For the beans: Wash and soak beans in a bowl of water to cover overnight.
Strain beans. Add 2 cups water, celery, onions, garlic, cumin and chili powder to a blender. Blend well. Add blended mixture to beans in a pot and cook until beans are tender. Add more water if necessary.
For the mucho macho beef: Cook beef in a skillet on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Add cumin, oregano and crushed red pepper. Mix well. Cook for 5 minutes, then add onions. Continue cooking until onions are translucent. Add paprika. Turn the heat down and simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.
For the dough: In a mixing bowl, add flour, shortening and baking powder. Mix well. Add salt to warm water in a measuring cup, then pour water into bowl and mix to make a ball. Remove from bowl and knead dough on a lightly-floured surface. Cover and let rest for about 5 minutes.
Flour a countertop. Roll dough with a pin to 1/8-inch thick, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut out 4 1/2- to 5-inch circles and stack one on top of another. Wrap in plastic and chill for about 5 minutes.
For the mucho macho empanada: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Set a dough disc in the palm of your hand. Spread prepared beans on the dough disc. Then add 1 1/2 tablespoons beef, cheese and serrano or jalapeno peppers, if using. Fold dough into a half-moon shape. Ruffle edges to close. (May use a fork to close an empanada as well.) Continue with remaining dough and fillings, placing empanadas on a greased pan 1-inch apart. Brush tops with egg wash and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
To deep-fry the empanadas, heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F. Fry empanadas until golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
To reduce cooking time, you can purchase canned vegan refried beans and season it with chili powder, garlic and cumin, per recipe.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of The Original Marini's Empanada House, Houston, TX