Gosh, I don’t even know where to begin!! This was one of the best experiments that has ever come out of my kitchen!! I have mentioned before that I have yet to prepare my first apple pie, even though I have made thousands of empanadas in the past 10 years. For quite a long time I had the notion to use my tía‘s empanada dough recipe to make a savory pie. I mean what’s the worst that could happen??? Dough would not be cooked all the way through?? Well, I decided to take a chance last week and as my husband, Richard, said, “This pie was out of this world!” You could say this recipe is a keeper!
Yields up to 10 slices
For the Dough:
1 1/4 cups shortening
6 ounces cold, light beer
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
For the Sloppy Joe Filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
1 serrano pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red or orange sweet bell pepper, diced
1 pound 80/20 ground beef
14 ounce can Hunt’s fire roasted tomatoes, diced
8 ounce can of “El Pato” spicy tomato sauce (green can)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper
You Will Also Need:
2 cups white extra sharp cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon water
1/2 tablespoon cornmeal
10 inch pie shell or 10 inch cast-iron pan
1. In a medium bowl, heat the shortening in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, just until melted. Add the 6 ounces of cold beer, stir gently. Add the salt, baking powder and gradually add in the flour until the dough forms and is no longer sticky. Divide the dough into two dough balls, transfer to a clean plate, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
2. In a nonstick skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the onions, serrano, and sweet peppers. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until the onions start to brown. Add the fresh garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
3. Remove the onion mixture from pan and transfer to a bowl, set aside. In that same pan, add the ground beef and season beef with garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cook and break down the beef for 10 to 12 minutes. Add the onion mixture back into the beef, along with the remaining ingredients for sloppy joes. Stir well to combine, reduce heat and cook down, stirring now and then, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Taste for salt as it cooks, adding if needed.
4. Remove the beef from the heat and let cool slightly. Preheat oven to 375ºF. On a lightly floured, flat surface roll out one dough ball to about 12 inches around. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the bottom of pie pan and coat the bottom and sides of pan. Sprinkle the cornmeal evenly to coat the bottom of pan. Carefully transfer the rolled out dough into pie shell. Using your fingers, mold it to the pan shape, coming up the sides of the pan. Fill with beef mixture, top with two cups of cheese. Roll out the other dough ball, place on top of filled pie and use your fingers to pinch and seal the edges. Whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush onto top of pie. Take a sharp knife and make a few slits in center of pie shell. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden brown and flaky. Yields up to 10 slices.
A simple garnish of sliced tomatoes, cilantro and chipotle crema was just perfect for this pie!