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      RECIPE TITLE "Beef Empadas (Empadas de Carne)"
    recipe from The Art of South American Cooking Copyright © 1991 by Felipe Rojas-Lombar

    yieldsMakes about 16 empadas time--- difficultyeasy

    The Brazilians call their empanadas empadas or, when they are little, empadinhas. Many kinds of fillings, including beef, shrimp, and, on occasion, chicken, are used, and sizes range from generous (enough for a meal) to tiny. The empadas in this recipe are intended to be served as appetizers or snacks, but you can easily make them larger by simply doubling the size of the squares to eight inches and adjusting the amount of the filling accordingly. For bite-size empadinhas, which are lovely with drinks, cut the dough into two-inch squares.


    3 cups all-purpose flour
    3 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening, chilled
    1 egg
    1 egg white
    1/2 cup cold water

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 pound ground lean beef (see Note)
    1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    1 bay leaf
    1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded and chopped, or 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
    2 teaspoons coarse salt
    1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
    1 cup water
    8 scallions, white parts only, chopped (1/2 cup)
    1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley

    Sealer and Glaze
    1 egg yolk
    1 tablespoon cold water


    1. Sift the flour into a bowl, add the chilled lard, and mix quickly and thoroughly with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal.Add the egg, egg white, and 1/4 cup of the cold water. Continue mixing, adding the rest of the cold water, a little at a time, just until you have a firm dough. Knead the dough for a few seconds untilsmooth, then wrap it and chill for 15 to 30 minutes. (It can be used immediately or kept refrigerated, well wrapped, for up to 1 week.)

    2. In a small frying pan, heat the olive oil. Add the meat, cardamom, bay leaf, pepper, and salt and saute over medium heat, stirring, until the liquid has evaporated. Add the potatoes and the water and simmer over very low heat, stirring now and then, until the potatoes are tender and all the liquid has evaporated. Add the scallions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley, and correct the seasoning with salt to taste. Set the filling aside and let cool thoroughly or refrigerate overnight, well covered.

    3. Make the sealer and glaze by beating the egg yolk and the cold water together. Set aside.

    4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

    5. On a floured board, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough into 4-inch squares. Knead the scraps and re-roll them, and cut into additional squares. Put 1 full tablespoon of the filling into the center of each square. Moisten the edges of the dough lightly with the sealer. Fold the dough over the filling to form a triangle; press the edges together with your fingertips or the tines of a fork to seal. Repeat until all the empadas are assembled.

    6. Place the empadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them with the remaining glaze and bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven; transfer the empadas to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.

    Ground pork or chicken, or a combination of both, may be substituted.


    Fried Empadas (Pasteles de Carne)

    Complete the recipe through Step 5. Heat 6 cups of oil to between 365 and 375 degrees. Gently drop the empadas into the hot oil and fry until golden. Serve immediately.

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