14. Argentina – Empanadas

There is a restaurant in Buenos Aires called El Sanjuanino that has the most amazing empanadas, with all kinds of different flavours – and I wanted to have a crack at recreating them.

Here’s a beef and cheese and ham empanada that I had from El Sanjuanino
An empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry that is either baked or deep fried. It is very popular in Latin America, but also can be found in South East Asia and Europe. The closest thing I can relate it to is a Cornish pasty!

Empanadas de Carne y Queso (Beef and Cheese Empanadas)
Makes 10
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
6oz butter straight from the fridge, cut into cubes
1 egg
4-5 Tbsp water
Egg wash (1 beaten egg combined with 1 tsp water)

1. Preheat oven to 205 degrees celcius. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl or food processor
2. Add butter, egg and water and mix until it forms a single lump of dough
3. Roll in a ball and place in the fridge for about half an hour
4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface, and cut approx 10 circles (I used a saucer as a template)

5. Add cooled filling to the middle of the pastry circle.

6. Fold in half and press to remove any air. ‘Glue’ the edges together with the egg wash, and crimp around the edges with a fork.

7. Place on a greased baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Beef Filling
500g beef mince
2 small potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled until soft
1 finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/4 cup of olives, finely sliced
2 hardboiled eggs, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup beef stock
1 tsp oil

1. Heat oil in a medium sized pan, fry garlic and onion until soft
2. Add mince and cook until browned
3. Add beef stock and olives and bring to a simmer. Let liquid reduce until it’s almost gone
4. Fold in the eggs and potatoes and leave mixture to cool.
Cheese filling
2.5 cups of grated cheese (I used mozzarella)
1 small onion finely chopped.

Mix cheese and onion together. Spoon the cheese filling into the middle of the pastry and use egg wash to seal as per above.

I was pretty happy with how the empanadas turned out – the pastry was quite different to the ones I had at El Sanjuanino, but was still really good. The beef and cheese fillings were very tasty if I do say so myself!


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