I clearly remember where I was the first time I tried an empanada.
The buttery & flaky pastry dough filled with the spicy-saucy meat. I never knew something like this existed. I needed to get my hands on more of these babies immediately.
Enter the pulled pork empanada.
These pulled pork empanadas are a little twist on the authentic Spanish beef ones.
Plus if you are someone who keeps pastry dough in the freezer (not me) and if you happened to make pulled pork the night before (yes me!) you can whip these up in no time.
If you don't have the ingredients readily available no worries. Making the pastry dough is, I find, therapeutic and the pulled pork takes literally 2 minutes to prepare.
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for when you roll out your dough
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 10 minutes
1 1/4 cups ice water
1lb pork shoulder (make friends with your butcher, he'll hook you up)
1/2 bottle, or so, of Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce.
Cook pulled pork in slow cooker on low for 6 hours.
Shred and let cool. This is a great step to do the night before.
When you are ready to assemble the empanadas, add a little more BBQ sauce to loosen.
You can also find the pulled pork recipe here.
In a large mixing bowl mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter, your fingers, or a fork, crush the butter until butter pieces are no larger than small peas.
Transfer the flour mixture to a large mixing bowl. Working with 1/4 cup of water at a time, sprinkle the water over the flour mixture and stir using a rubber spatula. Press the mixture against the side of the bowl to form a dough, until no small bits of flour remain. (You may not need to use all of the water).
* for the ice water, I put 1 cup of cold water in a bowl and add in a bunch of ice cubes. Then use a measuring cup to take out the necessary amount.
Divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll each dough into a ball, then flatten the ball into a 6-inch disk. Wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate. Between 2 and 24 hours.
Once the dough is ready preheat oven to 425. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out rounds and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.
Place a tablespoon of pulled pork in the middle of each round. Seal the dough around the filling, using the ends of a fork to crimp the edges shut. Repeat with second disk of dough and second prepared baking sheet.
Brush empanadas with the egg. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets half way. If you are baking one sheet at a time, keep the other baking sheet in the fridge. Let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve with barbecue sauce or mustard if desired.