Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tasty Meat Pastries

Pasteles de la carne
These meat pastries are something my mom and I have been making for years with leftover taco meat. They're simple, delicious, and filling.

I'm not sure what to call these since "Meat Pies" sounds unappetizing to me. I'd hate to call them empanadas since they aren't really empanadas. Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

Meat Pastries

Leftover taco meat (preferably ground beef that you cooked with taco sauce)
2 refrigerated pie crusts, your own or Pillsbury's works fine (in the cheese section)
shredded sharp cheddar (or your favorite cheese)
you can add any spices you desire to the filling

Tools: a biscuit cutter, silpat, cookie sheet, cheese grater, fork, knife, and oven

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1.) Roll out pie crust dough so that it's about half as thick. Cut out circles with the large biscuit cutter and set aside. Repeat until pie crust is used up.

2.) You will need 2 circles of pie crust per pastry. Stretch out the bottom circle slightly. Place the cooked taco meat along with a large pinch of shredded cheese on the center of the circle. Take the second circle and place on top. Pinch together the sides to create an empanada-like pastry. Use a fork to crimp the edges of the pies. Cut 2 slits into the top (for steam release) and sprinkel the top of the pastry with more shredded cheese (without blocking the slits).

3.) Cook in a 350-375 degree oven until slightly golden brown (about 15-25 minutes).

Notes: These will last a long time in an airtight container in the fridge. Perfect for snacks, appetizers, or meals. I find them quite filling.

Variations: Add your favorite spice, hot sauce, or vegetable to the pies for more complexity. You can use any leftover ground meat and any cheese that compliments the meat. These don't have to be Mexican-style. Experiment!


Erin said...

"Pastel" is more the word for sweet cakes, so the images that comes to mind with "pasteles de carne" is far less appetizing to me than "meat pies". :) You could call them empanadas, since they do bear at least a visual resemblance to those meat pies.

Gourmetish said...

Thanks, Erin! I thought pastel sounded a bit dessert-like. I'll just call them meat pastries for now since I wouldn't want anyone to think that I thought these were real empanadas. I just edited my post so that I don't sound like a complete idiot for using the wrong word! Thanks again.

Erin said...

Hey, no problem. I'd probably call them "fake empanadas" if I made them. ;) By the way, I'm here via Slashfood--some weeks ago someone posted links to a bunch of San Diego food blogs, so now I subscribe to a few of them, including yours.

Gourmetish said...

Thanks for checking out my blog, Erin! I just went to a bunch of new restaurants recently and I'll try to post reviews soon.