Beef Salteñas

Beef Salteñas

These meat-filled savories are a beloved mid-morning snack in Bolivia. The dough of this delicacy is colored with ground annatto, an ingredient and dye used throughout Latin America.

Beef Salteñas
Serves: 12
Chuck steak cooked with a variety of vegetables and spices is a classic filling for salteñas.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground annatto
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Beef Filling (recipe follows)
  • 12 pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat butter and annatto over medium heat until bubbly, approximately 2 minutes. Stir into flour mixture (mixture will be crumbly). Gradually stir in ½ cup boiling water. Stir in egg yolk.
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead dough until smooth, approximately 2 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 8 hours before using.
  4. Preheat oven to 425°. Line several rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Divide dough into 12 portions. On a lightly floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll out each dough portion to a 4½×5½-inch oval. Place 2 teaspoons Beef Filling, 2 olive halves, and 1 hard-cooked egg quarter in center of each dough oval.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg and 1 teaspoon water until foamy to make an egg wash. Brush egg wash onto edges of dough ovals. Fold dough ovals lengthwise over filling and press dough edges together to seal.
  7. Beginning at one end of each dough semi-circle, fold over a corner of edge to make a small right angle. Continue folding over and crimping small portions of dough edge to achieve a braided look. Place Salteñas, braided edges up, on prepared baking sheets. Freeze until firm, approximately 30 minutes.
  8. Brush Salteñas with remaining egg wash.
  9. Bake until golden brown and heated through, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve warm.
Make-Ahead Tip: Salteñas can be made ahead and frozen unbaked. Store in an airtight container with layers separated by parchment paper. Bring Salteñas to room temperature approximately 30 minutes before baking. Brush with egg wash and bake according to recipe.

Beef Filling
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup beef stock, divided
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 ounces beef chuck steak, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons seeded and chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons frozen green peas
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  1. In a small bowl, stir together gelatin and ¼ cup beef stock until gelatin dissolves.
  2. In a heavy-bottom medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook, stirring frequently, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, peas, paprika, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper; cook for approximately 2 minutes. Add remaining ¾ cup beef broth and potatoes; cook, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin mixture until it is dissolves. Refrigerate filling until set and thickened, 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.


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