Beef empanadas are one of the most traditional Argentine dishes. While there are regional and family variations (for example, my family adds raisins to the filling), this basic recipe can be found at bakeries and empanada-stores throughout the country. Argentinians usually buy the empanada shells (tapas para empanadas) pre-made, and the most popular brand, La Salteña, is now available at Latin markets throughout the United States. You can also get them online at Gaucho Gourmet. Make sure you buy de muy hojaldrosa kind, the criollas are not as good. And make sure they are the para horno kind, unless you prefer to deep-fry them (then get the para freir type). While this recipe is good, I much prefer my own version.
Empanadas de Carne
- 12 - 15 lb empanada shells
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 cup green olives, chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
- salt and white pepper to taste
Defrost the empanada shells.
Heat the oil and sautee the onion until golden. Add the garlic and sautee for a couple of minutes. Add the ground beef and brown. Drain off the fat. Add the spices and cook until the meat is done. Add the olives, raisin and egg, mix well.
Scoop the meat mixture (about a tablespoon worth) onto the shell. Fold the shell, forming a semi-circle. Close the empanada by passing a fork though its open edge, merging both sides of the shell.
Brush the tops of the empanadas with a bit of water or milk. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake in oven at 400 F. until golden.
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