Recipe: Beef & Olive Empanadas

Beef and Olive Empanadas


Recipe by Segundo Farrell, for delicious. magazine.

Makes 14

A rolling pin is the traditional tool used for making empanada dough, but if you have a pasta machine, it makes the job easier.


200ml boiling water
100g pork lard
500g plain flour, sifted


2 tomatoes, grated
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbs white wine vinegar 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil


500g beef eye fillet, cut into 1cm pieces 110g butter
2 onions, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch fresh oregano, finely chopped 1 tsp each smoked paprika, ground cumin and dried chilli flakes
2 bay leaves
3 long green shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
3 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped


For the tomato llajwa, combine all ingredients in a bowl and season with salt flakes. Set aside.

Bring the boiling water and 1 tsp salt flakes to the boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Add lard. Cook, stirring, until melted. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Using your hands, gradually mix flour into cooled lard mixture until the mixture forms a dough. Divide dough in half and shape into thin discs. Enclose in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

For the filling, place beef in a bowl and season. Melt butter in a large frypan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until softened but not browned. Add oregano, paprika, cumin, chilli and bay leaves. Coo for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add beef. Cook, stirring often, for a further 8-10 minutes or until meat is browned and any liquid has completely reduced. Remove from heat.

Stir in shallot. Discard bay leaves. Cool beef mixture to room temperature. Fold through olives and egg.

Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Divide each dough disc into seven equal pieces. Roll one piece out on a flat surface to form a 14cm round. Repeat with remaining dough, covering rounds with a tea towel to prevent them from drying out.

Place one dough round in the palm of your hand. Spoon 55g filling onto one half of the round, leaving a 1cm border. With your finger or a pastry brush, dot the edge of the dough with water, then fold over the filling to enclose, pinching and pleating the edges together to seal. Transfer to prepared tray. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve immediately with tomato llajwa.