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Venison

cartoon by @Justlovefood,Leith 2012
EMPANADAS are the best street food to come out of Chile and so versatile.
Traditionally eaten for Independence day and Week ends,when usually the start of the meal will begin with an Empanda cooked in a Clay Oven.
You can fill them with whatever you fancy, from Beef to Seafood or Veggies.
This recipe calls for Scottish Venison or Scottish Beef
For the Filling you will need:
1 kg  Venison( 700 grams Venison / 300 grams Minced Pork Collar).You can get the venison from your local butcher,or Topside or Sirloin,chopped by hand to a chunky mince.
2  Onions chopped in little cubes( 2 Big White Cooking Onion,around 2 cups)
2 Garlic cloves,chopped finely
4 Spoons of Oil( rapeseed oil)
Raisins,but for Venison use dry Cherries or Cranberries( soaked in Whisky ! obviously !), this will give it a bit of sweetness.
1 cup of good Beef stock or Venison stock- Make your stock with pure Beer or if using ready made, dissolve it in warm beer,a great option is Innis & Gunn Original Oak Aged Beer.
1 tea spoon Marmite
1tea spoon ground cumin
4 Bay leaves
Pinch of Nutmeg
1 teaspoon oregano or marjoram( Dry)
1 teaspoon of Chile Powder
1 tea spoon of Paprika
1 teaspoon Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Kalamata Olives( One per Empanada, and remove the stone)
6 Hard Boiled Eggs( Ideally Duck eggs, I just Love them ! ).
1 Egg for egg wash
2 Nips single malt
Instructions
Filling
Soak the Dry Cherries in a bit of boiling water with the single malt until they plump up.( around 1 Hour).
In the meantime prepare the meat and the rest of the ingredients.
Finely dice the Venison/beef meat and mix with the minced Pork.
Fry the meat in oil and all the seasoning,( pepper, salt, Bay leaves,Cumin, Oregano,Paprika, Chile Powder,pinch of nutmeg )when brown add the onion and garlic and continue frying until onion turns translucent.
Add the stock and the reserved water from the soaked cherries, also add the marmite and  English Mustard, stir, bring to boil.
Reduce heat and cook for about three hours in simmer mode or the lowest heat.
Add the cherries, stir and take off heat.
When cool, place in airtight container in fridge,reserve until next day.
It is very important to do the filling the day before, in this way all the flavours mature and become so much tastier.
Next day…….
Prepare the dough
Boil the eggs,peel and cut in two halves ( one half egg per Empanada)
Prepare the olives ( One Olive per Empanada )

Ingredients for the Dough
1 kilo Plain Flour
1 Spoon full of Baking Powder
1 tea spoon Hebridean Sea salt
200 grams Lard ( from Pig)
1 teaspoon Butter ( Just makes it nicer ! )
1cup of Milk
1/4 cup of Innis & Gunn Original Oak Aged Beer – Beer for dissolving the salt.
1 tbsp cornflour
To make the dough, place the flour on a kneading surface in a pile and make a hole in the middle, like making a Volcano crater.This crater is to pour later all the rest of the ingredients.
Mix beer and salt and bring to boil in small pot.At the same time, melt the lard in a different pot in slow heat.When both are hot, pour in crater of flour and mix well,then add the milk and knead softly with your hands until smooth and blended.
You want a soft and not sticky dough.
Let rest for 1/2 Hour
Using a rolling pin, roll dough  enough to divide in two.In this way it is easier to roll and then cut your Rounds about 2 to 3 cm in thickness and around 20 cm in Diameter.
Once you have all your dough rounds, spread all of them on floured surface. Start placing a heaped soup spoon of filling in middle of each round, the half of boiled Egg and one Olive.
If you really like Olives like I do, use two ! or three !
Wet the outer dough circle ends with warm water, fold and press to close.
Once the circle is closed, wet sides and fold over towards center.
You are trying to make a square shape out of a circle.
Then wet the bottom and fold towards the center, in between the side folds.
Or you could do a Triangle shape.Triangle shapes are used to indicate that the Empanada is extra hot !
 Brush the Empanadas with Egg wash or warm Milk, pinch with a cocktail stick 2 or 3 times and place in buttered and floured tray. Cook in moderate heat ,oven( 200C) for about 40 minutes, until golden and crisp !
Serve on its own or with a nice Hot salsa or Pebre on the side and a nice Glass of Cider – we would drink Chicha in Chile, but a good strong Apple cider will do just Fine !
Well now  I am absolutely drooling !
meeting tomorrow to develop this recipe commercially !
cross fingers it all goes well
Thanks for Reading this traditional Adopted Scottish recipe.
Big Thanks to my Mum, sister and Nanny Eliana !
Copyright@Justlovefood Leith
Adapted family recipe to Scottish inspiration
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