Flourless Lamb Blueberry Mint Empanadas – lusciously filled pockets of utter goodness!
Just in time for a Cinco De Mayo party, make these luscious and heavenly Flourless Lamb Blueberry Mint Empanadas! The secret to them being “flourless” is none other than my favourite food in the world: PLANTAINS. Yes, these are Plantain Empanadas. Gluten free, dairy free, grain free and completely Paleo; these empanadas work up a mean treat!
I’m in love with empanadas. Where I’m from (Nigeria) we’re more used to calling them “meat pies” and in the UK, they’re basically “hand pies”, “turnovers” or even “patties”. Whatever you call them, these things are bundles of utter goodness! I’ve had them many ways; stuffed with fruit, beef, chicken and even just vegetables. These pockets make your favourite filling pop!
The more I add content to this blog, the more I realise that I’m ridiculously in love with Mexican food. The funny thing is; I know I’m only scratching the surface with the deliciousness Mexican cuisine has to offer! My Mexican Burrito Bowls, Mexican Stuffed Peppers and even my BBQ Chicken Mini Pepper “Nachos” are only some of the dishes I make in my house – I’m still trying to push my inner “Dora The Explorer”!
Yellow or green plantains will work for this recipe, you just need to make sure the plantains are completely soft before you take it off the heat. You can even use a mixture of both. When making the plantain “dough”, make sure you mash as much of the lumps as you can – this will make it so much easier to work with. You can even use a mixer to mash the plantains for you.
Slow cooking the lamb really makes the meat tender and flavourful. An added but optional step would be to pan fry the lamb in it’s juices – sort of “caramelizing” it. I tend to add blueberries to a lot of my meals; I just have so many blueberries lol. They never fail to make my meals pop though but if you don’t like blueberries for whatever reason, feel free to skip.
Do you like Mexican cuisine? What are some of your favourite dishes? Any suggestions for what I could try?
- 600 g lamb
- 1 large onion
- 1 cup chicken or beef broth
- 1 tsp salt (I used Pink Himalayan)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ground paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp of dried mint
- 3 plantains (yellowgreen or mix of both)
- 1 tsp of salt (I used Pink Himalayan)
- 1/2 cup of blueberries (or more if needed)
- 1 egg
- Paprika to sprinkle (optional)
- To make the lamb: add your meat, onions, broth and seasonings to your slow cooker. Set on low for 7-8 hours*
- To make the empanadas:
- Cut off both ends of your plantains and further cut into thirds. Place in a large pot, with a lid and cover with water.
- Add a teaspoon of salt and boil for 15-20mins covered, until skins of plantains split or you can poke a fork all the way through.
- Once done, let your plantains cool just enough for you to handle.
- Optional step: while plantains are cooling, pan fry 1/4 of your lamb with about 2 tablespoons of its juice. Fry on high heat till the edges start to brown, then take off the heat. This is the caramelizing step.
- Mash plantains (can use a mixer) till most of the lumps are gone.
- Grab about 2-3 tablespoons of the plantain dough, roll into a ball and flatten in your hands. If sticky, put a little water on your hands.
- Starting with a teaspoon, add your lamb and a couple of blueberries. Don't overfill or the empanada will not close.
- Fold one half of the empanada on top of itself. Use your fingers (and a little water if needed) to gently press the plantain together. If the plantain starts to break, use the extra mashed plantain to patch together.
- Once done, set on a baking tray or non stick baking paper to rest.
- Preheat your oven to 200C/400F halfway through.
- Once all empanadas are formed, whisk your egg.
- Lightly brush the egg onto your empanadas. Then, sprinkle some paprika on top.
- Place the empanadas in your oven for 15 minutes. Take them out at 7mins to flip over - you can add more egg mixture if you want.
- Serve and enjoy with some salsa, avocado crema or even some cauliflower rice.
* This will depend on how well you want your lamb done, 7 hours on a low setting gave me medium-well
You will have quite a bit of lamb leftover, you can easily freeze for use later. Save the juices as well to perk up the lamb when you want to use it.
One plantain will make 4 empanadas so to make less, reduce accordingly.
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