Beef and Potato Empanadas

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.I’ve been trying to come up with the perfect empanada recipe and I think I’m getting close.  I prefer my empanadas to be crispy as opposed to the more traditional method of the outer coating being more cornbread-like.

Another use for any leftover filling, is simply serve over some cooked, white rice and serve with some warmed tortillas and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce on the side….And you’ve got yourself a nice, hot lunch or a quick-fix dinner.

1 – 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 large Russet Potato (microwave for 2 – 1/2 minutes), skinned and cubed
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Videlia onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 TBSP jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
pepper to taste
2 tsp Tony Chachere’s, divided
1 tsp dried cumin
1 tsp dried paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
Filo sheets, cold, cut into 5″ circles, using 4 layers of dough, prepared just prior to stuffing, so the dough doesn’t get too melted
melted butter
Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

Saute’ potatoes in hot olive oil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.  Cook until just starting to turn a golden color.  Season with pepper and 1 tsp of Tony Chachere’s.  Set aside.

In Another pan brown the ground beef with onions.  When the meat is close being browned, add garlic, jalapeno, cumin, paprika, oregano, red pepper; mix well.  Season with pepper and 1 tsp of Tony Chachere’s.  Add Worcestershire; mix well.  Add the potato mixture: mix well.  Taste to see if it needs any more seasonings.  Cool the mixture before assembling the empanadas, so as to not melt the pastry.

Once the filling is good and cold, start by brushing the pastry rounds with a little melted butter (that’s not hot).  Mound about 1/3 cup of the filling in the middle of each pastry round.  Fold over to form a half-moon, pie shape; crimp the edges with a fork.  Brush the empanadas with a little more melted butter.  Place them on a cookie sheet that has been greased well with butter.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 – 30 minutes.  Serve hot and with serve  Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

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