Beef and pepper empanadas
- June 2018
- Makes 24
- Hands-on time 30 min, Simmering time 30 min, oven time 15-20 min, plus cooling and chilling
Chef Diego Cardoso learned how to make these beef and pepper empanadas from his mum when he was a child. He says:
”No matter how many times I’ve made these empanadas they’re never quite as good as mum’s… I guess food in your memory always tastes better.”
For a veggie version, try these black bean and sweet potato empanadas.
- 13.8g (5.1g saturated
- 15.4g (3.6g sugars)
- Olive oil for frying and brushing
- 3 large red onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 500g British minced beef
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 peppers (3 red, 1 yellow)
- 200g small cherry tomatoes
- Splash soy sauce
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 handfuls fresh basil, chopped
- Small handful fresh oregano leaves
- 1 bunch spring onions, chopped
- Plain flour for dusting
- 750g shortcrust pastry
- Heat a splash of olive oil in a large, deep frying pan and cook the onions and garlic for 6-8 minutes until softened. Season with salt and pepper then, just before they start to colour, add the minced beef. Cook over a medium-high heat, breaking up the mince with a wooden spoon, until the liquid has evaporated. Add the cinnamon and cumin and cook, stirring now and then, for 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and lower the heat until the mixture is gently bubbling. Add the bay leaves and simmer for 30 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Meanwhile, brush the peppers and cherry tomatoes with olive oil. Put another large frying pan/griddle pan over a high heat and char the veg all over until tender (see Diego’s tip).
- Set aside until cool enough to handle, then roughly chop (deseed the peppers first), add to the beef and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add a dash of soy sauce and season to taste. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then stir in the herbs and spring onions. Cool completely, then cover and chill (see Make Ahead).
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Divide the pastry in half, then roll out one piece until it’s about the thickness of a £1 coin. Cut out 12 x 10cm discs, re-rolling the trimmings – use a cup/bowl as a template. Repeat with the other piece of pastry.
- Put a spoonful of chilled filling on each disc of pastry, wet the edge of the pastry and fold over to seal and make half-moon pastries. Crimp the edges by hand or use a fork to seal. Put the finished empanadas on a lightly oiled baking tray, then brush all over with a little olive oil.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp and the filling is piping hot. Serve warm with a tomato and red onion salad.
Diego’s tip: Charring the peppers and cherry tomatoes (step 3) gives an authentic smoky flavour. To simplify matters you could add the vegetables (chopped) with the mince and cook in the sauce.
The baked empanadas will keep for 2 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Make the filling up to 2 days ahead, cover and keep chilled.
Argentina’s black cherry-flavoured malbec is the go-to red with these. Also good is the country’s softer bonarda grape.
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