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Empanadas Argentinas


In Argentina, empanadas are often served during parties and festivals as a starter or main course. You can find lots of little restaurants and shops that specialize in freshly made empanadas, with many flavors and fillings.


The dough is made with wheat flour and pork drippings (Shortening). There are different fillings, they differs from province to province. Some places use chicken, and some places beef (cubed or ground depending on the region) spiced with cumin and paprika. Some other fillings are onion, boiled egg, olives, or raisins. Empanadas can be baked (Salta-style) or fried (Tucuman-style). It also can contain ham, fish, humita (sweet corn with white sauce), or spinach. For the interior regions, they can be spiced with peppers.


For the Dough
3 cups all purpose flour
6 ounces unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 egg
¼ teaspoon salt
4-5 tablespoons cold water

For the Stuffing
1 pound lean ground beef
1 sweet red pepper, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 can of peeled tomatoes or 4 large tomatoes, blanched and peeled
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped olives
¼ cup raisins
3 boiled eggs, chopped


Mix flour and salt in food processor. Add the butter, egg and water until they form small dough balls. Form a ball with the dough and let rest in the refrigerator for half an hour. Roll the dough with a rolling pin until an ⅛” thin and then cut with a round mold to the desired size empanadas.
To seal the empanadas, I recommend using water or egg white around the edges. I also recommend leaving them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before baking so it does not open when you are baking them. To have a nice golden color, paint them with egg yolk before baking.
Meanwhile, in a deep pan put the olive oil on medium heat, when hot add the onion and pepper, cook for 5-8 minutes, when they are tender add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper, add the bay leave, with the help of the spoon crush any lumps of meat to make it very loose for the filling. Add the tomatoes, add salt and let reduce for 20 minutes over low heat. When dry, remove from heat and let it cool.
When the meat is cool add the olives, raisins and eggs, mix well. Filling is ready for empanadas! Baking medium-sized empanadas, pre-heat the oven to 400 F and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown patties. The bigger the empanadas, more time need in the oven.

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