19 Apr2013


Guapo. Not pretty, not dainty, not elegant, but handsome. That’s the only way I can think of to describe these baked empanadas I made a few weeks ago. If you are a long-time reader of this blog, you will know there are a few things I haven’t been able to conquer, amongst them, shaping dough properly in stwists, turns, folds, etc. And further, I haven’t yet arrived at an empanada recipe I am proud to call my own and which I would use repeatedly. I vacillate between more flakey, flavorful butter like doughs, infuriatingly complicated and exasperating scaled doughs, and simple but more traditional doughs using lard. The blog is splattered with posts here, here, here and here related to empanadas.


The last time I made empanadas, using Claudia Roden’s recipe, I was quite pleased, but I am always willing to try another version. These empanadas use a dough from Francis Mallmann’s WONDERFUL cookbook “seven fires, grilling the argentinian way”… The dough uses pork lard, is extremely easy to make and handle and roll, and it yielded these wonderful looking baked empanadas. Here is the recipe. First make a salmuera, or boiled salted water. Bring 2 cups of water and 1.5 tablespoons of salt to a boil, then add 3.5 tablespoons of pure leaf lard and transfer all the liquid to a wide mixing bowl and let it cool to roughly 80F. Add roughly 6 cups of flour and mix it in with your hands, and use up to 7 cups flour total. Knead of a clean surface, flouring the surface as needed, you will end up with a stiff dryish dough. Divide the dough into two, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for several hours before using. Good for about 18-22 small to medium empanadas.


These particular empanadas were filled with tuna, but I am itching to develop a nice meaty empanda filling in the weeks ahead. At least I have the dough part worked out. Thank you Mr. Mallmann. :)



  1. bearhug0127 says:

    would love to sink my teeth into them!

    Apr 19, 2013 | 11:29 am


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  3. Natie says:

    I always zero in on empanadas in a Pinoy party..they usually don’t disappoint, unlike the sorry-looking Lechons we have here…crispy in some parts, kunat in most…and tasteless!

    Apr 19, 2013 | 11:49 am

  4. bagito says:

    Guapo indeed. Make little ones and call them guapitos. Yum!

    Apr 19, 2013 | 11:57 am

  5. cora says:

    How about the zubuchon empanada! If I recall, did you also make the empanada dough with some vodka in replacement of water?

    Apr 19, 2013 | 12:28 pm

  6. tercer says:

    I remember the empanadas the lolas in my family used to make decades ago. They always had that layered look like clamshells. I haven’t seen empanadas made that way since. I’ve been wondering for sometime now how it was done.

    Apr 19, 2013 | 1:34 pm

  7. Rob says:


    I think I know what you’re talking about. I’ve seen that type of dough used for Curry Puffs (Karipap) in Malaysia & Singapore.

    You can find the technique here:


    Apr 19, 2013 | 1:48 pm

  8. Ed B. says:

    I can imagine your lechon sisig will be stellar filling for empanada! :D

    Apr 19, 2013 | 3:43 pm

  9. Footloose says:

    Empanada is the equivalent of our quick bite and fast food in Argentina. You can find them any where or have them delivered to your home or place of work. Street moochers hit you with their request for change for empanada. Most common ones have doughy crust like calzones and then there are flaky ones that are totally tempting specially when just fished out of the hot grease.

    As per Market Man’s frustration with making empanadas, success in making them has to wait until the aspiring cook has acquired confidence and plenty of experience in handling and rolling out pastry dough. It is also particularly problematic if trying to make them from written instructions alone. Fortunately most of us have access to a computer and the internet now. Among the huge number of empanada making clips you can find in Youtube, I’d bookmark this one for its high production value, its conciseness and the clarity of instructions given, not to mention its tasty end-product which I tried right there at the estancia myself:

    Apr 19, 2013 | 4:21 pm

  10. Shalimar says:

    cornish pasties crossed over with empanadas… yum!

    Apr 19, 2013 | 4:31 pm

  11. pixienixie says:

    What’s in the tuna filling? :)

    Apr 19, 2013 | 4:54 pm

  12. millet says:

    guapo jud!

    Apr 19, 2013 | 6:18 pm

  13. Papa Ethan says:

    @cora: zubuchon emapanada sounds great! How about it, MM?

    Apr 19, 2013 | 7:01 pm

  14. EbbaBlue says:

    Yeah, one vote from me – zubuchon empanada.

    Apr 19, 2013 | 7:24 pm

  15. ECC says:

    I have been sworn to secrecy but our generations-old family recipe for Empanada dough is similar to that in Rob’s link. Using two types of dough and the rolling technique described result in the beautiful layering effect. However, we bake our empanadas instead of frying them. For the filling, we use the basic “Torta” recipe of sautéd onions, ground meat, cubed potatoes, a little bit of tomato paste for color, salt & pepper. Add the slice of boiled egg, slices of sweet gherkin pickles, and raisins before folding and crimping the edges of the dough.

    Apr 19, 2013 | 9:16 pm

  16. Chris J says:

    I am not ordinarily so lazy as to use commercially purchased puff pastry when I make my own empanadillas, but sometimes when putting together a pile of Spanish tapas, having the dough ready is convenient. As with marketman, I’m comfortable with my dough but my fillings need work, too.

    Great recipe for empanadillas with raisins, spinach, anchovies and pine nuts in The Complete Book of Tapas and Spanish Cooking by Pepita Aris.

    Apr 19, 2013 | 10:46 pm

  17. natie says:

    This site is a WEALTH of information!! Saludo!!!! Bookmarked, Footloose…

    Apr 20, 2013 | 7:17 am

  18. *charisse says:

    * hmmm… my favorite merienda

    Apr 20, 2013 | 9:48 am

  19. rosedmd says:

    Guapo indeed!!! I can’t say anything….. except, pahingi !

    Apr 20, 2013 | 12:40 pm

  20. tercer says:

    ECC, that list of ingredients is practically identical to those my family made. That plus the layered dough (albeit finer and more delicate looking than Rob’s karipap) is exactly how I remember lola’s empanadas. It was a Pampanga recipe. The dough was almost as savory as the filling.

    I know Argentine empanadas are renowned. I’ve had them, and Chilean, Salvadorian, Guatemalan, Mexican, etc. in my search to find as good as my lola’s. The search continues. Maybe I will only find it in the Philippines.

    Apr 20, 2013 | 1:08 pm

  21. SoCalbliss says:

    MM, how about with crispy lechonfillings for the empanadas? Empanadas with a delish crunch!

    How I wish you can FedEx Zubuchon in US or branch out here…

    Apr 20, 2013 | 10:02 pm

  22. Corrine says:

    Looks yummy! My fave snack. Was it fried?

    Apr 20, 2013 | 10:37 pm

  23. ECC says:

    Tercer, can it be that we are related? My mother is also from Pampanga. Her aunt owned the El Gusto Bakery in Guagua from where the recipe comes from. The dough we make is indeed finer and thiner than the Karipap. Where are you based?

    Apr 20, 2013 | 10:52 pm

  24. Tercer says:

    ECC, unfortunately the times I managed to tag along on those Pampangga trips were few and only stayed no more than mere hours. I was too young to remember most of the family elders with any clarity, and have been away since. It’s interesting that my clearest memories seem to consist mostly of so much fantastic feasts, and the pastries!!! Panaditas, pastillas, yema, tocinillas, silvanas, and so much more! I miss them all.

    Apr 21, 2013 | 1:46 pm

  25. blaise says:

    A Zubuchon filled empanada :)

    Apr 22, 2013 | 2:28 pm

  26. Angelo says:

    Hello MM, is it better to use butter or lard to get a flakier crust?

    Apr 25, 2013 | 1:40 pm


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