Dumplings from Latin America: How to bake hearty empanadas

They are warm and crispy, hearty and spicy: empanadas. In Argentina, the filled dumplings are usually filled with minced meat. You can find out which ingredients are required for the original recipe here.

Empanadas originally come from Galicia, the northwest of Spain. There they are mostly filled with seafood, in other countries not only the ingredients vary, but also the appearance: In Latin America, the crescent-shaped dumplings are best eaten with beef or chicken, ham and cheese or vegetables, for example. And the original recipe from Argentina is also very popular in Germany – which is mainly due to one main ingredient: minced meat. You can find out what else you need for the coveted party snack to conjure up delicious empanadas from it here.

These are the ingredients for the dough

  • 250 grams of corn flour
  • 250 grams of wheat flour
  • 150 milliliters of water
  • 100 grams of margarine
  • 20 milliliters of olive oil
  • 20 milliliters of milk
  • a tablespoon of salt
  • half a tablespoon of sugar
  • two eggs

These are the ingredients for the filling

  • 250 grams of ground beef
  • 30 to 40 raisins
  • 20 to 30 olives
  • 20 milliliters of olive oil
  • three hard-boiled eggs
  • five tomatoes
  • an onion
  • a red pepper
  • a chilli pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • cumin
  • Paprika powder

Before baking, the dumplings get their typical shape

This is how the dumplings are prepared correctly

Step 1: Weigh the types of flour and pour both together into a bowl. Make a well in the middle into which you put the remaining ingredients (except for the water and an egg) for the dough . Then mix all the ingredients – ideally with your hands – and keep adding a little water until you get a flexible dough that no longer sticks to your fingers. Before processing it further, it should rest in a cool place for a few hours.

Step 2: Cut the onion, the bell pepper and the chilli pepper into fine cubes and fry them together with the minced meat and the oil in a coated pan sharply. Now taste the mass with the spices (salt, pepper, cumin, paprika powder) to your own taste. Only then cut the tomatoes into small pieces and stir them into the minced meat – this way the filling stays nice and juicy and doesn’t dry out. Let the filling cool down a bit, in the meantime you can chop the olives (whether black or green is up to you), raisins and eggs and then stir into the cooled minced meat mixture.

Step 3:  Now it’s the turn of the dough. Roll this out flat on a floured work surface and cut out circular areas – these can be shaped like thishelp. The diameter is usually ten to 15 centimeters, but you can vary the sizes according to your mood. Then the dough circles are either placed in a suitable dumpling makerand half filled before the empanadas get their typical shape. Alternatively, you can fold the dough over by hand and press the edge shut with a fork, so that a fine pattern is created, or you can turn the edge in finely (as shown in the photo). So that the edges stick together better, you can coat them with some egg white beforehand. Finally, the dumplings are coated with egg yolk so that they get a nice color when baking.

Step 4: Now you can place the finished dumplings on a parchment paper Place a laid-out baking sheet and bake it in the oven at 200 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. The baking time can vary depending on how thick your dough has become – this is why you should watch the empanadas and remove them from the oven when they are golden brown. Then let the bags cool down a bit before enjoying them warm. A tomato salsa goes best with this.

A fruity tomato salsa is the ideal dip for empanadas with minced meat

Tomato salsa – the perfect dip for empanadas

To prepare the salsa, you need 500 grams of tomatoes, two red onions, two cloves of garlic, a chilli pepper, a little salt and pepper, the juice of a lime, five tablespoons, five tablespoons of olive oil and a bunch of parsley. Proceed as follows:

  1. First, put the tomatoes in a large bowl and pour boiling water over them. Pour off the water as soon as the skin of the tomatoes bursts – and peel off the skin of the tomatoes. Then cut the pulp into small cubes and remove the stones or stems.
  2. Peel the garlic and onions, remove the seeds from the chilli pepper and chop all three ingredients into fine pieces. Then mix these with the tomatoes and season the salsa with salt and pepper, a little lime juice and the olive oil.
  3. Finely chop half a bunch of parsley, stir it into the tomatoes and then let the salsa rest in the refrigerator for at least two hours so that the marinade can soak in. Before you serve the dip at the end, coarsely chop the remaining parsley and sprinkle it over the salsa.

The Argentine chimichurri sauce also goes very well with empanadas

Chimichurri – alternative dip with garlic

For this slightly hotter dip you need half a bunch of spring onions and half a bunch of flat-leaf parsley, four cloves of garlic, one tablespoon of oregano (dried), one teaspoon of herb vinegar, one teaspoon of lemon juice, 125 milliliters of olive oil, half a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Proceed as follows:

Cut the spring onions as small as possible, the same goes for the garlic and parsley. Do not mix the fresh ingredients with the remaining ingredients until the empanadas are ready and taste the chimichurri again before serving. Alternatively, you can use a ready-made mixture of spices use that – without additives, preservatives and flavor enhancers – is made from natural ingredients (including onions, tomato flakes (tomato paste, corn starch), parsley, chilli, garlic, paprika, pepper, oregano, basil). This saves you work, you can also use the Chimichurri spices for grilling and marinating.

One more tip at the end : And if you feel like empanadas even more, you will find this book the food blogger Nileen Marie Schaldach many more recipes for savory and sweet dumplings from Latin America – including numerous dip suggestions. How about, for example, a chilli cheese, spinach feta or chicken fajita filling? Alternatively, you can also try sweet empanadas with a cherry nougat or apple filling.

Leave a Comment