Empanadas with picadillo


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, peeled and diced very small
1 cup green pepper, seeded and diced very small
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
16 ounces ground beef
2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
½ cup green olives with pimentos, slice each olive into 4 slices
¼ cup golden raisins
4 hard boiled eggs cut in eights (if desired)

salt and pepper
store-bought empanada shells (muy hojaldrosa style)
1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Cook the onion, green pepper and garlic, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes. Add the cumin and cinnamon then season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste and cook stirring for 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, sherry, parsley, olives and raisins. Cook for 5 minutes, check for seasoning.

Transfer the meat to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold and set, preferably overnight, you want the oils and juices to coagulate so that the filling can easily be scooped and held in the center of the empanadas.

When ready to fry and serve the empanadas, lightly flour your work surface. Place a rounded tablespoonful of filling in center of 1 circle of empanada dough. Add a piece of egg if desired. Brush the edges with the egg wash, fold the circle in half, and seal using the back of a fork. Place on a baking pan. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool for 3-4 minutes before serving.