Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl combine the masa harina, flour, Southwest Essence, salt, and pepper; mix thoroughly. Cut the lard into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the water a little at a time, stirring gently. Knead the dough several times on a lightly floured surface, touching the dough as little as possible. Form the dough into a log about 12 inches long by 3 inches across and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Season the duck meat with 1 teaspoon of the Southwest Essence. When the pan is smoking hot, add the duck and stir-fry for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the corn, peppers, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper and the remaining 1 teaspoon of Essence. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the shallots and garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the stock and bring to a boil.
Combine the remaining 1/2 cup stock with the cornstarch and whisk into the filling mixture. Cook for 5 minutes over high heat. Remove from the heat and strain off the gravy. Return the gravy to a small saucepan and bring up to a gentle boil and let reduce for 5 minutes. Allow meat mixture to cool slightly.
Divide the dough into 8 equal sections. Carefully roll each piece out between sheets of plastic wrap into a 5-inch circle. The dough must be handled with care to keep it from cracking. Brush the dough rounds with some of the egg wash. Mound the filling in the middle of each round of dough, fold over to form a half-moon pie shape, and crimp the edges with a fork. Brush the tops of the empanadas with more egg wash; place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice and fresh chopped cilantro together. Mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, spoon the gravy on the bottom of each plate. Place an empanada in the center of the plate. Dab the cilantro cream on top. Garnish with fresh cilantro and additional Essence, if desired.
Yield: 8 appetizer-size servings