Beef and Goat Cheese Empanada with Piquillo Pepper Sauce and Pickled Red Onion

Total Time:
8 hr
30 min
5 hr
2 hr 30 min


  • Empanada Dough:
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cold lard, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup ice water
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • Short Ribs:
  • 1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for frying
  • 3 pounds short ribs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup red currant juice
  • Chicken stock
  • 2 whole ancho chiles, stems removed and soaked
  • 1 whole New Mexico red chiles, stems removed and soaked
  • 2 cascable chiles, stems removed and soaked
  • 1 chile de arbol, soaked
  • 1 cup soft goat cheese
  • Pickled Red Onions, for serving, recipe follows
  • Piquillo Pepper Sauce, for serving, recipe follows
  • Pickled Red Onions:
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • Piquillo Pepper Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 ounce jar piquillo peppers, drained
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
Short Ribs:
  • For the dough: Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined. Scatter the lard and butter over the top and pulse a few times until it resembles coarse meal.

  • Whisk together the egg yolk, water, and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the mixture to the dough, pulsing until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gently knead until it just comes together. Form the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. Roll out thinly. Cut into 4-inch circles.

  • For the short ribs: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Heat the oil over high heat in a Dutch oven until it begins to shimmer. Season the short ribs on both sides with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove to a plate.

  • Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan, add the garlic, and cook until it is lightly golden brown. Add the wine and cook until almost completely reduced. Add the currant juice, chicken stock (enough to cover the ribs by three-quarters), and chiles and bring to a boil. Add the ribs, cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook until fork tender, about 2 hours. Remove the short ribs to a platter or bowl and tent with foil.

  • Transfer the cooking liquid to a food processor and process until smooth. Strain into a large saute pan and cook until reduced by half. Remove the meat from the bone, shred, and add to the reduced cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly.

  • Add enough canola oil to fill a Dutch oven three-quarters of the way. Heat to 375 degrees F on a deep-frying thermometer.

  • Fill each dough round with some meat, top with some goat cheese and pickled onions. Seal the edges with a little water and crimp with a fork. Fry, turning halfway through, until evenly golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with Piquillo Pepper Sauce.

Pickled Red Onions:
  • Bring the vinegar, lime juice, water, sugar, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Put the onions in a medium bowl, pour the vinegar over, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 48 hours before serving.

Piquillo Pepper Sauce:
  • Heat the oil in a medium saute pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the piquillo peppers, season with salt and pepper, and cook 5 minutes.

  • Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the vinegar, and blend until smooth. Add the cilantro and creme fraiche and pulse a few times just to incorporate. Transfer to a bowl. Serve at room temperature.

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