The current food reigning supreme above my other cooking obsessions is Things Wrapped In Dough. It all started with these Argentinian-style empanadas. I stay “style” because I don’t want any jerks commenting about a lack of “authenticity” or that my recipe isn’t exactly like your 100 year old grandmother’s. My sister-in-law sent me the first recipe I used and she got in a cooking class while she was in ACTUAL ARGENTINA so there you go.Thank you to my family who has eaten batch after batch of variations (the photos here are from several different batches) as I’ve been obsessing over ingredients, proportions, and the all-important dough twist and seal (still failing as you can see). The resulting recipe is some mangled version of “real” Argentinian beef empanadas, but I promise you it’s hella delicious (can we bring hella back?).You can make this filling in under 3o minutes. It is crucial to allow the filling to cool fully before assembling the empanadas and baking them, which means this is a great dish for entertaining since you can make the filling a day ahead, stick it in a container in the fridge, and bring out only when you’re ready to assemble.I’ve also been using frozen puff pastry because I love the flaky, buttery layers with this particular filling, rather than a thinner, crispier empanada dough. It offsets the intensly salty, beefy, rich flavor of the beef but this is in no way a meal that will help you achieve your dream beach bod.Don’t be scared off from attempting this recipe because it involves stuffing and sealing dough. As you can tell from these pictures that I am intentionally including, I’m absolute crap at getting a good seal. They will still be delicious, everyone will eat them, and hopefully you’re not hanging out with the kind of person who is going to care or comment about any oozy filling.
Argentinian Beef Empanadas
- 3 packages frozen puff pastry, thawed in fridge and allowed to sit 10-15 minutes at room temp before using
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 diced roasted red pepper
- 1/2 cup green olives, chopped (roughly 8-10 olives, I use Castelvetrano)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1.5 TBS cumin
- 1 TBS paprika
- 1/2 T oregano
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 TBS flour
- olive oil and butter for pan
Heat butter and oil in a pot over medium high heat.
Brown the beef, then remove and set aside. Approx 5-8 minutes.
Using the fat still in the pan, cook the onions, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Add the beef back into the pot, and add the spices, olives, red pepper, stirring to combine and cook the spices for a minute.
Add the stock, and cook for 5-10 minutes over medium heat then add the flour and mix thoroughly until the mixture is nice and thick, not runny.
Allow the beef mixture to cool fully by storing in a sealed container in the fridge. If you need to assemble the empanadas quickly, spread the beef out on a sheet pan and pop it in the freezer until it cools down enough to assemble.
Preheat the oven to 375 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a cutter or bowl, cut disks in the puff pastry and place on the baking sheets.
Spoon the filling into each disk and then carefully fold over and seal your empanada. Use water around the edges to help the seal stick.
If you are like me and incapable of manually sealing/folding dough, use a fork to press the edges together. If you have some actual skill or manual dexterity, do the foldy/twisty/sealy thingy and God bless you.
Bake for 35-ish minutes until the exterior is fully golden brown, then place on paper towels on a cooling rack to soak up any leaked filling/oil.
Allow to cool before attempting to eat - the filling will be scalding hot and I know this from personal experience.
I will warn you that depending on what size circle you cut for the empanada, you may have more or less dough to filling ratio. Buy an extra package just in case. This filling matches about 3 packages of puff pastry and makes about 18 empanadas using a 4.5" diameter bowl. To reheat already baked empanadas, simply bake in the oven (or in my case toaster oven) for about 10 minutes at 350. If you microwave, the pastry will go all flat and sad.