Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences

As a follow-up post to our Argentine dinner, here’s the recipe for the empanadas that we served. We made two kinds – carne (mince) and choclo (corn) but there are so many other fillings that can be done. Here are a few ideas: cebolla con Roquefort (caramelized onions and crumbled Roquefort) and jamon y queso (ham and cheese). Empanadas can be baked or fried (what we prefer) and the dough can be made or you can buy ready-made pre-cut empanada dough. All you have to do is fill it and fry or bake.

Empanadas de carne
  • 250 grams mince/ground beef (*Don’t use lean beef, some fat is needed so it isn’t dry)
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • a small chunk of lard or 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening (e.g. Crisco)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. aji molida (crushed red chili flakes)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a dozen pitted black olives, chopped finely (about 1 olive per empanada)
  • optional: 2 chopped hard-boiled eggs and 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 pack of pre-cut, ready-made fried empanada dough, comes in packs of 12 (*I use the Argentine brand Fargo. They also have a ready-made baked empanada dough)
  • Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Sweat the minced onions then add the ground beef and shortening or lard. Add the cumin, sweet paprika and aji molida. Season with salt and pepper. Leave to cook over low heat.
  • Chop the olives and set aside. (If using eggs, boil the eggs then chop and set aside. Prepare raisins as well and set aside).
  • Mix olives (and eggs and raisins if using) into ground beef. Set aside to cool.

Empanadas de choclo
  • 22 grams of butter
  • 22 grams of flour
  • 300 ml. milk
  • 1 small can of sweet corn (150 grams) or 2 ears of fresh sweet corn, shucked
  • For the Bechamel sauce, heat the milk in a saucepan. In another saucepan, prepare a roux by cooking the flour then mixing in the butter. Make sure that both are mixed well. Remove from the heat then slowly add the hot milk to the roux and put back on the heat and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer until the sauce reaches the desired thickness. make sure that it it not too liquid – it should be thick.
  • Add the corn to the Bechamel.
To assemble the empanadas:
  • Prepare a wooden chopping board or a marble top. Sprinkle some flour then place one empanada pastry on the floured surface.
  • Place about 2 Tbsp. of filling (ground meat or corn and Bechamel) into the empanada dough.
  • Fold over and seal by twisting the dough with your hands or using a fork to seal the dough shut.
  • Make sure to use a different seal for each type of empanada. For example, I used a fork for the corn ones and twisted the edges for the meat ones. This is so that when they’re cooked, you can tell them apart.
  • Heat oil in a deep-fryer. Fry the empanadas till light brown and crispy.
  • Serve the meat ones with salsa chimichurri or white sugar for dipping.
  • (* For baked empanadas, follow the same procedure but bake in a 200C oven instead)

4 thoughts on “Empanadas

  1. Thanks Sook! Let me know when you try and make them. Hope they turn out well :p


  2. Sook says:

    I love empanadas! The last time I had it was when I went and stayed with my Dominican friend in Florida for a few days! I am going to have to try it sometime soon. Thanks for sharing!


  3. Thanks Gabriel! It's such a pleasure to hear that you had a nice time in Argentina and that my recommendations helped. Hope your wife liked the bag (I still use mine often).Let me know if you need anymore tips for Buenos Aires.Regards,Gourmet Traveller


  4. Gabriel Sod says:

    Hi, thanks for maintaining this blog. I travel a lot and try to find the best food wherever I go. I was planning a trip to BsAs (which took place last week) and found your blog to be the best source of information. I loved El Mirasol and bought a very nice purse at Mayorano for my wife based on you recommendations.Many thanks for your posts. I look forward to reading more.Best regardsGabriel S.


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