Sunday, December 20, 2009


Bolivian Salteñas

I made this dish on Sunday, December 20 for Andy, my older sister Betsey and my parents. I chose to make this dish because it is the national dish of Bolivia. I guess in Bolivia it is usually eaten as a late breakfast meal. We ate it for dinner. It was a hit! Every bite was a little different: sometimes salty, sometimes sweet. I would definitely make these again, although they take a bit of planning because the filling has to gel overnight.

I made this almost a month ago and am just now getting around to writing about it. If I recall, the process was quite simple, even though there are a lot of steps.

Here is the recipe I used, slightly adapted from the original.

Salteña filling
(to be made a day ahead of time and left to gel in the refrigerator overnight)

Ingredients:-3 T. butter
-2 c. white onion, chopped
-1 1/2 cups gelatin (I dissolved 1-2 packets in 1 1/2 c. boiling water)
-1/2 c. canned red chile sauce
-salt and sugar to taste
-cumin and oregano to taste (2 - 3 teaspoons of each)
-1 lb. ground beef
-1 c. cooked peas (I used canned)
-1 c. potato, peeled, cubed and cooked
-1/2 c. raisins
-2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
-5 black olives (watch out for the pits)

1) Fry the onions until soft.
2) When onions are soft, add the cumin, oregano, salt and sugar. Stir and fry for a couple of minutes.
3) Then, add the meat and continue frying. When the meat is browing add the chile sauce and cook a little while longer then remove and let cool.
4) When cool, mix the gelatin, potatoes and peas into the mixture. Refrigerate until the next day.

Salteña Dough
Ingredients:-6 c. flour
-6 T. butter
-2 egg yolks
-1/2 c. milk
-1 T. sugar
-1 1/2 c. cool water
-1 tsp. salt

1)Sift the flour into a bowl, add salt and sugar.
2) Melt the butter and add to the flour. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well and knead for 5 mins.

Making the Salteñas:
1) Roll out the dough into a sausage and cut into pieces large enough to roll into circles about 2 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick.
2) Add filling to each circle, then top with raisins, egg and olives as desired.
3) Brush the edges of the circle with egg or milk and fold over to seal the Salteñas shut. Make an edge by pressing your fingers along the seal.
4) Place onto a well greased baking tray and glaze the Salteñas with milk or egg.
5) Cook for 20 to 30 minutes in a oven pre heated to 572F- until golden.
6) Leave standing on a cooling tray for 10 mins before eating.

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