(Makes 16 empanadas)
Meat and onion filling (pino):
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 cups finely chopped onions (about 4 large)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 2 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- ¾ pound beef for stewing, cut into ¼-inch cubes, or ground beef, or mixed beef and pork
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup beef broth (preferably homemade)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 7 or 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) good-quality lard or 4 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening plus 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoons salt dissolved in 2 cups warm water
- 3 hard-cooked eggs, shelled and quartered
- 36 raisins
- 24 ripe whole olives, pitted
- 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoons water, for glaze
To make the filling:
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and cayenne. Add the meat and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Sprinkle 1 tablespoons flour over the meat mixture, and mix well.
- Stir in the broth. Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the juices have evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. The mixture should be moist but not runny. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
To make the dough:
- On a clean work surface, sift the flour. Make a well in the center, add lard and some of the salted water; add more water as needed. Using a wooden spoon, combine all the ingredients as quickly as possible, adding water as necessary; knead very well about 5 minutes, until a soft dough in a clean kitchen towel to keep it warm and workable; let it rest 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, set up a station for filling the empanadas. Have all the ingredients ready: the cold meat mixture, eggs, raisins, olives, and glaze
- Preheat the oven to 400F (205C).
- Shape the dough into a large sausage, and into 12 equal pieces. Work with one piece at the time, keeping the remaining dough covered. Roll out each piece of dough into an 8 – inch round about ¼-inch thick. Spoon about ¼ cup of the filling onto each circle, leaving a ¾-inch thick. Spoon about ¼ cup of the filling onto each circle, leaving a ¾-inch margin. Top each with 1 egg quarter, 3 raisins, and 2 olives. Brush the margins all around with water, and fold the circles in half. To enclose the filling securely, fold each half-circle into a square: place the straight edge of the half-circle into a edge, the right edge, and the top to make the square. Seal the corners with your thumb by making a deep imprint in each one.
- Brush each empanada with the egg yolk mixture. With a toothpick, prick 3 or 4 holes in each one to prevent it from opening up while baking. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the pastry is nicely browned and the filling is piping hot. Serve at once. Baked empanadas can easily be reheated.