Sunday, June 9, 2013

Steak Empanadas

So on Friday, I finally submitted my assignment. And...i looked and felt like a wreck. I knew the only thing that could make me feel better was getting my major food craving of the week : EMPANADAS.

Now where on earth do I get them around Auckland, ASAP. I could have made them initially, but they can be a little fiddly and I don't really have the patience to wait for 2 hours (usual minimum time to freeze the dough). My hat goes off to the makciks in Malaysia who make curry puffs (Malaysian version of empanadas) every day and selling them for only 30cents each. Really, salute. Oh, by the by, curry puffs here are $8, for 5 tiny pieces. Pfft.

There is this saying:

"The First Law of Pies: No Pastry, No Pie.” ― Janet ClarksonPie: A Global History. I can't help but concur: No Pastry, no empanadas.

I remembered there is a stall selling them at the Britomart market on Saturdays. So, we went but to our dismay, that was the only stall not open that day :(

I was still not satisfied. I think my food craving syndrome has just gotten worse over the years. When I feel like eating something, I want it now. And no, you can't simply forget about it or sleep on it

After googling a multitude of recipes, I found this dough recipe that only takes 15 minutes to freeze. Score!! So here they are, steak empanadas. :)

Cooking is just so much more enjoyable with the right music - especially when you're rolling dough. The music playing in the background in my kitchen was: 

Steak Empanadas

pastry (only slightly adapted from Honestfare):
2 cups flour
1 1/3 stick unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg beaten for dough + 1 egg yolk for egg wash
3 tbs heavy cream

~300g Chuck Steak (cut in small cubes)
1 small onion (cut in small cubes)
1 clove of garlic (diced)
1 tbs cumin (+ 1 tsp for onions)
1/2 tbs chilli powder
1 tbs Worchester sauce
Olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
1/2 cup cheese

For the filling
1) Mix cumin, chilli powder, and Worchester sauce with steak. Season with sea salt and pepper.

2) In a different bowl, mix 1 tsp of cumin with onions and garlic. 

3) Heat pan with 1-2 tbs olive oil. 

4) Saute the onions and garlic until soft. Add in the steak, and lightly saute until just before medium-rare. Set aside.

For the dough:
1) Place flour, salt and butter in a big bowl. Work with your fingertips or in food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

2) Beat together 1 egg and 3 tbsp of cream. Combine dry and wet ingredients and mix using your hands by making smooth circular movements until dough is even. Add another tablespoon of cream or water if dough is not coming tougher quickly or seems dry. Roll into 2 balls and wrap in plastic and place in fridge for at least 15 mins or until ready to use.

3) Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick. Using cardboard stencil or a bottom of a mug, cut out as many round shapes as possible and then combine excess to the other dough ball and roll it out. Repeat until all dough is used. 

4) Scoop steak filling onto the middle of the round-shaped dough. Top with 1 tsp grated cheese. Fold the dough from end to end (into a half-moon shape). Press edges firmly with a fork to seal. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Beat egg to make egg wash and brush each empanada with egg wash. Bake at 180C or until golden brown (12-15mins). Serve warm.

If you are one of those serious, impatient food cravers like me, now you can enjoy these little dumplings of joy within an hour. Buen apetito!  


  1. So I was all set to make a ton of pierogi today, but now I'm torn. I suppose I could do both, depending on whether or not I can get to the store to pick up the things I'd need. I'll eschew the egg wash, for egg wash is evil.(ok, so evil might be an over statement, but I don't dig it.) I'll probably listen to a little Tom Waits.

    1. No harm in doing both, or saving this recipe for another day :) Egg wash is optional, no judgments. Haha.

      Tom Waits. Touche. Green Grass should be next on the playlist.