Carne asada is a popular meat used in many Mexican dishes. “Carne asada” translates to “grilled meat” but is always beef. Chefs use a variety of beef cuts for carne asada, but two of the most delicious are skirt steak and flank steak. One of the most essential criteria Mexican, Central American, and South American chefs look for in choosing beef for carne asada is quality. They believe simple cooking combined with the highest quality ingredients makes the best meals.
Empanadas are pocket meals, similar to Yooper pasties but smaller and contain more ingredients. These are fun to make because you can amend the recipe to include your favorite Mexican ingredients.
Did you make too many? That’s great! Your extra empanadas can be frozen either baked or unbaked. Simply freeze them solid on a parchment-lined baking sheet and then bundle the frozen empanadas in an airtight container. Allow frozen empanadas to thaw for at least 5 minutes before baking.
Ingredients for the dough:
- 3 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup cold butter, cubed
- ¾ cup of water
- 1 egg
Directions to make the dough:
Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl or food processor. Cut in the butter until pea-sized pieces form. Mix in the water and the egg. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes. The dough should become smooth. Place the dough in an airtight plastic bag and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Ingredients for the filling:
- 1 pound TBS flank steak
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Your choice of fillings. Suggestions include:
- ½ cup of fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- ½ cup jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped OR 1 small can of diced green chiles, drained well
- 1 ¼ cup each of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, grated OR cheat and use a pre-grated Mexican Cheese blend
- Egg wash and brush
- For garnish: Chopped cilantro, cubed guacamole, and Mexican crema (or regular sour cream) for topping
Directions to make the filling and finish the empanadas:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a skillet, cook the steak over medium heat until cooked through. Remove and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes. Dice the meat into small pieces.
- Saute the onion in a large skillet over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent. Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute.
- Return the skillet to the burner and stir in the tomato paste and seasonings, including salt and pepper.
- Add the tomatoes and jalapenos and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in the diced steak. Remove from the heat and allow the filling to cool slightly.
- Prepare the crust. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and divide it in half. Working one half at a time, roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface to about ¼ inch thick. Use a 4.5 inch round cutter to cut rounds from the dough. Once all rounds are cut, begin to fill each empanada.
- Take one of the rounds and moisten the outer edge with water. Place about 2 tablespoons of the filling in the center. Top with cheese. Fold the dough in half, making a half-moon shape. Use a fork to crimp the edges together.
- Place the empanadas on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Brush the empanadas with the egg wash and then bake for 25 minutes until the crust is golden.
- Serve immediately with cilantro, guacamole, and crema drizzled over the top.
Stop by The Butcher Shop for the Freshest Meats and Local Produce
Why purchase meat and produce from a grocery store that comes from who knows where? We have such excellent, fresh meat and produce available to us locally! The Butcher Shop is your one-stop shop for locally sourced meats and produce from farms right here in Southern Oregon. At TBS, you’ll find the perfect cut of meat for your meal, plus fresh-baked loaves of bread, fresh fruit and vegetables, local wine and beers, and even quality food specifically for your canine. Stop by today or call ahead to pre-order your ingredients