For the filling, heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat, then fry the onion for 10 minutes, or until softened. Add the spices, season with fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook, stirring, for a further 5 minutes, then add the meat and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the mince, for 30 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated and the meat is just starting to fry. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Fold in the eggs and olives and refrigerate to chill.
For the dough, melt the ghee in a small saucepan over low heat. Put the flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment and mix to combine. Mix the melted ghee and water in a jug. Leave the mixer running on low speed, and gradually add the ghee mixture to the flour until a dough forms. Add another splash or two of water if the dough feels too dry or crumbly. Set aside to rest for an hour.
Quarter the dough and roll out to a 2mm-3mm thickness and cut out rounds using a lightly floured 15cm round cutter.
Holding a round of dough in one hand, wet the outer edge, then place 2 tbsp of filling in the centre. Fold the dough over the filling to make a half moon, then press the edges together and fold the lip over itself, pressing and pleating as you go. Repeat until you’ve used up all the dough and all the filling.
Fill a deep heavy-based saucepan a third full (no more) with oil, and heat the oil to 170°C. Deep-fry the empanadas in batches for 4–5 minutes, or until golden. Drain on absorbent paper, then serve.
Note This recipe is from Recipes for a Good Time (RRP $59.95) by Elvis Abrahanowicz & Ben Milgate, published by Murdoch Books, and has been reproduced with minor Gourmet Traveller style changes.