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Thomasina Miers' empanadas

by Sarah Randell

Serves: 8

Bored of soup and sandwiches? Empanadas are great for lunch if you fancy mixing it up Mexican style! This black bean and chorizo recipe from MasterChef winner Thomasina Miers' book Wahaca: Mexican Food At Home (Hodder & Stoughton, £20) will make you want to pack your bags and move to Mexico! What's your favourite Mexican food? Tell us in the comments box below.


Text © Thomasina Miers, 2012


  • 250g good-quality chorizo, skin removed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 400g cooked black beans
  • a small handful of thyme, chopped
  • oil, for greasing
  • egg wash (1 egg mixed with a splash of milk)
  • 360g plain flour, chilled, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 180g lard, chilled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml ice-cold water


  1. To make the pastry, sift the flour and a few good teaspoons of salt into a large bowl, then rub in the lard until the mixture resembles large breadcrumbs. The less you work the pastry, the better.
  2. Mix the egg and water together, pour into the flour mix and stir with a fork until it just comes together. The dough will be soft, rough-textured and quite sticky.
  3. Gather the dough together with cool hands, sprinkle with flour and pat down to a thickness of 2-3cm.
  4. Cover the dough with clingfilm and chill for at least 2 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, dice the chorizo into 5mm chunks and put them in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat.
  6. When the chorizo starts to release its fat, stir in the onion.
  7. Reduce the heat and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 10 minutes.
  8. Stir in the black beans, then mash them so that they roughly bind everything together.
  9. Add the chopped thyme and remove the pan from the heat.
  10. Divide the chilled dough in half and, on a floured surface, roll each half into a square about 5mm thick.
  11. Cut each large square into 4 smaller squares and transfer them to oiled baking sheets.
  12. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6.
  13. Put 1-2 generous tablespoonfuls of the chorizo mixture into the middle of each pastry square.
  14. Brush some egg wash around the filling, then fold a corner of the pastry over to the opposite corner to make a triangle. Press the edges together with a fork.
  15. Brush the parcels with the remaining egg wash and prick with a fork once or twice to create air holes.
  16. Bake for 20 minutes or until crisp and golden, turning once during cooking.


Use ready-made puff pastry if you prefer

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