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Cabbage you say!  Yep,  I didn’t fancy currants, olives and capers as per the recipe I was looking at, and I knew for certain Mr MWCED was not going to want currants and olives, so I figured best substitution was something fresh from the garden, and cabbage it was.

Usually we make these in the winter, but it was a chilly evening so I thought they would be perfect. And they were.   This recipe is an amalgamation of a couple from the web – the filling (apart from the bits I didn’t use!) came from Emerils.com with the pastry from My Colombian Recipes  (and while you are there check out the amazing recipe for Columbian Black Cake – I am definitely going to try that!)

Search out my post from last year for Rustic Chicken Empanadas for another take.

Enjoy your Empanadas!


Pork Empanadas


2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
115 gms butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg
¼ cup ice cold water (or a little more if your mixture is too dry).

Mix flour and salt in the food processor then add butter, egg and cold water. Pulse until mixture comes together.   Shape into a ball, wrap and refrigerate for between 30 minutes to an hour (no panic if it is a bit longer).


350g pork mince
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon dried oregano (or mixed herbs)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (or chilli flakes)
½ cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced/chopped (whatever you prefer) garlic
Diced capsicum – about half a cup
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons cider vinegar (can substitute with rice vinegar)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 cup water
Chopped cabbage (we picked ours from the garden – use as much or as little as you like)

1 large egg, lightly beaten (for brushing finished pastries)

While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling.  In a medium frypan over high heat, combine the pork, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, oregano and crushed red pepper and cook until meat is golden brown and cooked through (about 6 minutes) – use a spoon to break meat up if it is forming clumps.  Add onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes then add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add the capsicum, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar and stir to thoroughly to combine.  Stir in the water and reduce the heat to medium.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is very thick and flavours have come together – about 15 minutes.   At about the 10 minute stage, add chopped cabbage.

Once finished take off heat and let cool.     Before you roll out the dough and fill the pies, heat oven to around 180 F.

Place the dough on a floured surface and sprinkle with flour.  Roll out to a circle about 1/8” thick.  Using a small saucer as a guide, cut as many rounds as you can.  Press scraps together and knead again to reform dough to cut more.  We got 9 from our pastry, enough for dinner and a couple of freezer meals (1-1/2 pastries each was plenty).

Using a tablespoon, top one side of dough with about 2 tablespoons of the cooled meat filling.  Using a pastry brush, brush the edges of one side of a round with some of the beaten egg, then fold the edges over so that the dough meets to form a half-circle shaped pie.  Using the tines of a fork, press the edges of the dough circle firmly to crimp.

Line a baking tray with baking paper (or use nonstick cooking spray) and place the pies on the tray.  Using the tip of a small knife, cut several small slits into the top of each empanada to allow air escape while baking.

Brush empanadas with leftover egg mixture.

Put tray into oven and bake for around 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

I served this with a fresh green salad: frilly lettuce from the garden; tomatoes; blanched asparagus and fresh herbs (mint and basil).   We also had an onion marmalade.