I like to keep a little black book with me at all times, not because I am keeping numbers or picking up girls, because I write down food ideas that pop into my head. The idea came to me last year when I had a brilliant thought for a blog post and then forgot it. I remember that it was going to be incredible and probably would have changed my life but I forgot what it was. Ever since then whenever I have a thought about a new dish I'd like to try or a meal I would like to try making using wild game I write it down so I don't forget it. A lot of the recipes you see on this blog originated in that little book.
This recipe for empanads is no different, I love recipes that use ground venison and have always enjoyed empanadas but have never made them. I figured it was time to change that. I had made empanadas a couple of years ago but they were vegetarian and the dough I made wasn't very good so I never returned to them. I am a different cook now, then I was a few years ago and figured I would give it another try. I searched all over the Internet for a good empanada dough recipe and found so many different varieties that I just decided to mix a couple together and see what I got.
My problem with the last dough I made was that it didn't have much flavor and it just seemed to take away from the empanadas filling. Its was to thick and doughy and really took away from the filling. So with this batch I really wanted to make a dough that had a lot of flavor but wasn't to over powering. After all I really wanted the venison filling to be the star of the show. After reading all the recipes I came up with a recipe for the dough that I think really worked well. I have no idea if it is a traditional dough or not but it was pretty freakin tasty.
Over all I really liked how these empanada's turned out, the filling was delicious and my wife and kids really liked it. I would have preferred a little more heat to the filling but then the rest of the family probably wouldn't have like them.
For the Dough
2 cups all purpose flour
1 stick of butter
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/4 cup of milk
whisk together the flour, salt and chili powder then cut in the cold butter mashing it with a fork until you have a Sandy consistency. add the milk and form into a ball. If the sough it to dry and crumbly you can add a little water or a little more milk until you get a nice ball of dough.
Place the dough in the fridge for at least a half hour. when ready to use the dough divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll them out into 1/4 inch circles about the size of a small saucer. Place the filling in the center then brush the edges of the dough with a little melted butter and fold over into half circles. use a fork to crimp the edges and transfer to a baking sheet. Brush the empanada's with butter and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until they are golden brown.
For the filling
1 pound ground venison
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 4 ounce can diced green chili's
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet and add the onions and cook until transparent then add the garlic. stir in the venison and cook until all the pink is gone. add the cumin and the chili powders and cook for 2-3 minutes. then stir in the green chili's and the tomatoes and cook until all the fluid is gone. add the oregano and season with salt and pepper. then fill the dough.