one of my buds, carolina, took the time last weekend to show me how to make this south american treat. as it is with most food items, empanadas vary from region to region, so she showed me a popular choice from her home town of buenos aires. as you can imagine, there was a lot of beef, a lot of spice, and a lot of delicioso argentinian wine (which we thought would be way better to drink on the side then cook into the meat).
your first step is to caramelize an onion in olive oil. your onion to meat ratio should be 2:1, so remember: LOTS of onion.
once it begins to caramelize, add half each of a green and red pepper, finely diced.
when it starts to brown, add salt to draw out the moisture.
next add the beef. lean beef is fine, but don't do extra lean - you want the flavour! we did about a 1/2 kilo.
stir it to break up the meat, but then stop stirring - you don't want to toughen the beef.
once browned, it's time to season it. we did this all to taste, but you're going to add oregano, a bit of paprika, a bit more cumin, a lot of pepper and salt, and garlic salt. at this point, you can also add diced black olive and boiled egg, but we didn't.
cool off the meat outside or in the fridge until you can handle it. for exceptional tasting filling, leave it overnight to mellow.
take your empanada shell (we found ours at the italian centre) and wet the outside edges with some water. fill with about 1 tablespoon of filling (not TOO much or they'll explode).
pinch the edges closed starting from the corners, and working towards the middle. REALLY make sure that it's closed.