African Beef Turnovers

Flaky two-bite pastries filled with spicy, nutty beef.  Probably the most popular hors d'oeuvre I serve.


For the dough:

2 sticks butter (1 cup), room temperature

1 package cream cheese (8 ounces), room temperature

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt


For filling:

1 pound ground sirloin

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 medium onion, diced

1 tomato, diced

3 tablespoons prepared crunchy peanut butter

      The Recipe

Make dough:  In a medium bowl, combine ingredients and mix well with hands.  Pat it into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours.


Make filling:  In a medium skillet, brown ground sirloin in a little olive oil.  Season with salt and red pepper flakes.  Stir in onion and tomato and let simmer, uncovered, 10 - 15 minutes, until onion is tender and most of the liquid has cooked off.  Remove from heat and fold in peanut butter.  Allow to cool down a bit.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. (I use the convection setting for these).


Flour a surface, cut dough in half and roll until about 1/8" thick.  Using a round 2" cookie cutter, cut out pastry rounds.  Flatten with hand.  Place one teaspoon filling off-center, fold dough over and crimp edges with a fork.

Place turnovers on a ungreased baking sheet and cook for 8 - 12 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and sprinkle tops with a dusting of salt.  Makes 48.  Note:  Freezes well - after cooking, allow to cool on baking sheet, place in freezer uncovered and when frozen, transfer to a plastic bag to store.  To reheat:  place frozen turnovers on baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.



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