This recipe comes from the province of Salta in the north of Argentina. Aji molido, a popular Argentinian condiment made from dried pepper fl akes, is traditionally used instead of the chilli flakes in the salsa.
Salteña beef empanadas
- Preparation time: 1 hour, plus resting and chilling
- Cooking time: 45 minutes
- Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes, plus resting and chilling
1 potato (about 150g), peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
250g rump steak, cut into 1cm cubes
1 onion, sliced
splash olive oil
2 heaped tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp mild chilli powder
3 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and chopped
3 salad onions, green part only, chopped
500g plain fl our
2 heaped tsp fi ne salt
80ml sunfl ower oil, plus extra for frying
2 medium tomatoes (about 200g)
1 small onion, fi nely chopped
1 garlic clove, fi nely chopped
1 small red chilli, fi nely diced
1 tbsp dried chilli fl akes
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
60ml extra virgin olive oil
1 Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the potato and cook for 6-8 minutes, until cooked through but still firm. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the steak and boil for 3 minutes, then drain and set aside separately. Meanwhile, sauté the onion in a frying pan with a little oil over a low heat for 15 minutes, until softened. Add the meat and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cumin and chilli powder, then stir in the potato; season. Let the filling rest for 24 hours in the fridge if possible, for a more intense flavour.
2 For the dough, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the sunflower oil and 175ml water, then mix in with a wooden spoon. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes, until smooth; it will feel quite dry so you may need to rest it occasionally while kneading. Wrap in cling film and chill for 2 hours.
3 Meanwhile, make the sauce. Halve the tomatoes and grate the flesh into a bowl (discard the skin). Mix in the remaining ingredients, season and set aside.
4 Sprinkle a little flour on the work surface. Roll out the dough until 0.3cm thick and cut out ten 14cm circles, using a plate or bowl as a guide, re-rolling the dough as needed. Using an ice cream scoop, form small balls of the filling and place one on each circle of dough. Divide the egg and salad onion between them.
5 Lightly moisten the edge of one of the dough circles with a little water and fold over into a half-moon shape. Press to seal the edges and give them the ‘carne’ decoration – fold one end over itself to make a triangular pleat, and then repeat, folding at least 13 consecutive times, from one end to the other. Repeat with the remaining empanadas and set aside in the fridge, if not cooking immediately.
6 Half-fill a large saucepan with oil and heat to 180°C (or use a deep-fat fryer); a cube of bread dropped into the oil will turn golden brown in 15 seconds. Add a few empanadas to the oil, and fry for 5 minutes, or until browned all over. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining empanadas. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then serve with the salsa alongside.