Argentine Empanadas

Argentine Empanadas  submitted by Donald Bruun
For Filling:

4 Tbsp Vegetable Shortening
2 large yellow onions, diced
2 green bell peppers seeded and diced
2 lbs tenderloin or eye of round, cut into small cubes
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp crushed red pepper
½ cup seedless raisins
½ cup chopped green olives
2 bunches green onions chopped
3 hard boiled eggs, diced

For Pastry:
2 lbs ( about 7 cups) all-purpose flour (not self rising)

5 Tbsp vegetable shortening
1 ½ cup warm water
1 Tbsp salt

Chimichury sauce (recipe follows)

Melt the 4 tablespoons shortening in a skillet.  Add onion and bell pepper and cook until tender, with onions just beginning to brown.  Add beef, salt, paprika and red pepper.  Mix well and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until meat is browned.  Remove from heat and stir in raisins, green olives, green onions and eggs.  Let cool for 1 to 2 hours or until completely cool and non-liquid (may be refrigerated).

For empanada pastry, mound the flour on a work surface and make a well in the center.  Place the 5 Tbsp shortening in the well and with hands work into the flour until completely incorporated.  Dissolve salt in warm water and mix into the  flour-shortening mixture, a little at a time.  Knead dough by hand for 10-15 minutes.  It should resemble pizza dough in elasticity.

To assemble, pinch off bits of dough about the size of a plum.  On a floured surface, roll out to form a circle 4 ½ to 5 inches in diameter.  Holding dough in one hand, fold it slightly, like a taco- and put 1 Tbsp of the meat filling in the center.  Press edges together, moistening with salted water if needed, then crimp edges securely to keep dough closed and retain all of the filling’s juices during baking.  Repeat until all of the dough and filling is used.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Sprinkle baking sheet with flour, place empanadas on it and bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.  Serve with Chimichurry sauce.

Makes 60 – 70 empanadas.  They may be frozen before baking:  Remove as many as desired from freezer, place on floured baking sheet and defrost at room temp for 1 hour then bake as above.

These freeze really well after cooked.  Wrap in waxed paper and put in a freezer bag. Take out as many as you want for a snack and microwave for 1-2 minutes


Chimichurry Sauce
1 medium yellow onion

1 green bell pepper, seeded
1 green onion
1 tomato
2 tablespoons parsley
¾ cup white or red vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 or 2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/8 tsp each salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper to taste

For sauce to serve with empanadas, chop vegetables into large chunks and place all in blender container.  Blend until all ingredients are finely minced.  Store, covered, in refrigerator until flavors meld. Will keep for 10-15 days.

For a chunkier sauce chop vegetables and garlic by hand and mix with remaining ingredients.