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Empanada Lady's Beef Empanadas

2 lbs. ground sirloin or round
1/2 C. diced onion
1 T. paprika
1 T. ground black pepper
1 T. ground cumin
1 T. garlic powder
4 t. salt, divided
1/2 C. plus 4 t. granulated sugar, divided
1/2 lb. peeled, cubed and cooked potatoes
1/2 C. cooked peas (or frozen peas, thawed)
1/2 C. raisins
1/2 C. black olives, chopped
4 C. self-rising flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 C. shortening
1 1/4 C. lukewarm water

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large skillet, brown beef and onion, stirring constantly. Add paprika, black pepper, cumin, garlic, 3 teaspoons salt and sugar. Mix in potatoes, peas, raisins and olives.

In a medium bowl, lightly stir together flour, baking powder, remaining 4 teaspoons sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water a little at a time, mixing. Shape dough into large ball. Divide into equal pieces, carefully shaping into large or small balls, as desired. Roll each ball into a circle.

Place about 2 tablespoons meat filling on each pastry circle, working it to about 1/2-inch of edge. Moisten dough slightly with water, fold in half to form a crescent and press edges together with tines of a fork.

Place empanadas on a greased baking sheet; bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Makes 15 large or 30 small empanadas.

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