Empanada is a Spanish dish, and the name comes from the Spanish word 'empanar' meaning encased in bread or pastry. Although many empandas recipes involve a filling of beef this would not be common in Spain. A chicken or chorizo filling would be more in keeping with Spanish cuisine.
As well as meat, the filling of an empanada would also include vegetables, often just the vegetables.
Our recipe sticks to chorizo as the meat part of the filling. There are endless varieties of chorizo, our recipe calls for Spanish chorizo. The different types of chorizo can differ considerably, even Portuguese chorizo is notably different to Spanish chorizo.
The quality of the pork and spices used in Spanish chorizo defines its taste and ultimately its quality. Perhaps the the most obvious difference in taste comes from the spices used. Spicy chorizo (picante) is heavily spiced, sweet chorizo (dulce) is less spicy. Which type of Spanish chorizo you use for this is up to you - spicy or the standard "sweet" type.
280g plain flour / 10oz plain flour
110g cooking margarine / 4oz cooking margarine
100ml white wine / 3.5fl oz white wine
Vegetable oil to shallow fry empanandas
4 sprigs of parsley (optional)
200g / 7 oz sliced Spanish chorizo
4 medium ripe tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 sweet (bell) pepper
10 green pitted olives
2 tablespoons white wine
2 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons olive oil
Roughly chop up the sliced chorizo. See pictures in the Recipe Instructions below for example.
Roughly chop the tomatoes.
Finely chop the olives.
Finely chop the onion and garlic cloves.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / Fan 160°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4
Start by making the pastry. Sift the flour into a bowl, chop up the margarine and add to the bowl. Use your fingers to break up the margarine and mix it into flour.
The mixture is right when it is mostly small crumbs. This will take five to ten minutes.
Flour and margarine nixed for empanadas
Pour the white wine (100ml / 3.5 fl oz) into the mixture and mix well with your hands. Form a ball out of the pastry, place it on a well-floured surface and knead it for a couple of minutes.
The pastry should be elastic but not sticky. If it's too sticky, knead in a bit more flour. If it is too dry (it will not form a ball), mix in a tablespoon of water.
Put the pastry on a plate, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or more.
Cut the sweet pepper (red, green or orange) into quarters and remove the seeds and white pith.
Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil over the peppers and place in the pre-heated oven (180°C / Fan 160° / 350°F / Gas Mark 4) for 15 minutes.
Sweet pepper cooked
Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the frying pan on a low heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and gently fry until they are soft but not browned (about ten minutes).
Take the peppers from the oven and roughly chop them. Add the chopped peppers, tomatoes, olives and 2 tablespoons of white wine to the onions and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chopped chorizo and simmer for five more minutes.
Cooking filling for Empanadas
When the pastry has chilled in the fridge for 30 minutes roll it out on a well-floured surface to about 3mm (⅛in) thick. Enough for at least four 10cm (4in) circles. Cut out the circles and place a spoonful of the filling onto each. Fold the pastry over the filling to make a semi-circle and firm down the edges to seal in the filling. Place the remaining filling on a plate and cover with foil.STEP 6
Pour the vegetable oil into the frying pan and heat to a medium high heat. Add the pasties and fry each side for four minutes until golden brown.
Serve each Empanada on a plate with a portion of additional filling on the side. garnish with a sprig of parsley if you have any.