Empanadas are Latin American version of pasties, which are popular all over South America. They come in lots of variations, baked and fried, sweet and savoury, meat or vegetarian. Peruvian empanadas are normally oven-baked, but our spicy deep-fried empanada recipe is our favourite!
Makes 8 empanadas
For the pastry:
500g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
7 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup of hot water
For the filling:
250g minced beef
Half an onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 chicken stock cube
3 tbsp aji panca paste
Half a cup of water
Salt and pepper to taste
For the salsa:
Half an onion, diced finely
1 heaped tablespoon of coriander, chopped finely
Aji rocoto (to taste)
Salt and pepper
Start by preparing the dough. In a large mixing bowl, pour the flour and baking powder and mix well. Then make a hole in the middle.
Dissolve the sugar and salt in the hot water. Pour this, and the oil, into the hole you’ve made in the flour.
Mix well with a wooden spoon until combined. Then use your hands to knead well until the dough is smooth. Form the dough into a large ball, wrap in cling film and set to one side. It will need to rest for twenty minutes, so now move on to the filling and salsa.
Take the onion and garlic for the filling, and fry over a medium heat with a tablespoon of oil, stirring, until golden.
Add the meat, panca chilli paste, water, crumbled stock cube and bring to the boil. Reduce to a low heat and cook for 20 minutes, until the meat is tender and cooked through. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
To make the salsa, chop the tomato finely and add to a small dish with the onion, coriander, aji rocoto paste and juice of the limes. Taste and season.
When the meat has cooled, take the dough and separate into 8 pieces. Roll them into balls with your hands.
On a clean, flat worksurface, squash the balls with the palm of your hands and form discs around 10cm in diameter.
Split the filling equally and spoon into the centre of each disc of dough.
Fold the dough, line up the edges and use a fork to close the sides firmly.
In a large, deep pan or deep-fat fryer, fry the empanadas over a medium heat (around 160-170c). It should take 5-6 minutes until they are golden-brown.