This recipe was super easy to convert to soaking, as it already had an acidic liquid included. Traditionally the liquid is white wine, I've made it this way also and it works very well. Either way, this is very simple and delicious.
3 cups whole grain flour (I like plain wheat for this)
3/4 cup lard (butter may be substituted with good results, some bacon fat is also delicious!)
3/4 cup water + 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or replace with another acid)
Mix together, until dough forms a loose shaggy ball. You might not need all of the liquid, try to use the least amount that will make the dough come together in one mass. Let this sit for 8-12 hours to "soak" the flour.
Chill for at least 1/2 hour in refrigerator to make rolling easier. I like to roll this out between parchment paper, and separate the dough into two pieces. Roll each piece out to about 1/8- 1/4 inch thickness, or a bit thinner than you would for a pie crust.
Cut the dough into circles, I use a large can from canned tomatoes. The larger the form is, the easier that it will be to fill the pies and seal them.
For filling, you may use any meat pie recipe, I have also had seafood fillings and vegetarian fillings with summer squash, onions, peppers, etc. See below for my filling recipe. Place about a tablespoon of the filling on one half of the circle, and fold dough over, and seal edges. This is similar to the process for a ravioli. The dough shouldn't need a water seal on the edges, but sometimes the dough is a bit too dry. If sealing is difficult, simply use your finger, dip in water and brush over one half of the edge (in a semi-circle on the edges.) Then fold over and seal.
Fry in a pan with lard (traditional), a mix of butter and unrefined oil (such as regular olive oil) can be used also. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat each side. Dough will be nicely browned and crisped when done.
Traditional Empanada Meat Filling
8- 10 oz. of ground meat (a mix of beef and pork is delicious) but chicken is also very good
1 onion, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 Tablespoon fresh
1 teaspoon paprika (optional, but good to include)
1 ripe tomato (optional)
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
Brown meat over medium heat, add in onion and garlic after about 3-4 minutes in pan. Cook until meat is done through. Add in the seasonings, tomatoes and paste. Turn heat off and stir to combine. It is a good idea to let the filling sit for a few minutes, and then put in a colander or strainer to get the liquid out. This will make the filling drier and easier to use as filling in the dough. This may be made a few days ahead and kept in the refrigerator, or even frozen for a month or two.
I am happy to post this at Pennywise Platter Thursday and Real Food Wednesdays- stop by to see lots of great recipes!