Beef Short Rib Empanadas
Exceedingly tender, rich short ribs make a 2-for-1 meal. Make the ribs one night for dinner, then use the leftovers for lunch empanadas the next day.
Yield: makes 2 dozen
Time: 4 hours
- 7 tbsp. pork lard or vegetable shortening (3 1/2 oz.)
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 12 oz. boneless beef short rib meat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 medium white onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1⁄2 tsp. merkén or hot paprika
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup minced green olives
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, cut crosswise into 6 slices each
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- For the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the 3 tablespoons lard with 1 1⁄2 tablespoons salt and 2 cups boiling water, stirring until the lard melts. Add the flour and mix on medium-low speed until the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Scrape the dough onto a work surface and cut into quarters. Shape each quarter into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough balls for at least 1 hour.
- For the filling: In a large saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons lard over high heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring, until browned, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a plate. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons salt, the oregano, cumin, paprika, and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Return the beef to the pan with 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a slow, steady simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender and the sauce is reduced, about 1 hour. Remove the pan from the heat and let the filling cool.
- Heat the oven to 425°. Place 1 dough ball on a floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, flatten until 1⁄8-inch thick. Using a 5-inch round cutter, cut out 6 circles of dough and transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Working with one circle at a time, place 1 1⁄2 tablespoons filling in the middle, and top with 1 teaspoon olives and 1 egg slice. Moisten the edge of the circle with water and fold in half to form a turnover, crimping the dough to seal. Return the empanada to the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough, filling, olives, and eggs.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush each empanada with the egg white and then bake, one sheet at a time and rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until golden brown and hot, about 25 minutes.