Pork buns, pasties, kolaches, pirozhkis, bierocks, the list goes on and on. Every culture, it seems, has their own version of meat contained within bread, all contained in a neat hand-held, portable package.

They are cheap, portable, and filling. Perfect for people who are on the go. I spent a few years living in Buenos Aires, and Argentinean empanadas were my go-to for a quick, delicious meal. Savory meat is enveloped in a flaky, tender crust.

Below you will find my go-to recipe for empanadas. You can find the empanada shells (“tapas”) at any latin market. Make sure you take note when buying: there are tapas for frying and tapas for baking. Be sure to pick the corresponding type depending on how you’re going to cook them. I prefer baking.

Or you can save yourself the trouble and just head over to Argentina’s Best Empanadas in Salt Lake and buy them ready-to-eat.

Recipe

2 lbs hamburger (85/15)
2 large onions
5 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons white pepper (black works as well if you don’t have white)
3 tablespoons whole oregano
6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 cup green olives, chopped

Tapas (you will want around three to four dozen tapas). If they are frozen, put in fridge and allow to thaw.
Egg white

Cook onions over medium heat with some oil for three minutes, then add hamburger and brown the meat. Add paprika, salt, onion powder, sugar, cumin, pepper, and oregano. Cook until onions are translucent. Remove from heat and chill. Once chilled, add olives and chopped eggs.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Take a tapa and fill it with a couple spoonfuls of the meat filling. Fold the tapa in half over the meat filling, line up the edges and pinch closed with fingers. Take a fork, press down along the edges to form a strong seal between the two edges.

Place the filled empanadas on a baking sheet, and be sure they don’t touch. Either use parchment or a Silpat to prevent sticking. Brush each empanada with egg white. Bake for around 20 minutes or until brown.

These are great to eat fresh out of the oven, or throw them in the freezer to reheat for a quick snack later.