A juicy pork filling, flavored with spices, makes these substantial Chiapas style pork empanadas a good lunch or late supper dish. Any leftover roast meat would be good here. The dough is traditionally made with pork lard, though butter works well. To coarsely grind the spices as called for, I put them together in a spice grinder and pulse a few times. A mortar or molcajete also works well.
For the dough:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into 12 tablespoon-size pieces or equal amount cold pork lard
- 1 egg
- 4-5 tablespoons water
Place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor or, if preparing dough by hand, in a large mixing bowl. Add butter, egg and water and pulse, or mix by hand, until a coarse dough forms.
Shape the dough into a ball, flatten slightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut into circles. Depending on the size of the circles, this will make 12-15 medium or 20-25 small empanada discs. If not using immediately, refrigerate or freeze the discs.
For the filling:
- 2 tablespoons corn oil or lard
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- ½ pound tomatoes, chopped
- 1 pound boneless pork, cooked and shredded
- 2 peppercorns, coarsely ground
- 1 allspice berry, coarsely ground
- 1 whole clove, coarsely ground
- Salt to taste
- Sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the onion and sauté until transparent. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking until they have rendered their juice. Add the meat and spices, stir and cook until the mixture is heated through.
Divide the mixture evenly among the empanada discs, brushing the edges with water and sealing with a fork. Brush the empanadas with egg wash for a golden finish.
Bake at 375°F for about 20-25 minutes, depending on the oven and the size of the empanadas. Remove and sprinkle lightly with sugar, if desired. Makes 12-15 medium empanadas or 20-25 small ones.
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