by Clay Conley | June 6, 2018

Braised Short Rib Empanadas with Aji Amarillo and Salsa Criolla Recipe from Chef Clay Conley

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Short rib empanadas at Buccan; Photography by Andy Ryan

BRAISED SHORT RIB EMPANADAS WITH AJI AMARILLO AND SALSA CRIOLLA

Yields 8 empanadas
  • 1 ½ pounds short rib or chuck flap meat, trimmed and cleaned
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup mirepoix (roughly chopped onions, carrots, celery)
  • 2 cups red cooking wine
  • 1 cup veal demi-glace
  • 1 quart white chicken stock, such as Swanson
  • 8 empanada shells, such as Goya, thawed
  • Oil for frying
  • Aji amarillo aioli
  • Salsa criolla
  • 2 teaspoons cilantro, chiffonade
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

PREPARATION: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pat the meat dry with a paper towel. Season the flour and the short ribs with salt and pepper. Dredge meat in flour. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Sear the meat on all sides, then remove from the pan and discard the oil. Add the mirepoix and cook until lightly browned, then deglaze with the red wine and reduce until almost dry. Once reduced, add the veal demi-glace and the chicken stock, and bring to a simmer. Add the meat and return to a simmer. Place meat and liquid in a deep baking dish and cover. Bake for two hours or until tender enough to shred with a fork. Remove from the oven, uncover and allow to cool to room temperature.

Remove the meat and strain the liquid. Finely chop the meat and add a little of the liquid back to the meat to moisten it slightly. Reduce the rest of the cooking liquid to sauce consistency. Wrap approximately 3 tablespoons meat in each empanada skin, and gently fold the edges to seal them. Fry the empanadas in 350-degree oil until golden brown and heated through.

Spoon some of the reduced cooking liquid onto plates and place the empanadas on top. Drizzle the empanadas with the aji amarillo aioli, and top with some of the salsa criolla. Garnish with the chiffonade cilantro.

Salsa Criolla

  • ¼ cup red onion, diced fine
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, finely diced
  • ½ cup champagne vinegar
  • Kosher salt

PREPARATION: Combine the red onion, red bell pepper and champagne vinegar in a bowl. Season with salt.

Aji Amarillo Aioli

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup sliced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon aji amarillo pepper paste
  • Kosher salt

PREPARATION: In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and lightly saute the sliced garlic until translucent. Add the lemon and lime juice and cook until tender. Puree garlic, lime juice, mayonnaise and aji amarillo paste in blender. Season to taste with salt. Add more or less aji amarillo for desired level of spiciness.

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