Author Notes: This recipe satisfies all of your street food cravings: savory, slightly sweet, crispy fried crust, tangy sauce. Pocket foods like this are the original street food. I have made versions of empanadas for years but I love how the strong flavors of the lamb are balanced by the tanginess of the chimichurri sauce. The base is the traditional Argentinian combo of meat, olives, onions, and tomatoes. I traded out the standard beef for more flavorful lamb and added more sweet spices and acid balance with balsamic.
This recipe makes big empanadas - a meals worth easily.
The crust - courtesy of my husband - is a really good balance between a flaky puff pastry and a calzone dough. —meganvt01
Serves 10 - 12
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1/3 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 large beefsteak tomatoes, chopped, seeds and juice retained
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 hard boiled eggs - thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes, chilled
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1/3 cup ice water
- Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent - 8 minutes.
- Add lamb and cook through, breaking up with the back of a fork - 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and red pepper flakes. saute 1 minute.
- Add raisins, olives, cumin, cinnamon, and oregano. Saute 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Lower to medium low and cook for 15 - 20 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked down but there is still plenty of liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Set the filling aside to cool.
- For the dough - mix together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar). In a separate bowl, mix together egg, vinegar, and water.
- Place the butter cubes into the dry ingredients, blending in the butter with your fingers until it forms a coarse meal. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix together and add the final 2 tablespoons if the dough is still dry.
- On a floured surface, lightly knead the dough for 1 minute to incorporate all the ingredients. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour at least.
- Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Roll the pieces into a ball and use a rolling pin to roll the pieces out into a circle 4-5 inches wide.
- Place one circle of dough on a floured surface, fill with approximately 1/4 cup filling on one half of the circle, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Fold over the other half of the circle and tightly crimp the edges. Repeat with the remaining circles of dough.
- In a skillet, heat 1/2 inch of peanut oil. Lightly fry each formed empanada - about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Serve with chimichurri sauce.
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon mexican oregano
- Blend all ingredients together in a food processor, serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Street Food