Some recipes just sound extra tasty, don't they? This one lives up to its name. We suggest using our pre-made pulled pork from Stryker Farms so you can focus your efforts on the dough, which is made from scratch. If you are feeling extra inspired, you can also whip up some chimichurri. It makes a stupendous dipping sauce for these babies!
If making your own empanada dough is not your thing, you can easily adapt the filling of this recipe into killer pulled pork sandwiches with our Wild Flour challah buns. Mmm mmm mmm.
For the empanada dough
2¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup very cold, unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/3-1/2 cup ice water
For the filling
2 cups yam, cubed
2 cups coleslaw (can be part of filling or served on the side, see recipe below)
For the coleslaw
1/2 red or green cabbage, finely chopped
1 bunch of scallions, finely chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup mayonaise or vegan mayo
2 tablespoons vinegar (cider vinegar preferred)
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Make dough. If you are making sandwiches, not empanadas, skip this and proceed to step 2.
Add flour and salt to a bowl, whisk together. Add the butter, tossing to separate the pieces and to coat them with flour. Working by hand, pinch the pieces of butter into the flour, forming a good amount of large, flat pieces the size of a nickel or so, as well as smaller bits. Some people refer to this method as “snapping” in the butter as you are doing a finger motion similar to a snap.
Next mix egg and milk together. Measure 1/3 cup of the ice water and a tablespoon of vinegar and add to egg mixture. Very quickly (you don’t want to coddle the milk with the vinegar), drizzle the egg/milk/vinegar/water mixture over the flour while tossing with a fork until mostly incorporated.
Put the dough on a counter or other workspace and knead lightly with your palms 2-6 times or until the dough is mostly coming together with a few dry areas. Work on those areas by pinching and pushing them into the dough. If necessary, add a few sprinkles of water to moisten. The dough should feel fairly dry and there may be a few bits that aren’t well incorporated. You should see chunks of butter throughout.
On a floured work surface, roll out the dough from the center to edges, until it's 1/8″ thick. Cut into five-inch rounds.
Cover the dough rounds with a damp cloth as you fill the empanadas.
Step 2: Bake yams
First, before we get to the yams, make sure your pulled pork is defrosted and ready, then proceed.
This is easy. Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut yams into 1/4-inch cubes and bake until tender and a bit caramelized. Remove and cool to a comfortable handling temperature.
Note: leave can your oven on. You are going to need it for empanada baking.
Step 3: Make coleslaw
This coleslaw can be served on the side or inside the empanada. It’s really your call.
In a bowl, mix vinegar, mayonnaise, sugar, salt and pepper until the solids are dissolved. Mix chopped cabbage, scallions and cilantro into the mayo mixture until fully incorporated. Give it a taste. You may find you need a touch more sugar, salt, pepper, etc. to get it just right. Set aside and proceed to step 3.
Step 4: Complete filling
Your pulled pork, as mentioned above, should be ready to go. Time to mix it with the yams. Do not overly mix so your yams stay in pieces. If adding the coleslaw to party, mix in 2 cups to the pork and yams.
Step 5: Empanada making time!
Make an egg wash by mixing 1 egg with about a teaspoon of water in a bowl.
It's easiest to make the empanadas in the palm of your had. Pick up a round of dough in your palm. Brush one half of the inside edge with egg wash. Fill with 1/3 cup of filling. Fold the dough over the filling, so the egg wash side meets the dry side. With your other hand, pinch the top edges closed, then pinch down each side to the points.
When the dough is pinched closed, go around the outside edge of the empanada again, pressing so there is a lip about a half-inch wide, all along the pinched edge. Lay on clean counter and press lightly with the tines of a fork, all along the edge, being careful not to pierce the body of the empanada. Continue with the rest of the empanadas in the same manner. (The edge of the dough could be turned over instead of pressed.)
Keep the remaining egg wash!
When your empanadas are all sealed (you should have 8-12, depending on how much you filled them), place on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper) and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425 F degrees.
After 30 minutes, remove empanadas from fridge and brush the tops with egg wash. Sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt. Bake until dough is brown and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Ovens vary, and the temperature is hot, so check at 15 minutes and keep checking!
Remove from oven, let cool slightly and serve with some of your coleslaw (if you didn’t use it all in the filling).