Thursday, December 23, 2010

Colombian Beef & Potatoes Empanadas (Empanadas Colombianas)

These dough turnovers are the showcase of every celebration, family gathering or afternoon snack. Once to start with one is almost impossible to stop. So be ready to prepare enough to please of your guests.



3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup peeled diced potatoes (1/4 inch)
2 cups diced sirloin steak (1/4 inch)
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
1 cup of diced ripen tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin
1 garlic clove finely chopped
salt and pepper


2 cups yellow precooked cornmeal (Harina PAN)
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
a pinch of baking powder

Vegetable oil to deep fry.


Place the potatoes  in a medium heavy pot covered with salted water and bring to boil until the potatoes are tender, proximately 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large sauce pan, heat the oil  on medium heat and add the diced sirloin, pan fry until brown and cooked about 5 minutes. Remove the meat and set aside. Add in the scallion, the garlic and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, cumin, salt and pepper and cook stirring for another 2 minutes. Add the meat and the potatoes and with a potato masher, mash lightly some of them to thicken the sauce but not too much. Leave some potato dices in the mix.

Set aside and let cool.

Dough Preparation

In a large bowl mix the cornmeal, salt and baking powder. Add the water and incorporate with a fork. Add the vegetable oil and work the dough with your hands until soft and elastic. Let set for 15 minutes.

To make the Empanadas

Line a work surface with a sheet of plastic sprayed with oil. Place a small ball of dough and cover with another sheet. Using a roller pin, roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Lift the plastic on top and place a tablespoonful of the filling in the center of the flatten dough and turn over using the top layer of plastic. Cut the empanada with a cookie cutter making the half moon shape, lift the top layer and place the empanada on a tray until ready to fry. Repeat the process for each empanada.

Frying the Empanadas

In a deep heavy pot or a fryer machine, heat the oil to 365 F degrees. Place the empanadas one by one leaving enough room for them not to stick to each other. Fry until crunchy and brown about 6 minutes.

Drain over paper towel and serve hot with Aji.

These can be frozen raw and fry them frozen whenever you need. Or if you have a party you can fry, let cool and freeze them, and just reheat them in a wire rack in the oven before serving.

All recipes are on Petitchef