Chilean Empanadas

Typical Chilean preparation.
Consumed in very large quantities on Independence Day in Chile (18th of September)
There are many varieties of ways that the empanadas can be prepared and stuffed, but some of the characteristics that they share, is that they consist of a filling wrapped in dough, a little spicy, and prepared in an oven, or mud oven if you have one but they can also be fried.

For 20 empanadas.


Pino (or filling)
800 grams (1.7 lbs approx) of ground beef
3 large onions
6 eggs
20 black olives
80 raisins
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of whole cumin
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1/2 tsp of paprika
1/2 tsp of ground chili or merquen
salt to taste

Masa (or dough)
1 kg of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
200 grams of pork lard
500 ml of hot water
1/2 tablespoon of salt

Preparation of the Pino (or filling)

Boil 5 eggs.
Cut each egg 4 pieces length-wise.
Soak the raisins in warm water.
Peel and cut the onions into little squares.
Heat a pan to medium heat, and add oil.
Fry the chopped onion until it is clear.
Add the ground beef, while still stirring.
Flavor with ground cumin, whole cumin, black pepper, paprika, chili powder or merquen, and salt. Keep stirring.
You can add more seasoning  if you like.
As soon as the meat is cooked, stop cooking.
Allow to cool, then prepare to put the empanadas together.

Preparation of the masa (dough)

Sift the flour and mix it with baking powder.
Create a hole in the middle of the sifted flour.
In the hole, add margarine, salt, white wine, hot water, and warm milk.
Use a spoon to mix the ingredients, don’t use your hands or you could get burned.
After mixing the ingredients, start kneading.
Use both hands, to make sure the dough is properly kneaded.
Create a ball with the dough, and cover with a cloth so it doesn’t get cold.
Take pieces of the dough, and create balls that are approx 4 cm.
Put then on a sheet that has flour on it.
Keep the balls covered with a cloth.
Then start stretching the balls of dough until it is thin.
Use something round, such as a plate to put the stretched dough. You want to have a circle.

Putting the empanadas together

Put some pino (filling) in the middle of the dough circle.
Then add a piece of egg, an olive and four raisins.
You don’t want too much filling, but you don’t want too little either.
Wet your fingers with warm water, and then rub them along the edge of the dough circle. This will help the empanada stay closed.
Close them however you want.
Press down hard on the edges, to make sure that the edge isn’t too thick.
Beat an egg a bit with a little milk, and use a brush to paint the tops of the empanadas.

Put the oven on 175 c (350 F approx)
Put the empanadas on a sheet with flour to bake them.
After about 20 minutes, check and see if they are golden on top. If they are looking a bit pale, put the temperature a bit higher.
The empanadas are ready when they are looking golden.
Remove them, and allow them to cool for a few minutes.
Serve hot!

With the dough, you can also stretch it all out, and cut out the circles, instead of making balls like we did.
You can also add chili pepper, or cayenne pepper to the pino.
The meat can be beef cut into little strips instead of ground.
It is a lot easier to work with the dough when it is warm.
You can add 1/2 cup of chopped parsley to the filling.