Pastry. Crunchy Pastry. Crunchy pastry filled with deliciousness. If these words sing to your spirit animal, continue reading. Empanadas have been on my “to make” list for about 3 years. I kept putting them off, because making pastry terrifies me. I have no idea why I waited so long. The pastry for these mini Argentinian pies is so simple to make and the end result is flaky, buttery goodness that my sister declared nicer than store bought puff pastry.
Empanadas were brought to Argentina by the Spanish colonists and proved to be a popular portable meal. I wrote more about the history of empanadas as well as the best places to find them for the hippo.co.za blog. You can read the article here.
If you don’t like cooking at all, don’t stress, as you can buy Empanadas at a couple of places in South Africa
- In Cape Town, there is a whole shop dedicated to these pies of amazing, and you can even buy frozen ones online, that you just pop into the oven before a party. You can find out more about Como Foods here.
- In Johannesburg, head to Maboneng, where you will find an Argentinian Restaurant called Che Argentinian Grill.
- In Durban – head to El Toro, a Mexican restaurant that has empanadas on the menu.
If you do want to attempt to make these Empanadas at home, make sure your pastry and your filling are both cold before baking. (This is a tip I learnt from the Great South African Bake Off)
This recipe for Empanadas has been adapted from the one on the Saveur website.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper (bell pepper), chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 500g beef mince
- 1½ tsp cumin
- 1½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- ½ tsp white pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 180g (3/4 cup) butter, cubed
- 250ml (1 cup) boiling water
- 2 tsp salt
- 2¾ cups flour
- In a mixing bowl, add the boiling water and butter and allow the butter to melt.
- Once the butter has melted, add the salt and flour and mix until a dough forms.
- Knead the dough for a few minutes until it is smooth.
- Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge to chill for at least two hours (I left my dough overnight)
- In a large frying pan on a medium high heat, add the oil, onion and red pepper. Fry until the onion is translucent.
- Add the garlic and the beef mince, and fry until the beef is cooked and no longer pink.
- Add the cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, white pepper and salt and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Place the mixture in a covered container in the fridge to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
- Divide the dough into 12 balls, and roll out on a floured surface until each round is about 5mm thick and 12cm in diameter.
- Place about 3 tablespoons of filling onto each piece of dough and fold over to make a half circle.
- Seal the edges of the each pie, either using a fork, or by continuously folding a section over and pressing down.
- Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by hippo.co.za. I like pies. The pictures were taken by me, don’t use them without permission, m’kay?0