This recipe is by Lois Ellen Frank, from her book Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations (Ten Speed Press, 2002). Both the venison and the juniper berries are available from mail-order sources. Of course, grape juice or wine would not have been available to the Maya, but Lois has adapted this recipe for the modern kitchen.
Brazil, the largest country in South America, was colonized by the Portuguese hence the spelling empadinhas or empadas. This Bahian-style empada filling can also be made with scallops or for a variation, used in puff pastry.