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Empanadas are an important part of the Argentine cuisine and you’ll rarely attend a dinner without one of these delicious filled pastries served to start off your delicious meal. There are countless options for how to prepare. A member of our sales team, Laura, was kind enough to share her Aunt Elsa’s recipe which has been in her family for generations. We’ve put together the recipe below for you to try out yourself. It might not be the simplest empanada recipe you can find, but the extra effort will pay off in deliciousness and earn you worthwhile bragging rights.

  • 2 lbs chopped onions – very fine
  • 1 clove finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons of Paprika
  • 1⁄4 cup lard – trust us on this one! It will be delicious.
  • 1 tablespoon Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 bard-boiled eggs – roughly chopped
  • Green olives – pitted or not
  • 1 raw egg

1) Chop up the onions and garlic and put them in a big pot with oil on low heat. Cover the pot and sauté them until translucent – make sure you keep the pot covered. You want to let those onions and garlic sweat!

2) Add the meat and the lard and mix together with the onions. While the meat is browning, slowly add all the measured spices. Once the meat is cooked through – add salt and pepper, to taste.

3) Set the mixture aside and let it cool to room temperature. If the mixture is too hot, it will break the empanada dough. We recommend buying the empanada dough – both Goya and Fargo are brands that you can typically find at the grocery store. You can also order dough online.

4) Clear off a work space, lightly flour the area and create an assembly line of empanada dough disks. Place about a tablespoon of meat filling in the middle of each disk. Add one olive and one piece of hard-boiled egg per empanada.

IMPORTANT – don’t add too much filling. Otherwise you won’t be able to close the empanada or it’ll break when you try to close it.

5) Take the bottom half of the dough and fold it up so the edges meet and the empanada forms a half moon.

Here’s the trickiest part of making empanadas – forming the repulgue (the Argentine word used to describe the way they pinch the dough). There are various forms used to distinguish the type of filling. Here we’ll describe how to make the most traditional Repulgue since we’re making a traditional meat filling.

6) Take one edge of the empanada and fold the end part over and press down. You will have made another end or point. Take that point and again fold it over and press down. You’ll start to see a spiral pattern emerge. Don’t worry if you don’t get it on the first try, you can always use a fork to press down along the edge,making a very nice little seam.

7) Take the remaining raw egg and beat it. Brush each sealed empanada and place them in the oven.

8) Bake the empanadas at 400 degrees F for about 10-12 minutes they should be very golden brown on top.