Beef Empañadas & Romesco Sauce
Empañadas are a classic Spanish Tapas dish. They are similar to the Italian calzones or the Arabic meat-filled pies called samosa. Traditionally eaten as street food, empañadas are ideal for snacking on the go, but are just as satisfying for a simple tapas style dinner. My fragrant beef filling draws on a number of influences—Spanish, Puerto Rican and Argentinean flavors. Often empañadas use pie crust dough to enclose the filling and then fried. I like baking my empañadas and using frozen puff pastry for its light and flaky texture.
I like pairing regional cuisine with regional wines. Pair an Argentina or Rioja Spain medium to medium-full bodied red wine with these empañadas. The Argentinean Bodega Elena de Mendoza 2009 blended Malbec, Syrah and Bonarda creating a massive fruit bomb to explosive baking spice flavors. The bold spices in the meat filling harmonized with the Bodega, but the pleasing smooth finish of toasted oak and coffee married with the buttery pastry crust of the tapas.
Norpie’s Fork Tip:
Pressed for time? The meat filling can be prepared 1 day ahead and kept refrigerated. The filling can also be frozen up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge over night for a quick evening dinner or a snack on the go.
Norpie’s Cork Pairing:
•Bodega Elena de Mendoza Red Blend 2010 – A good Argentine combination of Malbec, Syrah & Bonarda with a big fruit profile, toasty oak & a slightly sweet kick. Less than $10.00 a bottle.