Time to Cook
For the steak and salsa
For the empanada crust
For the chimichurri-inspired dipping sauce
For the steak and salsa: Prepare a grill for high heat. Use tongs and an old, clean kitchen towel to brush the grates with a neutral cooking oil, like vegetable or canola. Place drained wood chips in an aluminum foil pan, then place the pan directly on top of coals on the grill. When the chips begin to smoke, grill the steak, turning once, until charred on both sides but rare in the center, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice steak and cut into small pieces. Transfer the steak pieces to a large bow and set aside until ready to use.
Grill the tomatoes, onion, and garlic, turning occasionally until charred on all sides—about 5 minutes for the garlic, 9 minutes for the onion, and 16 minutes for the tomatoes. Peel the garlic, then transfer to the jar of a blender, along with the tomatoes and onion.
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock and the chiles guajillos, chiles de árbol, bay leaf, salt, oregano, and pepper to a boil. Cover the pot, remove from the heat, and let sit for 30 minutes until the chiles are soft. Transfer mixture to the jar of the blender with the charred vegetables and puree on medium-low speed until almost smooth. Don’t be tempted to increase the speed or you will get an airy, smoothie-like consistency; it’s better to have a chunky salsa than a smoothie. Transfer to the bowl with the steak and toss to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
For the empanada crust: Blend flour, paprika, and salt in a food processor. Add lard and pulse to combine until a coarse meal forms. Add ¼ cup very cold water and the tequila; process until moist clumps form, adding more water 1 teaspoon at a time if the dough is dry. Gather the dough into a ball. Divide dough in half, then flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours or up to 24.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Roll out 1 dough disk on a lightly floured surface to ⅛-inch thick. Cut into 4-inch rounds. Place 1 rounded tablespoon of the steak filling in the center of each dough round. Top the filling on each with scant 1 teaspoon queso fresco.
Lightly brush dough edges with the egg glaze. Fold dough over the filling, enclosing the filling completely. Using a fork, seal the crust edges. Transfer empanadas to prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the second dough disk, remaining filling, and cheese. Gather and reroll any dough scraps and cut out additional rounds until all dough is used. (These can be made 1 day ahead. Cover the empanadas and remaining egg glaze separately and chill.)
Preheat the grill or oven to 375°F. Brush the tops of the empanadas with remaining egg glaze and, using a small knife, poke a few steam holes in each empanada. Bake the empanadas until the crust is golden, about 28 minutes. Serve warm.
For chimichurri-inspired dipping sauce: Stir the serranos, scallion, cilantro or parsley, lime juice, olive oil, and salt together in a small bowl until well-combined. Set aside until ready to serve with the warm empanadas.
Nutrition information per serving (1 empanada): 320 Calories; 175 Calories from fat; 20 g Total Fat (7.5 g Saturated Fat; 9.3 g Monounsaturated Fat); 31.1 mg Cholesterol; 615.2 mg Sodium; 23.8 g Total Carbohydrate; 1.2 g Dietary Fiber; 9.5 g Protein; 2 mg Iron; 84 mg Potassium; 0.2 mg Thiamin; 0.2 mg Riboflavin; 3.4 mg Niacin (NE); 0.1 mg Vitamin B6; 0.5 mcg Vitamin B12; 1.4 mg Zinc; 8 mcg Selenium; 16.8 mg Choline.
This recipe is an excellent source of Vitamin B12. It is a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Iron, Selenium, and Zinc.