Glutton without prejudice.
Minced beef crispy pancakes, remember them? Yeah me too. They were one of my pikey penchants during my teenage years, glutton without prejudice that I was.
While I’d probably give the frozen boxed sort a wide berth these days, I’m more than happy to take a turn with the food (I like to imagine) they were inspired by; empanadas.
Cute pastry half moons encasing all sorts of hot, rich, savoury, indulgent loveliness. Full of flavour but not the healthiest choice on the menu, certainly. Which is why it’s a good idea to make them small. Though if you’re anything like me and have an inability to stop scoffing, it might also be a good idea to make several.
Makes around 10 or 12 empanadas
- 300g Leftover beef, I used leftover beef from a rib roast, finely diced
- 2 rolls of ready rolled shortcrust pastry
- 150ml red wine
- 200ml beef stock
- 1 green pepper, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- A pinch of dried chilli flakes
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Egg for brushing
- Plain flour for dusting
- Olive oil for cooking
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan).
- In a pan on a medium heat cook the onion until soft, then add the green pepper, garlic, paprika, chilli flakes and half the fennel seeds, cook for a few minutes more. Next add the beef and black pepper, red wine and stock — bring to the simmer and leave it to cook down so the sauce is thickened and syrupy.
- When it’s ready leave it aside to cool a little, then take the pastry out of the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Using a small bowl or saucer, cut circles out of the pastry on a floured work surface, brushing around the edges with the beaten egg and placing a tablespoon of the filling and sauce on one side of the circle. Fold over and press down carefully to remove any air from the sides, then use a fork to crimp the edges shut. Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with them all. Once they’re all done, brush them with egg then pierce each one with a hole to let the steam out, and dust lightly with a sprinkling of smoked paprika and the remaining fennel seeds.
- Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown, leave to cool for a few minutes before eating (caution, scorching insides await).