Pork Picadillo Empanadas are a great potluck or picnic food. Spicy pork filling in a tender Masa Harina infused crust - so easy - so portable - so delish
The Making of Pork Picadillo Empanadas
Pork Picadillo Empanadas are a perfect dish to take to a potluck or on a picnic. Bite-sized flavor-filled packets of spicy pork tucked inside a flavorful tender turnover; empanadas are easy to make and very portable.
What is an Empanada?
While many consider empanadas to be Latin, they are actually made all over the world, with a variety of fillings and doughs. The name comes from the Galician, Portuguese, and Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.
"Empanadas are easy to make and very portable"
What is Picadillo?
Picadillo literally means "mince". The filling can be made from almost anything, but the most common are ground pork and ground beef. In this recipe feel free to change the ground pork to ground beef if you like, or even ground chicken or turkey.
I adapted this recipe for Pork Picadillo Empanadas from Bon Appetit's Outdoor Entertaining cookbook. I like the dough in Bon App's recipe because it was one of the few I found that used Masa Harina (what they use to make corn tortillas and tamales) in it. Most recipes used only flour and I find the addition of the masa really gives the dough a great flavor. The dough comes together very easily and rolls out beautifully. The original recipe called for melted butter, but you know me if it's melted butter I will usually substitute olive oil; in this case, I did half melted butter and half mild olive oil. You can do one or the other, or both. These empanadas can be made shiny by brushing an egg bath on top before popping them into the oven, we were in a hurry to get them cooked as we were going to friends to watch the Oscar's and I just plumb forgot that step...no harm, no foul, they were delish anyway. Just not shiny.
These empanadas are great when served with a chunky salsa, sour cream dip (which is what I did), or even guacamole.
Dip, bite, enjoy
LindySez: You can prepare the filling a day in advance if desired, refrigerate until needed. If you prefer, you can make the whole empanada a day in advance, cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Remove covering before cooking.
Pork Picadillo Empanadas
- For the Filling
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 12 ounces ground pork tenderloin grind your own, or use your food processor to pulse it into a grind, or buy very lean ground pork
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped green apple I used Granny Smith
- 1 jalapeño minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin powder
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ cup golden raisins pour boiling water over and let sit for about 5 minutes. This will plump them up and remove some of their sweetness
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ½ cup chopped toasted blanched almonds blanching is removing the skin. I buy mine with the skin already removed and with them already toasted. If you have to do this step, put them into boiling water for 5 minutes. Let cool then remove the skins. Bake the almonds in a 325°F oven for about 10 minutes, or until toasted
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For the Dough
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Masa Harina corn tortilla mix, found in most grocery stores and in ALL Mexican markets
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup your favorite fat melted (use half butter half oil, all oil, or all butter. I used half melted butter, half oil)
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon water
- 2 large eggs 1 is going into the dough the other is going to be for a wash
- Prepare the Filling: Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions, apple, pork, jalapeño and garlic, cook, stirring often, until the pork is cooked. Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, and some salt and pepper. Stir until well incorporated; add the raisins and lime juice and cook until the lime juice has reduced to not being there. Remove from heat; stir in the almonds and sour cream. Allow to cool.
- For the Dough: Butter 2 large baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
- Heat oven to 375°F.
- In a large bowl mix together the flour, masa, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the melted fat. In a small bowl whisk together 1 of the eggs with ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon water, add to the flour mixture. Knead in the bowl until a smooth, pliable dough forms, about 2 minutes. Working with half the dough at a time, roll out on a floured surface to ⅛th inch thickness. Use a 3 ¾ inch biscuit cutter to cut dough into rounds. Reroll dough scraps and cut out additional rounds; you should get about a dozen per half of the dough. Continue with the remaining dough.
- Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl to blend. Place about 1 ½ tablespoons filling in the center of each dough round, lightly brush the edges with the egg. Fold over, lift up and gently press the dough together over the filling. Make sure to close them well. Place on prepared sheets. Brush the empanada tops with the remaining egg wash (if you remember) and then bake for about 25 minutes, or until nicely browned. Serve with sauce of your choice.