Saturday, April 2, 2011

Recipe: Shepard's EmPIEnadas

Alright, first off, excuse the pun but I like it to much to call it anything else.  Second, this is not one of those recipes where the newfangled way is easier than the original.  Its not really that much harder but it is still easier just to throw everything into a pie shell and bake.  All that being said, I was very happy with this invention.  I had been thinking about it for a while and finally had eaten through my leftovers so I figured I'd give it a try.  If you want it to be more authentic you could try and find empanada wrappers to stuff, but I just used the frozen rolled up pie shells. The results were tasty and put a new spin on a classic dish.

You will need:

1 box of two rolled pie shells
1 pound ground beef
1.5 cups frozen veggie mix (my bag had corn, green bean, carrot, and pea)
1 pouch instant garlic mashed potatoes
              Ingredients for boxed mashed potatoes: milk, butter, water
1 packet brown gravy mix
Chile Powder
Garlic Powder
A bowl that can be used to cut approximately four circles from each pie crust

Begin by cooking all the components (meat, potatoes, veggies).  For the meat, after thawing, I seasoned it with a hefty amount of paprika, chile powder, and garlic powder as well as a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
When finished cooking I set it aside on a paper towel covered plate to drain.

For the potatoes, cook according to the box instructions but add the same seasonings: salt, pepper, paprika, chile powder, and garlic powder to the liquid and bring to a boil.  Then stir in the packet.

 For the veggies simply boil in water for 5-6 minutes and drain.

Then in the pan you used to cook the meat wipe or pour out any large amounts of grease and prepare the gravy packet in the pan.  When the gravy begins to thicken add the veggies and the meat and stir to combine.  Turn off heat and let sit while you prepare the empanada shells.

Unroll the pie crusts one at a time on a floured cutting board.  Use a cereal bowl or other smallish bowl to cut circles from the dough by tracing around it with a sharp knife.  After a set of four is done begin to fill.  Place around one tablespoon of mashed potatoes and around one tablespoon of the meat mixture in each empanada, making sure not to overstuff.  Trace the outside edge of the empanada with water and seal, pushing down on all outside edges.

Place onto a foil lined cookie sheet.  Repeat with the second pie shell and then roll out the scraps to make 2 more empanadas.  You should have 10 total.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until the edges are browned and the top is somewhat firm to the touch.  The filling will be very hot so let cool for a few minutes before biting in.

Makes: 10 empanadas

Would pair well with a side salad of some sort to help bulk up the plate and add a temperature contrast to the meal.

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