Potato, chorizo and beef empanadas

Potato, chorizo and beef empanadas

The Potato Cookbook

Wrapped in pastry and deep-fried, these are the perfect snack on a cold day – or, really, any time. If you want some heat, serve them with your favourite hot sauce.


Quantity Ingredient
2 small floury potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes, about 200 grams
1/4 teaspoon salt, for the cooking water
1 tablespoon olive oil
150 grams minced beef
125 grams chorizo, quartered lengthways and sliced
1/2 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
125ml chicken stock
50 grams fresh or frozen peas
1 hardboiled egg, diced

for the dough

Quantity Ingredient
450 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
125 grams unsalted butter, melted
250ml warm water

For frying

Quantity Ingredient
2 litres vegetable oil


  1. Put the potatoes and salt in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer until tender, about 10–12 minutes, testing with the point of a sharp knife.
  2. Meanwhile, for the filling, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat and brown the beef and chorizo, stirring often to break up any lumps of minced beef, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano and cumin and cook until the garlic is soft and the spices are fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and add the potatoes, roughly mashing them with a fork. Add the peas and bring to the boil. Simmer until the peas are cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the hard-boiled egg. Set the filling aside to cool completely.
  3. To make the dough, combine the flour, baking powder and sea salt together in a mixing bowl. Pour in the butter and mix with a fork until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the warm water, a little at a time, until the dough holds together but is not too sticky. You may not need all of the water. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes. Form a disc, cover with plastic wrap and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces and roll each piece into a ball with your hands. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece of dough into a 15 cm circle, about 2–3 mm thick. If you don’t have a thermometer, keep a small piece of dough aside to test when the oil is ready for frying.
  5. Divide the filling into 12 portions. Place a portion of filling on one side of each dough circle. Lightly brush the edges of each circle with cold water, fold the dough over and press the edges together with your fingers to form a half circle. Using your fingers, twist the edges of the empanadas to seal. Chill the empanadas in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 30–60 minutes.
  6. Pour the vegetable oil into a large, deep pot to a depth of about 7 cm. Heat the oil over medium–high heat until it is about 180°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, carefully lower a piece of the pastry into the oil to test if it’s ready. If the oil bubbles around the pastry and the pastry rises quickly to the surface of the oil, it’s ready to use. Fry 3–4 empanadas at a time, turning once, until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes in total. Transfer the empanadas to a wire rack lined with paper towel. If the temperature of the oil keeps increasing or it starts to smoke, reduce the heat to medium.
  7. Allow the empanadas to cool for 2 minutes before serving.
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