1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion, diced
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers (depending on desired level of heat), diced and seeds removed
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes (undrained)
2 packages frozen empanada pastry disks, thawed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Soak raisins in enough dark rum to completely submerge the raisins (if you don’t want to use rum, hot water will work too).
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, sautee ground beef, breaking up the meat into small morsels. Cook approximately five minutes or until no pink shows; skim off excess fat.
Add onions and jalapeño peppers to pan and cook for another five minutes.
Add tomatoes (including juice) to pan, stir in chili powder and oregano. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Drain the raisins and fold into the beef mixture.
Chop cilantro leaves and stir into beef mixture; let mixture cool to room temperature.
Prepare a work surface by covering it with flour. With a rolling pin, gently roll out an empanada disk.
Place approximately two heaping tablespoons of empanada mixture into the center of the pastry disk. Dip a pastry brush in water and moisten the outer edge of half of the disk; fold disk in half and use a fork to press the edges together.
Repeat for each empanada, re-flouring your work surface as necessary.
Place empanadas on a cookie sheet and bake approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown.