Cheesy Beef Empanadas

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These filled pastry treats are easier to make than you might imagine and are perfect snacks for parties and picnics.

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 3 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 c.water
  • 1 large egg

For the dough

  • 1 tbsp.extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb.ground beef
  • 1 tbsp.tomato paste
  • 1 tsp.oregano
  • 1 tsp.cumin
  • 1/2 tsp.paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c.chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 c.chopped pickled jalapeños
  • 1 1/4 c.shredded Cheddar
  • 1 1/4 c.Shredded Monterey Jack
  • Egg wash, for brushing
  • Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Sour cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut butter into flour using your hands or a pastry cutter until pea-sized. Add water and egg and mix until a dough forms. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  2. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 400° and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add ground beef and cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 5 minutes. Drain fat.
  5. Return pan to medium heat, and stir tomato paste into beef. Add oregano, cumin, and paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and jalapeños and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  6. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Roll one half out to ¼” thick. Using a 4.5” round cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Repeat with remaining dough. Reroll scraps once to cut out more rounds.
  7. Lightly moisten outer edge of a dough round with water and place about 2 tablespoons filling in center and top with cheddar and Monterey. Fold dough in half over filling. Use a fork to crimp edges together. Repeat with remaining filling and dough.
  8. Place empanadas on prepared baking sheets and brush with egg wash. Bake until golden and filling is warmed through, about 25 minutes.
  9. Garnish with cilantro and serve with sour cream.

For the airfryer

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add ground beef and cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 5 minutes. Drain fat.
  2. Return pan to medium heat, and stir tomato paste into beef. Add oregano, cumin, and paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and jalapeños and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Roll one half out to ¼” thick. Using a 4.5” round cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Repeat with remaining dough. Re-roll scraps once to cut out more rounds.
  4. Lightly moisten outer edge of a dough round with water and place about 2 tablespoons filling in center and top with cheddar and Monterey. Fold dough in half over filling. Use a fork to crimp edges together. (Do not brush with egg wash.) Repeat with remaining filling and dough.
  5. Place empanadas in a parchment-lined Air Fryer basket, making sure they don’t touch, and cook in batches at 400° for 10 minutes.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve with sour cream.


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