Abuelita Carmen's Colombian Empanadas de Carne
The taste of Empanadas Colombianas can vary depending on the region where you try them. However, this is the recipe for my Mother-in-Law's empanadas.
There are basically 2 different kinds of empanadas -- the meat ones and the chicken ones. This is a recipe for the meat ones.
STEP 1: Prepare the MEAT. I use a pot roast, though some people use a pork roast.
You must season the meat the night before with a GUISO -- this is the word my Suegra (Mother in Law) uses.
In a food processor, mix:
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
4 green onions
5 sprigs of cilantro -- cut off the stem
Pour this mixture (the Guiso) over your meat and let it marinate over night. Next morning, put the meat on to cook. I use a Crock-Pot so that the meat is extra tender. I dump the meat and its marinade into the pot and let it cook 8 hours on low. When the meat is cooked and tender, take it out and separate it into little pieces with your hands. Place in a bowl and set aside.
STEP 2: Prepare the POTATOES.
8-10 Yukon Gold Potatoes -- the ones that are yellow inside
2 teaspoons Salt
Peel and boil the potatoes. When tender, drain and let cool. Then, lightly mash them -- DO NOT MAKE MASHED POTATOES. You want some bite sized chunks. Place in a bowl and set aside.
STEP 3: Prepare the HOGAO.
In a food processor, mix the following.
2 large tomatoes
4 green onions
1 medium onion finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic
4 sprigs of cilantro -- cut off the stem
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chicken broth instant powder (I like Herb-ox my MIL uses Knorr).
Salt to taste, if necessary
Once ingredients are all mixed and chopped up in the food processor, I cook them in a frying pan on medium in:
3-4 Tablespoons butter (I use regular Smart Balance instead).
Cook the GUISO in the butter until everything is tender and the onions just start to brown. Take off the stove, mix with the meat and potatoes and set aside.
STEP 4: Prepare the MASA (dough).
3 cups AREPA HARINA (La Venezolana, Goya Masarepa or PAN) -- Arepa Flour
3 - 4 cups boiling water (start at add more water if necessary)
1-2 teaspoons of Colór (This is a yellow spiced food coloring I can only find in Colombia. So, while you are there stop at Carrefour, Exito, or some other store and pick up a few packets of COLÓR. It is a powder that is orange in color. If you do not have Colór, try using "Sazón con Azafran" by Goya, or just buy Yellow Arepa Harina.)
Salt to taste (I usually do not add much salt).
Mix the water and flour and then let it cool a little. When warm, knead until you can form a nice ball. It SHOULD NOT BE STICKY. If it is sticky, you will need to add more flour. It should also not fall apart easily. If your dough is crumbly, you will need to add more water. Unfortunately, each brand of flour is a little different, so this is not an exact science.
STEP 5: Prepare and Fry the EMPANADAS.
Large frying pan or pot
Once your dough is ready, place some on a large piece of plastic wrap. Roll out the dough into a thin layer about 1/4" thick. In order to see how to make the empanada look like a half moon, I am sending you to the following You Tube video. The woman's recipe is a bit different, but the process of making and cooking the empanada are the same.
Here is a website where you can purchase the AREPA HARINA or try going to a local Latino Market.