Green Chile Runza
About two bites into a batch of bierocks, green chile came to mind. Hamburger, onions and cabbage are great, but they ain't green chile.
For the filling
2 pounds 80-20 ground chuck
2 cups green chile sauce
8 ounces grated Monterrey Jack or Queso Blanco
1 onion chopped
2 to 3 serrano chiles chopped, optional
For the buns
¾ cup milk
¾ cup water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon highly active, instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 large eggs: one whisked by itself, another whisked in a little water for egg wash
For the filling
• Brown the beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain the browned beef in a colander and use a wooden spoon to break up clumps of beef.
• Wipe the skillet clean, reheat over medium-high heat and combine sauce and beef. Lower heat to medium and simmer 10 to 20 minutes, until sauce has reduced out liquid and combined well with beef.
• Remove from heat and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
• Grease a large mixing bowl with butter. Combine water, butter and milk in a two-cup measuring cup and microwave for 90 seconds.
• Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with flour, salt and yeast. Using the dough hook, stir the dry ingredients about 30 seconds.
• Test the water-milk-butter mixture, making sure the temperature doesn't exceed 110 degrees. Mix well to ensure sugar is dissolved.
• With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the water, milk, butter and sugar. Then add the beaten egg. Mix at low another minute, then increase the speed to medium.
• Mix at medium 4 minutes. If the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl and off the bottom, it's ready. If it's not, continue mixing up to 4 more minutes. If it's two wet, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it becomes tacky.
• Transfer dough to greased bowl, cover with plastic and store in a warm place until it's doubled in size, about an hour. I like to let the dough rise in the unheated oven.
Finish the filling
• Combine cooled beef with cheese, onions and serranos (if using). Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to use.
Prepare for baking
• Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the paper so it doesn't hang over the sides or else it will get in the way.
• Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and pull out 10 or 12 equal portions. Place the portions on the baking sheets, and cover with plastic. Let stand 5 minutes.
• Remove one ball at a time from the covered sheets and, using a rolling pin, roll out into 5 ½- to 6-inch rounds. Top with ¼ cup of filling if you're making 12 or 1/3 cup if you're making 10. Pinch the edges of the dough together around the filling. Initially, it'll look like a large empanada. Flip pastry and fold dough underneath. Use your hand to form into ovals and place folded side down back under the plastic. Repeat until dough is exhausted. Make sure runzas are at least 2 inches apart and let rise another 45 minutes.
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
• Remove plastic wrap from baking sheets, and brush pastries with egg wash. Bake runzas for 11 minutes. After 11 minutes, swap baking sheets and bake another 11 minutes.
• When runzas are golden brown, remove from oven and allow to cool on wire racks for 15 minutes.
• Serve with fresh guacamole.
Sources: Filling by Dave Cathey, food editor;
Pastry adapted from Cook's Country (July 2012)