I’m starting to worry that I’m going to be on an empanada kick. I had never made empanadas but I’ve eaten my fair share of empanadas in my day. In Guatemala, there aren’t too many empanadas. They exist, but I’m not sure I’ve eaten them. We’re more tortilla folks, but Argentina… that’s the land of empanadas. After my freshman year of college, I went to Argentina for 2 months and volunteered at a school and wandered around Buenos Aires.
It was an experience I’d never trade. I learned how to be on my own. I learned to love red wine. I learned to love cities. And I ate a ton of empanadas.
My favorite are the spinach and cheese kind, but the traditional kind are beef ones. Because on top of being the land of empanadas, Argentina is also the land of beef. So I decided to give it a try.
The pastry part of these tastes different that the traditional Argentinean kind, but it was still pretty darn tasty. I think they traditionally use lard, which is why mine taste different. Also I added bouillion to try to mask some of the butteriness. Next time, I’ll definitely try lard. But I’m definitely happy with these creations.
3 cups flour
1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tbsp), cold
1/2 tsp chicken bouillion
4-5 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 tbsp paprika
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/4 cup sliced green olives
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 egg (for brushing)
In a bowl, combine flour and butter. Using your fingers, break up the butter until it turns to coarse crumbs. Add egg and incorporate. Add water and form into a ball. Knead a few times til it all comes together. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate while you make the filling or until ready to use.
Heat a skillet with olive oil. Add onion and cook for a few minutes until onions are tender. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add beef and cook until browned. Add paprika, cumin, olives and hard boiled eggs. Stir to combine. Set aside.
Now it’s time to assemble the empanadas. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
Roll out dough as thin as you can (1/4 cm if you can). Using a circle cutter or a bowl, cut out circles. The size of the circles will determine the size of your empanadas. I used a bowl about 3 inches in diameter.
Place some of the meat filling in the center of each circle. Fold in half and pinch edges together. Flute edges (folded over) and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat until all dough is used up.
Mix one egg with a tbsp of water. Brush empanadas with egg mixture and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. The bake time will vary depending on the size of your empanadas. Start checking them after 15 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy with a glass of wine.
I have so many ideas for empanadas. Like I said, I fear this might be the start of a new trend for me. I already bought some ricotta to make some ricotta, kale and leek empanadas. Doesn’t that sound amazing?
In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy these leftovers (because they stay good for a few days in the fridge) and brainstorm future empanada-making.
Are you a fan of empanadas? What kind do you like?