead for approximately 5 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
For the filling, heat olive oil in large skillet. Add chopped onion and cook until soft (approximately 5 minutes). Add minced garlic and cook over low heat for an additional minute. Add ground venison, jalapenos, chili powder, paprika and cumin. Cook over medium heat, stirring and breaking up meat until venison is thoroughly browned. Add diced potatoes and water to skillet. Cook covered on low to medium heat until potatoes are tender and water is cooked down. Stir in corn and remove from heat.
Remove dough from fridge and place on floured surface. Roll out with rolling pin until 1/4″ thick. Using a biscuit cutter or large round cookie cutter (4-5″ diameter), cut out rounds. Continue this process until all dough is used. (Pro Tip: dough tends to seize back up as it sits. Keep rolling pin on hand to roll each round back out prior to filling, if necessary). Use brush to lightly moisten outside edge of pastry round with water. Place 2 TB of meat filling in center of dough. Using thumb/fingers to hold filling in place, gently fold/stretch dough in half over filling. Use fork to crimp edges together. Repeat process until all pastry rounds are used (you may have leftover filling). Brush top of each empanada with egg wash and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Empanadas can be baked or fried. I prefer to cook mine in the air fryer, however, I have included instructions for baking, traditional deep frying and air frying.
For Air Fryer
- Place parchment paper in bottom of air fryer basket and place a single layer of empanadas on paper (make sure empanadas do not touch). Set temperature to 400 degrees and cook for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Heat oil to 365. Place 1 to 2 empanadas in frying basket and cook for 5 minutes, turning once to brown both sides.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place empanadas on baking sheet and place in oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Empanadas can be enjoyed with a variety of sauces, so the possibilities are endless. Cheese sauces or queso dip complement this version well. You could also use sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cilantro lime dip. Or hey, maybe you want to go with something a little more traditional, like a barbecue sauce or ranch…and while it may be highly frowned upon, I have even enjoyed them dipped in ketchup (it kind of gives them a sloppy joe kind of flavor). So, go ahead dip that empanada in your favorite sauce, or just eat it plain. You can’t go wrong!