Beef and egg empanadas with pebre dipping sauce

Neil Perry
Tasty dinner or party idea: Beef and egg empanadas.
Tasty dinner or party idea: Beef and egg empanadas. Photo: William Meppem

Once you get the hang of it, these empanadas are easy to make. They're also really tasty with plain tomato sauce, but don't tell anyone we said that. You can make vegetarian empanadas by substituting the beef in this recipe with mashed and seasoned roast pumpkin.


125ml extra virgin olive oil

2 large brown onions, chopped

200g minced beef

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/4 bunch oregano leaves, chopped

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

2 boiled eggs, each cut into 6 pieces

12 pitted kalamata olives

24 raisins

vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For the dough

225g plain flour

75g self-raising flour

1 tsp table salt

60g unsalted butter, melted

For the pebre dipping sauce

1 large vine-ripened tomato

1/2 red onion, diced

2 jalapeño chillies, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, finely diced

60ml good-quality white wine vinegar

1/2 bunch coriander, chopped


 Heat half the olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes until they start releasing moisture. Strain through a sieve, discarding the juices. Return the pan to a medium heat and add the remaining oil. Add the beef and garlic and cook until browned. Return onions to the pan, add spices and oregano and cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste, stir through parsley and set aside to cool.

For the dough, place flours and salt in a large bowl. Add melted butter and mix well. Add 125ml water and knead until a smooth dough forms. Set aside for 15 minutes, covered with a tea towel.

Divide dough into 12 pieces and roll each into 12-15cm discs. Place an equal amount of beef filling in the centre of each disc, top with a piece of boiled egg, an olive and 2 raisins. Brush edges with water and fold over to form a semi-circle. Crimp edges together with your fingers to seal.

For the sauce, peel, de-seed and dice the tomato. Stir in remaining ingredients, 60ml hot water and season to taste.

Heat a pan of vegetable oil to 180°C, then deep-fry the empanadas in batches until golden. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and serve immediately with the sauce.


Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Nick Banbury.  Food preparation by Dominic Smith.