Empanadas - Meat-Filled Turnovers Recipe
Empanadas - Meat-Filled Turnovers
Flavors of Chile
Total time: 1hr to 2hr

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking/baking time: 20 minutes for the filling; 25 minutes for the turnovers

Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note
Empanadas are little meat- or fish-filled turnovers. They are found in Spanish cooking and throughout South America with some regional variations.

Traditionally they were made with bread dough, but these days it's more common to find them made with flaky or pie pastry. They're served hot as hors-d'oeuvre, with cocktails or as a snack.

Originally from Galicia, this classic version is made with chicken, onions and peppers.

In Argentina, the edges of the empanadas are scalloped. They are filled with ground meat, raisins, olives and onions and seasoned with pepper, paprika and cumin.

Just as in Argentina, the edges are scalloped. The filling is more or less the same. See below.

The empanadas are stuffed with shrimp, onion, tomato and olives, seasoned with garlic, parsley and chives, and bound by a white sauce thickened with egg yolks.

- 700 g (1 1/2 lb.) diced cooked beef (preferably left over from a stew)
- 200 ml (3/4 cup) beef broth
- 50 g (1/3 cup) flour
- 80 g (3 oz.) onion
- 80 g (3 oz.) lard
- 50 g (2 oz.) raisins
- 50 g (2 oz.) olives
- 2 hardboiled eggs
- 4 g (1 tsp.) cumin
- 8 g (1 1/2 tsp.) sugar
- Salt, pepper and cayenne

- 1 kg (2 1/4 lb.) flour
- 250 g (9 oz.) lard
- 150 ml (10 tbsp.) milk
- 2 eggs + 1 yolk
- Salt

Making the filling

  1. First make the sauce: combine 40 g melted lard with the flour; gradually whisk in the beef broth; let thicken over low heat;
  2. brown the chopped onions in the remaining 40 g lard;
  3. add the rest of the filling ingredients to the sauce.

Making the dough

  1. Place the flour on a work surface; make a well in the centre; add the salt, warm lard and 2 beaten eggs;
  2. blend the ingredients, adding the milk and working the dough until it is soft and pliable;
  3. roll out on a floured surface; cut out circles 12 cm (4 3/4") in diameter;
  4. place a large spoonful of filling onto each circle; fold in half; seal the edges; brush with egg wash made from the egg yolk combined with 1 tbsp. water;
  5. bake in a moderate oven for 20 to 30 minutes until cooked and golden.
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