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Home Cooking with Habs Tweetup: Playoff Pastry Pockets

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Now that the playoffs are upon us, it's time to start planning your playoff parties! Snack food is a vital staple at any game day gathering but you don't have to rely on the boring 'same old, same old'...why not try something new?

This week's edition of "Home Cooking with Habs Tweetup" comes courtesy of our Vancouver Habs Tweetup Event Coordinator, Veronica! Her Chilean heritage is highlighted in this recipe for a very tasty pastry called an empanada. Enjoy!

by Veronica, (

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- These little pockets of beef heaven are a staple on traditional Chilean holidays, and most every other family gathering, patio party, etc. In Canada these would be suitable for a meal, but in Chile they are merely an appetizer. We do love to eat.

The recipe calls for raisins in the beef mix, but I don't use them. I would NEVER get the kids to eat them with raisins, and I'm not fond of them either. So, you can try the recipe with, or leave them out, and I promise they'll be delicious anyway.

I got this from, because the recipe is exactly right, and the recipes I have are a) in Spanish, and would take forever to translate, and b) not precise about measurements; it is just taken for granted that of course you would know how much flour and shortening goes into the dough, for example - like any good Chilean.

Empanadas Chilenas de Pino (Chilean beef empanadas)

In Chile, the most traditional empanada filling is called "pino". Pino is a seasoned mixture of ground beef, onions, raisins, black olives, and hard boiled eggs. The dough is quick and easy to make, and can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. The pino tastes best if made the day before and allowed to rest overnight before filling the empanandas.

Empanada Dough

4 cups flour
1-2 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp butter, chilled
12 tbsp lard or vegetable shortening, chilled
3/4 - 1 cup water
2 egg yolks

1. Sift the flour into a bowl. Stir in the salt and the sugar.
2. Blend the butter and shortening (or lard) into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or with two knives, until fairly well blended.
3. Whisk the egg yolks with 3/4 cups water. Stir in the 1/2 cup of water/egg mixture, a little at a time until the dough starts to come together smoothly. Keep kneading the dough, adding more water/egg a little bit at a time as necessary (you made need a few tablespoons extra of water), until the dough is smooth.
4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. (Dough can also be kept overnight or a couple of days in the refrigerator.) Dough should be soft and smooth, and not elastic - if you poke a hole in it with your finger, the indentation should remain.
5. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and roll into desired thickness.

Makes enough dough for 10-12 large empanadas

Empanada Filling

3 large onions, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chile powder 1 tbsp paprika
1 beef bouillon cube, dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped olives 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced 1 egg yolk
2 tbsp milk

1. Cook the onions and garlic in the vegetable oil and butter until softened. Add the ground beef, cumin, chile powder, paprika, beef bouillon, and salt and pepper to taste.
2. Add the beef, stirring and crumbling the meat, until browned. Add the flour and continue to cook for 5 or 10 minutes more.
3. Remove the meat mixture and let cool. The beef mixture will keep up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
4. Shape the empanadas: Separate the dough into golf ball size pieces, and roll into smooth balls. Let rest for 5 minutes. On a floured surface, roll each ball of dough into a 6 inch diameter circle, about 1/4 inch thick. Add 1 tablespoon of the beef filling, a few raisins and some chopped olives, and a slice of hard boiled egg to the middle of the circle.
5. Brush the edges with water and fold the pastry in half over the filling, to make a semi-circle.
6. Seal the edges by pressing down with your fingers. Brush the sealed edge lightly with water, then turn the edge toward the middle and press with your fingers to seal.
7. Mix the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons milk, and brush the empanadas with the mixture.
8. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cut them in half for the steam to escape, and EAT.

Do you have a favourite recipe that you'd like to share? Whether it's traditional or something a tad unique, send it our way! Email your recipes (and a photo of the finished product!) to and you could see your recipe featured here on!

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