Welcome and welcome to Paulina Cocina! On this occasion we propose a classic recipe from this part of the world where we are: Argentine Empanadas. For Argentines, empanadas are much more than a dish of food; They are an expression of their cultural identity and a manifestation of their passion for food. With barbecue, Maradona, tango and more, Argentines are characterized by being passionate about what they do.
And the same thing happens with Argentine empanadas. They are the richest, they are the best, the only… Although this is not so because surprisingly there are many varieties in the country, with different fillings, masses and even closures. In this article you will find different options, information and ideas to make homemade Argentine empanadas.
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About Argentine empanadas and much more…
Argentine empanadas are a culinary treasure that has conquered hearts and stomachs around the world. They consist of thin layers of dough filled with a wide variety of ingredients, which gives them an unmatched flavor.
They are an essential part of the Argentine gastronomyand its popularity has spread over the years.
The time to make Argentine empanadas
They are a true delicacy that is consumed in a variety of situations. Argentine empanadas are a prominent element in the grills and barbecues of this country, where they are served as an appetizer, accompaniment or main dish. They are also a popular choice to take on picnics and cookouts, due to their portability and satisfying flavor.
In addition, they are a recurring choice on party and celebration tables, since their versatility allows hosts to satisfy the tastes of all their guests.
When and from where did they arrive in Argentina?
Although they are now an icon of Argentine gastronomy, they have their roots in Spanish cuisine. and they arrived in Argentina during the time of conquest and colonization in the 16th century. The Spanish influenced the culture and food of the region, and the empanada became a local adaptation of the Spanish ones.
The recipe for Spanish empanadas consisted of dough filled with meat. Over time, this preparation was adapted and merged with native ingredients in Argentina. The gauchos contributed by adding their own regional variations with ingredients that suited their needs during their travels across the vast Argentine plains.
As the influence of the different regions of the country merged, empanadas acquired a diversity of flavors and fillings characteristic of each geographical area.
Types and versions of empanada in Argentina
Argentina is a country known for its love of empanadas, and a wide variety of types can be found throughout its territory, each with its own unique characteristics and flavors. The geographical and cultural diversity of Argentina has influenced the creation of different styles over the years.
First of all, Salta empanadas are a very popular variety originating from the Salta region., in the northwest of Argentina. They are characterized by their juicy and seasoned filling, which usually includes beef, onion, red pepper, hard-boiled egg and olives. The dough is thin and tends to have a slight sweet touch.
Originally from the province of Tucumán. They are distinguished by their thicker and spongier dough, which contains pork fat, which gives it a special flavor. Fillings include beef, chicken, pork, onion, cumin, pepper, raisins and olives. Matambre empanadas from Tucumán are also common..
Mendoza empanadas, typical of the Mendoza region, in western Argentina, are another iconic style. Its filling usually consists of beef, onion, hard-boiled egg, olives and spices such as cumin and paprika. What distinguishes them is the presence of raisins and red pepper in the filling.
Finally, In the Patagonia region, empanadas often have lamb fillings, due to the abundance of this type of meat in the area. Lamb meat is mixed with ingredients such as onion, pepper and cumin, and wrapped in a crispy dough. This variant reflects the influence of the gaucho culture in the region.
What to take into account to make the best ones?
One of the most fascinating aspects of the Argentine empanada recipe is its versatility in terms of filling.. There are countless options to satisfy tastes. From the classic meat filling to vegetarian options, such as spinach and cheese. The filling is what gives character.
The dough of Argentine empanadas is another crucial component of their flavor and texture. Traditional dough is made with flour, fat (usually butter or oil), water, salt and, in some cases, a touch of sugar. The recipe for Argentine empanadas is baked but it is common to find them fried.
The preparation process is a true expression of culinary art. Each cook may have their own unique technique for achieving the perfect dough, and filling is an opportunity to experiment with flavors and textures.
The classic filling, meat
One of the most iconic fillings is meat empanadas. This filling usually includes ground beef, onion, red pepper, green olives, and spices such as cumin and paprika. The mixture of meat and seasonings provides an unmistakable and aromatic flavor to Argentine meat dishes.
Beef is the most common, but you can also find meat variants such as:
Leaving aside the traditional ones, we can also find a wide variety of fillings such as:
Empanadilla, smaller size but same flavor
The Argentine empanadilla is a variant of Argentine empanadas that is characterized by its smaller size. These dumplings are ideal as sandwiches or starters at social gatherings or events. The miniaturization of dumplings allows you to try different fillings on a single occasion, making them a perfect option for lovers of variety.
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Argentine empanadas recipe
Yield: 12 empanadas
Preparation time: 50 minutes
- Dough for empanadas (bought homemade)
- 500 g of ground beef
- 2 onions chopped
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 100 g chopped green or black olives
- Cumin, paprika, salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for frying or painting the baking dish (depending on the type of cooking)
- 1 beaten egg
How to make the best and true Argentine empanadas in just a few steps
- In a frying pan with hot oil, sauté the onions and pepper. Add the ground beef, season and cook. Add, mixing the chopped hard-boiled eggs and olives. Remove from the fire.
- Fill each circle of dough with the mixture, fold forming a half-moon and seal the edges with a fork or repulgue.
- Brush the empanadas with beaten egg to give them a golden shine. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25-30 minutes. Withdraw.
- To fry the empanadas, heat a sufficient amount of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry them for about 2-3 minutes and when removing, place on absorbent paper.