Chefs' Recipes

San Telmo's beef and chorizo empanadas with chimichurri

The Argentinian eatery's recipe for those filled pastry crescents, with a vibrant green sauce to boot.

  • 1 hr preparation
  • 45 mins cooking (plus resting, cooling, chilling)
  • Print
San Telmo's beef and chorizo empanadas with chimichurri


  • 35 gm duck fat
  • 375 gm plain flour, sieved (2½ cups)
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1 fresh chorizo (100gm)
  • 250 gm coarsely minced beef
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • ½ red capsicum, seeded and finely chopped
  • 40 gm frozen peas (1/3 cup)
  • 1 tbsp pickled guindilla chillies, finely chopped (see note)
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 ground cinnamon
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 long red chilli, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, bruised
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1½ tbsp dried oregano
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar


  • 1
    For dough, warm fat and 180ml water in a small saucepan until fat melts. Mix flour, baking powder and 1½ tsp fine sea salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add fat mixture and knead until dough comes together (2-3 minutes). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to chill (1 hour).
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 170C and line a baking tray with foil. Split chorizo lengthways and roast on tray until just cooked through (10-15 minutes). Cool on tray (10 minutes), then chop into 1cm dice, reserving juices. Increase oven to 250C. Spread beef on a baking tray lined with foil and roast until lightly caramelised (8-10 minutes). Cool for 10 minutes.
  • 3
    Heat olive oil in a saucepan over high heat, add onion and capsicum and fry until starting to brown, then reduce heat to low and sauté until tender (8-10 minutes).
  • 4
    Combine peas, guindillas, spring onion and spices in a bowl, add chorizo, pan juices and beef, season to taste and refrigerate to cool mixture completely (30-40 minutes).
  • 5
    Divide dough into 18 pieces and roll out to 12cm rounds. Place a tablespoonful of beef mixture on the centre of each, lightly moisten edges with water and fold pastry over filling to form a half moon. Starting at a corner, squash a small section of pastry, lightly stretch it out and fold over, then repeat along edge to create a rope effect, folding last piece of seam under. Place empanadas on lightly floured trays and cover with a tea towel.
  • 6
    For chimichurri, pound chilli and garlic with a mortar and pestle to a paste, then mix in remaining ingredients, 2 tsp sea salt flakes and 2 tsp cracked black pepper.
  • 7
    Heat oil in a deep saucepan to 180C. Deep-fry empanadas in batches until golden and crisp (3-5 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, then serve with chimichurri.


Pickled guindilla chillies are available from Spanish food stores.