My first foray into Empanadas

This was an accidental experiment in that when I entered the kitchen in search of some inspiration I had no idea what I may end up cooking that day. All I knew was that I fancied pastry, and when my book fell open at Empanadas a small spark was ignited. I tasted Empanadas for the first time in 2005 when I visited Argentina and was smitten at first bite. They were delicious and spicy and served with a salsa to die for. Cousin to our British cornish pastry, they are a delicious meat and pastry combo with added spice which ticks all my culinary boxes.

Empanadas - aneyeforfood

I followed a recipe from Michel Roux “Pastry” for “Beef and Cheese empanadas” and tweaked the filling based on what I had in the fridge. I use this book a lot for pastry recipes as I find them really easy to follow and the results are always delicious. Ready-made pastry is super convenient but every now and then its worth making your own as the taste and texture is, in my opinion, much more buttery and crumbly.

This recipe could easily be adapted to a vegetarian filling too so perhaps that will be my next experiment.

Recipe (adapted from Michel Roux)

Ingredients (for pastry): 250g plain flour, 125g butter, 1 egg, 1 tsp caster sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 40ml cold water (see link for preparation)

photo 4

Ingredients (for filling): 200g ground beef, 1 onion, 1-2 cloves garlic, 100g chopped tomatoes, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp chilli seeds, salt, pepper, 300ml beef stock, 3 tbsp ricotta cheese, fresh parsley,


  1. Make the flan pastry and leave to rest in the fridge for c. 30 mins (see link above).
  2. For the filling: Heat some oil in a large fry pan and add the minced beef and brown.
  3. Add in the onions and garlic and sweat for a further 2-3 minutes before adding in the remaining ingredients (excluding the ricotta). Simmer for 30 mins.
  4. Tip into a bowl and stir in the ricotta. leave to cool and then refrigerate for min. 30 mins before using.
  5. To assemble the empanadas: Roll out the pastry to 2mm thickness and use a 9cm pastry cutter to cut out discs.
  6. Place a tablespoon of filling inside each disc and fold the pastry over to make a half moon. Seal the edges by pressing together with your fingers. Chill the empanadas for 20 mins before cooking.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180C and bake the empanadas for 12-15 mins until golden.
  8. Serve hot.
  9. I made a dipping salsa of freshly chopped tomatoes and chillis with zest of lime and lime juice.




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