Cheesy Beef Empanadas


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion (diced)
1 jalapeño (deseeded and diced (optional))
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 lb ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon ground dried oregano
12-15 6-inch round empanada wrappers*
8 oz Colby jack cheese (freshly grated)
1 egg
2 tablespoons water


Preheat the oven to 375°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, a silicone baking mat or spray with non-stick spray.
Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion once hot. Cook, stirring often, until the onion becomes translucent. Then add the jalapeño and cook for another three minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, or until it becomes fragrant.
Add the beef and sprinkle in the salt, pepper, cumin and oregano and stir to combine.
Cook, breaking up the beef and stirring often, until the beef turns a dark brown color and has cooked through. Drain off the rendered fat, set the pan aside and let it cool for 10 minutes.
Once cooled, add a spoonful of it to the center of an empanada wrapper and add a tablespoon of cheese on top.
Fold it in half, pinch the edges around the border and twist the edges into a classic empanada border or use a fork to press in the edges to seal.
Add empanadas to the two baking trays, leaving room for spreading. Beat the egg and water together in a small bowl and brush it over the empanadas.
Bake empanadas for 25 to 27 minutes or until light and golden on the top. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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