Empanadas recipe: can be as varied as the imagination allows in Argentina, but there are a serie of traditional fillings which should be taken into account.
And just as fillings are a multitude, basic empanada pastry is reduced to two versions: for baking and for frying. While both these versions sometimes suffer minor variations, it is of interest to master both for true authenticity.
Dough for frying:
- 3 cups of basic flour
- 1 cup shortning, preferably lard
- 1 beaten egg
- 4 tablespoons slightly salted water
Mix flour and shortning and then te beaten egg and the water, a little at a time. Knead until a smooth, elastic dough is obtained. Let stand 30 minutes.
Because the amount of water necessary can vary, blend in the egg first, before adding the water. When ready roll out into a thin, flat sheet and cut into rounds with a wide-mouthed pastry cutter.
When filled and closed, the empanada should be fried in very hot fat, two or three at a time, and placed on absorbent paper to drain. (The hotter the fat, the drier the empanada on emerging). The empanada should be just browned, not over-fried.
Standard beef filling of the empanadas recipe:
- ½ kg lean beef, preferably hand chopped into very small cubes
- ½ cup lard or shortning
- 2 finely chopped onions
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- ½ cup boiling broth (or water)
- Raisins, chopped olives and hard boiled egg as necessary
Heat lard very hot in heavy iron skillet. Brown onion, add beef and stir until pink colour has gone. Add flour and continue stirring until beef is lightly browned.
Now add scallions, paprika and broth to form a thick mixture. Mix well and cook for no more than five minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and oregano. Remove from heat and cool. Add some raisins chopped olives and slices of hard boiled eggs to taste.
Place a little of this mixture in center of each round of dough, fold over and seal by wetting edges with water and pressing with fingers or a fork.
This empanadas recipe was extracted from “El gaucho gourmet” by Derek Foster: Buy the book Gaucho Gourmet
You can enjoy your own empanadas while in one of these Tours in the Pampa Argentina and Estancia: Estancia and colonia town San Antonio de Areco