Empanadas de pino, also known as Chilean beef empanadas, are a traditional savory pastry that can be found throughout Chile. These empanadas are filled with a mixture of ground beef, onions, raisins, black olives, and spices, and then baked or fried to create a crispy, delicious snack or meal.
History of Empanadas de Pino
The history of empanadas de pino can be traced back to the colonial era in Chile, when Spanish colonizers brought over their tradition of empanadas. Over time, Chileans added their own twist to the recipe by incorporating local ingredients and spices, and the empanada de pino was born.
Pino is a filling made from a combination of ground beef, onions, raisins, black olives, and spices. The name “pino” is thought to come from the English word “pin”, which was used to describe the beef that was used in the filling. Over time, the word evolved to become “pino”.
Empanadas de pino have become an integral part of Chilean cuisine, and they are often enjoyed as a snack or a meal. They are particularly popular during Chilean Independence Day celebrations, which take place on September 18th.
Ingredients for Empanadas de Pino
The ingredients for empanadas de pino are fairly simple and can be found at most grocery stores. To make the filling, you will need:
1 pound of ground beef
2 onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of black olives, pitted and chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the dough, you will need:
4 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of salt
1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
1 cup of warm water
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
Instructions for Making Empanadas de Pino
To make the filling for empanadas de pino, start by browning the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the beef is cooked through, add the chopped onions and continue to cook until the onions are translucent.
Next, add the raisins, black olives, chopped hard-boiled eggs, cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir well to combine and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes, until all the flavors have melded together.
Once the filling is ready, set it aside to cool while you prepare the dough. To make the dough, combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the vegetable shortening and use your hands to mix it in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Slowly add the warm water to the bowl, mixing until a smooth dough forms. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5-10 minutes, until it becomes elastic and smooth.
Divide the dough into 12-16 equal-sized pieces, depending on how large you want your empanadas to be. Roll out each piece of dough into a circle that is about 6-7 inches in diameter.
Place a spoonful of the filling in the center of each circle of dough. Fold the dough over to create a half-moon shape, and then crimp the edges together with a fork to seal the empanada closed.
Brush each empanada with the beaten egg to create a shiny glaze, and then place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the empanadas in a preheated oven at 375°F for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy.
If you prefer, you can also fry the empanadas in hot oil until they are crispy and golden brown on the outside. To do this, heat a few inches of vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully place the empanadas in the hot oil and fry them for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and crispy. Drain the empanadas on paper towels to remove any excess oil before serving.
Variations on Empanadas de Pino
While empanadas de pino are the most popular type of empanada in Chile, there are many other variations that you can try. Some of the most popular variations include:
Empanadas de camarones:
These empanadas are filled with shrimp, onions, garlic, and spices. They are popular in coastal regions of Chile.
Empanadas de queso:
These empanadas are filled with cheese, onions, and spices. They are a popular vegetarian option.
Empanadas de mariscos:
These empanadas are filled with a mixture of seafood, onions, garlic, and spices. They are popular in coastal regions of Chile.
Tips for Making the Perfect Empanadas de Pino
To ensure that your empanadas de pino turn out perfectly, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Use good quality ingredients:
Since empanadas de pino have such a simple filling, it’s important to use high-quality ingredients to ensure that the flavors really shine through. Look for fresh ground beef, ripe olives, and plump raisins.
Don’t overfill the empanadas:
It can be tempting to overfill your empanadas, but this can cause the filling to burst out during cooking. Aim for a spoonful or two of filling in each empanada.
Crimp the edges tightly:
To ensure that the empanadas stay sealed during cooking, it’s important to crimp the edges tightly with a fork. This will help prevent any filling from leaking out.
Chill the dough before rolling it out:
If your dough is too warm, it can be difficult to work with and may tear when you try to fill it. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before rolling it out to make it easier to work with.
Empanadas de pino are loved around the world
Empanadas de pino are a delicious and traditional Chilean dish that are enjoyed throughout the country. With a simple yet flavorful filling of ground beef, onions, raisins, and olives, these empanadas are a savory treat that can be enjoyed as a snack or a meal. Whether baked or fried, empanadas de pino are a versatile and delicious addition to any menu.
Empanadas de pino are not just a food, they are a cultural icon in Chile. These savory pastries have been enjoyed by Chileans for generations, and are often associated with family gatherings, holidays, and special occasions.
In fact, empanadas de pino are so beloved in Chile that there is even a National Empanada Day, which falls on April 8th each year. On this day, Chileans come together to celebrate the empanada and all of its delicious variations.
One of the reasons why empanadas de pino are so popular in Chile is because they are a convenient and portable food. They can be enjoyed on the go or as a quick snack, and are often sold by street vendors or in small shops throughout the country.
But empanadas de pino are not just popular in Chile – they have also gained popularity around the world. In fact, many countries in Latin America have their own version of the empanada, each with its own unique filling and cooking method.
If you are interested in trying your hand at making empanadas de pino, there are many recipes and variations available online. You can experiment with different spices, fillings, and cooking methods to create your own unique version of this classic Chilean dish.
Whether you enjoy them as a snack or a meal, empanadas de pino are sure to delight your taste buds and transport you to the vibrant culture and flavors of Chile. So why not give them a try and experience the magic of empanadas de pino for yourself?