Beef empanadas

The empanada resembles a pasty and probably started out in Spain but soon spread throughout Latin America and Asia. The piquant chimichurri sauce is a great accompaniment.

Makes 16-18

Makes 16-18


For the empanadas:

  • 2 x 375g packets all-butter puff pastry 
  • Olive oil, for frying 
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced 
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped 
  • Pinch of ground cumin 
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon 
  • ½ tsp paprika 
  • 300g minced beef 
  • 4 tbsp pitted green olives, chopped 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano 
  •  tsp dried chilli flakes 
  • Pinch of sugar 
  • 2 hardboiled eggs, finely chopped 
  • 1 large egg, beaten 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

For the chimichurri sauce:

  • Bunch of flat leaf parsley 
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled 
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano leaves, or 1 tsp dried oregano 
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, to taste 
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 5 tbsp olive oil

Cooking instructions

  • Roll out both blocks of pastry to a thickness of 3mm and cut out 18 discs, using an 11cm cutter or saucer. Cover the discs with cling film and chill while you prepare the filling. 
  • Heat a saucepan over a medium heat and add a little olive oil. Sweat the onion and garlic gently for about 5 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the cumin, cinnamon and paprika and stir until aromatic. 
  • Add the beef, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Mix in the olives, oregano, chilli flakes, sugar and eggs. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Leave to cool. 
  • Once the beef has cooled, spoon about 1 tablespoon onto each pastry disc, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Brush beaten egg around half the border, then fold the pastry over and press the edges together to seal and create a half-moon shape. Crimp the edges, removing any air pockets as you go.
  • Chill the empanadas for 20 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/Gas 4. 
  • Place the empanadas on a baking tray. Make a steam hole in the top of each one with a skewer, then brush with beaten egg. Bake in the preheated oven for 18–20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. 
  • Meanwhile, make the chimichurri. Place the parsley, garlic and fresh oregano (if using) in a small food processor and roughly chop. Add the rest of the ingredients and blitz briefly to combine. Taste and season. (If using dried oregano, add it at this stage.) 
  • Once the empanadas are cooked, cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold with the chimichurri on the side to spoon over or dip into.

Read more in Gordon's recipe books...

Recipes extracted from Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course, published by Hodder & Stoughton, £30