These empanadas are a healthy version of the beloved dish in two ways: first, the dough is made with 70% oat flour and 30% whole-wheat flour. Second, they are baked, not fried, making them both healthier and easier to create at home.
For the dough:
3 cups (270 g) whole oats
1 cup (120 g) whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup (57 g) lard or butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (240 mL) boiling water
For the filling:
1/2 pound (450 g) ground beef
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon pimentón dulce or sweet paprika
Large pinch of cayenne pepper
Beef or chicken broth, as necessary, or use water
1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and roughly chopped
Make the oat flour:
- Place 3 cups whole oats in a food processor or blender. Blend until you have a fine flour.
- Measure out 2 ¼ cups of the oat flour and mix it with 1 cup of whole-wheat flour in a medium bowl.
Make the dough:
- Put 1 cups boiling water, 1/4 cup butter or lard, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large mixing bowl. Stir to melt lard and dissolve salt.
- Cool to room temperature, then gradually stir in the flour until you have a firm dough.
- Knead gently for 2-3 minutes, then wrap the dough and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
Make the filling:
- Season chopped beef generously with salt and pepper and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Melt 3 tablespoons lard or oil in a large pan. Add the beef and fry until nicely browned, about 5 minutes, then add the onion and cook for the 10 minutes more.
- Add the potatoes, garlic, thyme, and oregano, season again with salt and pepper, then stir in the tomato paste, pimenton, and cayenne, then a cup of broth or water. Turn the heat down to a simmer.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes, until meat and potatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened.
- Taste and add salt and cayenne according to your preference. Stir in the scallions, then let the filling cool.
- Once filling is cool, stir in the sliced hard-cooked eggs.
Shape the empanadas:
- Divide the chilled dough into 16 equal balls. Roll each piece into a circle a little larger than the palm of your hand (about 5 inches / 12.5 centimeters across).
- Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling in the center of each circle.
- Moisten the outer edge of each round with water, then fold each circle into a half-circle, pressing the edges together with the tines of a fork.
- If you wish, you can make the edges perfectly smooth by trimming them with a paring knife or pizza cutter.
Bake the empanadas:
- Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C.
- Place empanadas on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush the tops with melted butter or lard and bake for 15 minutes.
Serve with your favorite salsa and a side salad!