Thursday, October 23, 2008

Argentine empanadas

Empanadas are made of pastry filled with meat. They can be found in Spanish speaking countries and in Argentina they are considered a national speciality. I have tried empanadas from Spain, Argentina and Mexico. Argentinian are definitely my favourite.

Every region in Argentina has its own version of the filling but the base is made of equal parts of ground beef and onion, that has been seasoned with ground paprika and cumin. All other ingredients like, potatoes, eggs, olives, raisins...differ from region to region and basically you can add them to your liking.

Another great thing about these empanadas is that they can also be baked in the oven. Usually empanadas are fried in oil but Argentinian can be baked without making them un-authentic. I was not that much interested in the pastry this time so I just bought frozen in a Latino food store here in Munich. But here is a recipe for homemade empanada pastry.

16 empanadas
150 gr ground beef
150 gr onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp ground paprika (sweet)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
1/2 dl green olives, chopped
2 tbsp raisins
1/2 dl red pepper, chopped
olive oil

16 empanada pastry discs (12 cm)

Fry onion and garlic in some oil on low temperature until glossy and transparent, takes about 10 minutes. Add ground paprika and cumin, fry 2-3 minutes. Add olives, raisins and pepper, fry 5 minutes more. Switch off the cooker, add meat, fry just shortly, as soon as it is not red anymore take off the cooker. The meat should not be cooked completely as it will cook again in the oven for another 15-20 minutes. Add egg, season with salt and pepper,and let the filling cool down a bit. If it is too hot it might melt the butter-based pastry.

To fill empanadas take one pastry disc, place one tablespoon of filling in the middle. Carefully close empanada, this is probably the hardest part. Press two edges of emapanada well so that nothing comes out. Empanada should look like a half moon and have an dough edge of about 2cm. To make a nice spiral edge, start by folding a corner of empanada inwards, press firmly, and continue folding the dough until you reach the other corner.

Place empanadas on a baking sheet, paint with a beaten egg and bake in preheated oven, 200C, for 15-20 minutes.

No comments: