2red hot peppers, finely diced (we used long hots, but you could use red jalapenos or serranos)
1canfire roasted tomatoes
salt to taste
Make empanada dough and refrigerate until cold. I typically make this one day before I want to fill the empanadas.
In a large dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of butter over medium heat then add the ground beef.
Brown beef, breaking up any chunks with a spoon. When the beef is browned, using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl and set aside.
Add the onions, garlic, pepper, spices and potatoes to the pan and turn up heat to medium high. Cook stirring often until potatoes are soft and excess liquid from the beef and veggies has cooked away. Add extra tablespoon of butter if necessary.
Move the veggies to the side and add white wine to deglaze pan. Scrape at the bottom with a wooden spoon while the wine cooks away.
Turn back the heat to low and stir in the olives, raisins, tomato paste and salt and mix to combine. Add the beef back to the pan, mix well and taste for seasoning level. Add salt to taste if necessary.
Turn off heat and let filling cool enough to handle. Like the dough, you can do this in advance and refrigerate the filling for 1-2 days before shaping empanadas.
Cut your empanada dough into 4-6 sections. Cover and refrigerate all but one section.
Lightly flour your work surface and roll out dough very thinly (about 1/8-3/16th an inch). Cut dough into rounds. I used a 3.5 inch cutter, but you can make them larger if you want dinner sized empanadas.
Mix together the egg and heavy cream in a small cup then brush the egg wash into the edges of the dough.
Take about a tablespoon of filling and squeeze it in your hand. I find this helps mold the filling, making the empanadas easier to shape and seal. You obviously want lots of paper towels or old dish towels handy for wiping your hands. This is a messy process!
Pick up the dough and hold it in the palm of your hand. With the other hand fold the dough, pinching and pulling the dough closed from center to the right and from the center to the left.
Lay the empanada back down on your work surface and crimp edges with a fork dipped in flour. Now repeat until all of your empanadas are made.
At this point you can freeze the empanadas. I place them on cookie sheets, spaced enough that they won't freeze together then freeze uncovered. Once frozen I transfer them to a covered container and freeze up to three months.
If not freezing, preheat oven to 400F. PLace empanadas on a baking tray, coat with egg wash, sprinkle with coarse salt and then poke a few holes to vent. Bake for about 20 minutes or until very golden.
If your empanadas are frozen, do not thaw. Do the egg wash with salt then bake for about 10-15 minutes then pop them out of the oven and cut some vents, Return to the oven and finish baking another 15-20 minutes or until the outside is golden and the inside filling is hot.
In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and hot peppers, cooking until soft.
Transfer to a food processor or blender with the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
You can chop the ingredients in a food processor to speed up the prep.
You want the filling to be dry not wet. So really cook down the veggies so the water in them evaporates.
It's important to vent the empanadas, otherwise any moisture bubbling in the filling might pop open the dough.