How to make a really good empanada

Argentine chef Javier Brichetto of the Piantao restaurant in Madrid, shares the recipe for a very popular summer dish

Paz Álvarez

Meet Javier Brichetto, the Argentine chef and grilling expert behind two acclaimed Piantao restaurants in Madrid. With his mastery of meat cuts, he takes the art of grilling to new heights. But that’s not all — he’s also an empanada virtuoso.

One of his secrets lies in dicing the meat and meticulously mixing the filling. But it’s the technique of sealing the empanada that really sets it apart. The empanada masters from his homeland expertly do this 13 times! If you’re short on time and patience, the tried and true method of sealing the edges with a fork also works well.

Ingredients for the filling (makes four empanadas):


1. Heat the oil in a pot, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.

2. Add the bell pepper and cook for another 4 minutes.

3. Add the spices and cook for one minute.

4. Add the meat, mix well, add the bay leaf, season with salt, and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes.

5. Add the scallion, remove from the heat, and let it cool for two hours.

6. Add the boiled egg and olives, and mix well

7. Place two spoonfuls of the filling in the center of the dough wrapper, fold the edges and seal them.

8. Turn the edges 13 times (Argentine style) or seal using a fork.

9. Deep-fry in oil for 3 minutes and finish cooking in an oven at 350°F (180°C) until golden brown.

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