Beef Empanadas with Spicy Chorizo Filling

Published May 1, 2010. From Cook's Illustrated.

Why this recipe works:

The first step in our streamlined beef empanada recipe was to enhance packaged ground chuck with aromatics, spices, and a chicken-broth-and-bread mixture, which kept the beef tender as it cooked. For the beef empanadas’ crust, we made a few Latin-inspired changes to our Foolproof Pie Dough… read more

The first step in our streamlined beef empanada recipe was to enhance packaged ground chuck with aromatics, spices, and a chicken-broth-and-bread mixture, which kept the beef tender as it cooked. For the beef empanadas’ crust, we made a few Latin-inspired changes to our Foolproof Pie Dough recipe. We traded some of the flour for masa harina, the cornmeal used in Mexican cooking, omitted the shortening, and switched to all butter for better flavor. Finally, we finished our beef empanadas recipe by brushing the tops of the empanadas with oil for a shiny, crunchy crust. Placing them on a preheated oiled baking sheet ensured that the underside of the empanadas got as crispy as the top.

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Serves 4 to 6 as an entrée

The alcohol in the dough is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavor—do not substitute for it or omit. Masa harina can be found in the international aisle with other Latin foods or in the baking aisle with the flour. If you cannot find masa harina, replace it with additional all-purpose flour (for a total of 4 cups). After step 5, the empanadas can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 days. For an alternate method for crimping the dough, see Creating a Decorative Edge, below.

Ingredients

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