Whenever I tell people I cook with lard they look at me like I've just told them I like to kick bunnies for fun. Gasp! Mon dieu... quelle horreur?! I know, I know. Lard definitely has a bad rep around these parts, but there's nothing else that quite gives you the same deliciousness. Just ask any tamale or pie crust and taste the difference for yourself.
Since I had some lard leftover from tamale making and fresh peas were in season, I immediately thought of making empanadas filled with harissa, ground beef, peas and carrots. I also made a vegetarian version with chick peas and a butter crust.
Shelling peas and peeling chick peas is definitely a labor of love. I passed the time by watching episodes of The Wire - many of them. Lucky for my finger tips, I had friends to help me form my empanadas.