Next stop for today is in Argentina…and for sure, Messi did not disappoint yesterday! I though was so funny, one of the commentators was so agitated about the match and he could not stop talking about Messi…and empanadas. For sure he was Argentinian!
Argentinian food culture is known around the world for its rich flavors, particularly famous for its beef. Beef empanadas are served as appetizers or as a simple, everyday lunch or dinner. You don’t need a reason to have these divine beef filled pastry pockets.
There are two main types of Argentinian empanadas: the Tucuman or the Salta style. The cooking technique used differentiate them: Tucuman empanadas are fried, where the Salta empanadas are simply baked without the addition of fat or oil. I always prefer baked option, so I’ve made the Salta ones.
I found Argentinian empanada recipe to be fairly simple. To make the filling, all you need is onion, garlic, butter, paprika, chili flakes, beef mince, boiled eggs, green olives, spring onions and oregano leaves. The dough is pretty simple to do too. So, no reason not to give them a try! You will be surprised how delicious they are!
- 80 g (3 oz) butter, cubed
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten, plus extra for brushing
- 60 g (2 oz) butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 1 pound/ 400 g beef mince
- 2 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled and roughly chopped
- ½ cup pitted green olives, roughly chopped
- 3 spring onions (scallions), sliced
- 2 tbsp finely chopped oregano leaves
- To make the pastry, put ¾ cup water in a small saucepan over low–medium heat. Add the butter and salt and heat until the butter melts and the salt has dissolved. Remove from the heat.
- Place the flour in a medium-sized bowl, add the water mixture and the egg and stir to form a rough dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 2–3 minutes to form a smooth elastic dough. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- To make the filling, melt the butter in a large frying pan over low-medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic until softened. Add the paprika and chilli flakes and cook until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Return the pan to the heat, add the olive oil and increase the heat to high. Cook the beef, in batches, for 3–4 minutes each, or until browned all over. Remove from the heat.
- Combine the beef with the onion mixture in a medium-sized bowl and set aside for 15 minutes to cool slightly.
- Add the egg, olives, spring onion and oregano and stir to combine. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until cooled.
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper..
- To assemble the empanadas, cut the dough in half (keep one half in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out). Roll out the remaining dough on a lightly floured work surface to 3 mm (¼ inch) thick all over. Using a 10 cm (4 inch) round pastry cutter, cut about 30 round circles.
- Divide half of the filling evenly among the circles, placing tablespoonfuls in the centre of each. Lightly moisten the pastry edges with water and fold in half to enclose the filling and form a half-moon shape. Pinch along the edge to seal and enclose the filling. Arrange the empanadas on the prepared baking trays and brush the tops with the lightly beaten egg. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling until all the mixture is used.
- Cook the empanadas in the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve the empanadas hot with the chimichurri on the side.