1 ½ call-purpose flour(+ a few tablespoon for dusting your work surface)
½ cwhite onion(minced)
1 lblean ground beef
1 pincheach, salt & pepper
¼ teaspoonground cumin
¼ teaspoonsmoked paprika
In a small to medium saucepan, melt the lard over low heat. Immediately add salt and the very warm water to melted lard, stir to dissolve the salt. Place the all-purpose flour in a food processor, or the bowl of your stand mixer.
If using a food processor, with the food processor on add half the melted lard through the feed tube. Add the remaining half of the melted lard, and pulse to combine.
If using a stand mixer, turn the mixer to low setting and slowly add the liquid until thoroughly incorporated.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead just enough to form a smooth dough. Shape into a flat round disc, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until cool.
Melt the lard in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the minced onion and saute until turning lightly golden, then add the lean ground beef and seasoning including salt, pepper, cumin, and smoked paprika. Cook until the ground beef is lightly browned and no longer pink inside.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the chilled empanada dough as thin as possible, at least ⅛ inch in thickness. Cut rounds that are about 6 inches in diameter (and I usually make mine a bit oval rather than round). If needed, you can re-roll the dough once and cut out more rounds.
Portion out the meat mixture between your 6 cut out rounds, placing on one side of the dough and leaving a ½ inch border around the filling to seal the empanadas. Fold the dough over the meat filling and crimp the edges together. You can also use a bit of water on the edges to help seal the edges. I used the tines of a fork to also crimp the rounded edge of the empanadas (as I did, and as seen in the photos).
Place the beef empanadas on your parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F (204 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Turn the empanadas and cook the opposite side for an additional 10 minutes, or until both sides are a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.