Classic Argentine Empanadas

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Makes 24 empanadas The dough freezes well. You can also freeze “Filling Part 1.” There is so much flavor that you can leave out the meat for a vegetarian option. You can also substitute ground turkey.


  • 1 1/2 cups shortening
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 34 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large candy sweet onion, minced
  • 1 colorful bell pepper
  • 1 bullion cube (beef or chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon each paprika, crushed red pepper, cumin
  • a good sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds finely diced chuck roast or ground beef (or use leftover pot roast beef- just skip the browning step)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
  • 1 Yukon gold potato, boiled and diced
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • 16 pitted Spanish green olives, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chives or green onions, chopped


  1. Heat shortening and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until shortening melts. Meanwhile, combine flour, salt and paprika in a bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the liquid into the well and, when it is cool enough to work with yet still warm, mix the dough with your fingers until it is well combined. The key is to have a moist, oily dough that will be very elastic once chilled. Refrigerate, wrapped in plastic, for at least two hours, or overnight.
  2. Saute onions and peppers in oil along with bullion and spices until soft. Add and brown the meat.
  3. Once this mixture has has cooled, mix “Filling Part 2” ingredients into the cooked Filling Part 1.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  5. Roll dough into ping-pong sized balls and flatten dough into a 1/8-inch thick circle, using a rolling pin. Place 1-2 spoonfuls of filling on each circle, fold half the dough over top, leaving a good edge around the pocket of filling. Fold this edge back toward the filling pocket and press your fingers into the dough as you are folding it over to create a rope-like appearance.
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.