Spicy beef empanadas

Empanada is simply Spanish for ‘wrapped in bread’, and they are essentially a Latin American twist on your common-or-garden minced beef pasty.

I opted to make some after picking up another packet of pre-rolled shortcrush pastry to top another chicken and ham pot pie, using the second half of the filling I made last week. With three quarters of the pastry left over, I needed to find a use for it.

I ended up using about half of the spicy beef mince I made – the rest will make a delicious filling for soft-shell tacos, which Marc is taking with him on his travels this week.

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As ever, inexpense is the order of the day, so I’ve used up the last of the chargrilled romano peppers that’ve been in the fridge since I made ajvar, and served them with the rest of the churrasco sauce that went in my burgers.

There’s also a few bits from the store cupboard, a single egg, and some very cheap fresh produce.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

Makes: 10-12

Ingredients:

  • 250g lean steak mince (£2.19 at ASDA)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 chargrilled romano pepper
  • 2 salad tomatoes
  • 2tsp garlic paste
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp ground black pepper
  • 1tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Shortcrust pastry

Method:

  1. In a pan, fry the mince in a little oil. Once starting to brown, crumble in the stock cube.
  2. While the mince fries, finely chop the chilli, romano pepper, onion and tomatoes. Add to the pan once the mince is browned, along with the garlic paste, and fry for a couple of minutes.
  3. Combine the salt, pepper and spices in a pot, then add to the pan once the vegetables have started to soften.
  4. Add a little water to the pan and cook for 15 minutes to ensure the veg is thoroughly cooked. If it’s struggling to thicken, add a teaspoon of cornflour.
  5. Once cooked, allow the mix to cool. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 190C, then remove the pastry from the fridge and bring up to room temperature (15 minutes or so).
  6. Unroll the pastry and cut it into rough squares. Add a teaspoon or so to the centre of each square, and brush the edges with beaten egg.
  7. Fold over like a turnover, and crimp the edges together using a fork. Brush with beaten egg and place into the oven for 20-25 minutes.
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