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Argentine Beef Empanadas

What's the big idea?

Empanadas - a kind of individual pie - are hugely popular in Argentina. No, let's leave out references to Diego Maradonna and songs about "who ate all the pies"! But joking aside, empanadas are very popular as snacks, and are available with a huge variety of fillings - beef, chicken, fish, egg & cheese, etc. If you have time and the inclination, make lots of different ones and leave it to your guests to work out which is which! If not, these beef ones are bound to go down well!

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 1oz butter
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1lb lean minced beef
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon crushed dried chillies
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons raisins (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons pitted green olives, chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and chopped
  • 1 x 1lb pack frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 beaten egg

What To Do

  • In a frying pan melt the butter and fry the onion until just golden
  • Stir in the paprika and chilli. Add the minced beef and fry until browned
  • Drain off as much liquid as possible, and allow the meat to cool
  • Mix in the cumin, vinegar, raisins (if using), hard-boiled egg and olives
  • While the meat is cooling, pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C
  • Roll out the pastry and cut it into 10 circles. Place a good spoonful of the meat mixture in the centre of each circle
  • Ensure you leave a good half inch around the edge where there is no filling
  • Dampen the edges of the circles, and fold the pastry over to form "half moons"
  • Seal by twisting the edges together, working methodically all the way around
  • Prick the top of each empanada to allow steam to escape
  • Line a baking sheet with grease-proof paper
  • Glaze the empanadas with beaten egg and bake on the baking sheet until golden - about 25-30 minutes

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