The shredded beef I used in these empanadas has become a staple in our house. It's so versatile and easy to fix up that I've been wanting to put it on the meal plan week after week. Of course, that's a bad idea because we do not want to get sick of it, but I was excited to make it again last week and use it up in three different ways. First, I made chimichangas. Another night I served them up on these homemade burger buns and then we used the last bit up by making empanadas.
We've been enjoying this empanadas recipe for a few years now, but with chicken instead of beef. It's sad I waited this long to try a beef version, but now I'm ready to place it in our regular line up. Ben and I could not get over how well this beef goes along with this recipe. We shouldn't have been surprised, because we knew we loved the shredded beef and empanadas recipe already.
If you have the beef made up ahead of time and use a store-bought pie crust, you can whip the rest of it up very quickly on a weeknight. It only bakes for 15 minutes and you're ready to go!
Green Chile Beef Empanadas
Yield: 4 empanadas
For the shredded beef:
4 – 6 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 lb boneless chuck roast
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup beef stock (or broth)
1 Tbs tomato paste
2 - 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced (original calls for 3, but I love garlic)
For the empanadas:
2 cups shredded beef (recipe above)
2 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crusts
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 cup shredded Mexican flavor cheese
choice of toppings - such as sour cream and salsa
To make the shredded beef:
Combine the spices in a small bowl. Rub into the beef, covering all the nooks and crannies and each side evenly.
In a large skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil until shimmering. Sear the meat on each side, using tongs to flip it. Remove and place in the bottom of a large slow cooker.
With the skillet remaining over the heat, deglaze with the beef stock and scrape up any brown bits. Whisk in the tomato paste and chipotle peppers. Once sauce comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes until slightly thickened and reduced.
Meanwhile, add the onion and garlic to the top of the beef in the slow cooker. Carefully pour the sauce over top. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Once the meat is fork tender, remove and shred with two forks. Pour a portion of the sauce, including the onions, over top of the meat and let soak to enhance flavor.
To make the empanadas:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Unroll pie crusts onto a baking sheet or stone. Top each quadrant of crust with 1/2 cup of the beef, a tablespoon of chiles, and 1/4 cup of cheese, making even layers and spreading ingredients to within 1/2-inch of the edges. Top with second pie crust. Using a pastry cutter or sharp knife, make an X across the circle, making 4 equal sections. Pinch around the edges with a fork to seal.
Slice small slits in the top of each quadrant to allow steam to escape during cooking. Bake 15 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
Source: Adapted from Joy of Cooking