Country: Argentina, Latin America
Notes: In Latin American cultures, an empanada is a type of baked or fried pastry, consisting of pastry and filling. Empanadas are made by folding dough over a stuffing, which may consist of meat, cheese, corn, or other ingredients. For our trip of empanadas we have three types, ground meat with chimichurri, shredded chicken with tomato and then the Caprese. The caprese version is the one that has an Italian influence but is very popular in Argentina.
Preparation: The masa is rolled out into circles and then the fillings are added to the center. The dough is then folded over the filling to form a half circle and then the edges are pressed together to seal the filling inside. When ready the empanadas are fried to order to give a crispy texture.
Story: Argentina is not only one of the highest consumers of meat out of the Latin countries but they’re also consistently among the top consumers in the world. The quality of beef in Argentina is very high which is another reason why they consume so much beef. Asados in Argentina are the techniques and the social event of having a barbecue. An asado can consist of beef, pork, chicken, chorizo, and morcilla which are cooked on a parrilla. It is safe to say that Asados are the national dish of Argentina.
The Entraña cut of meat is one of great flavor though it isn’t the the most tender cut. It is generally not the most expensive cut of meat nor the cheapest. When cooked and sliced correctly however it becomes as good as any cut of meat on a cow. All of these factors make for a cut that has become very popular when choosing a cut of meat to cook.
The Chorizo in Argentina is not as hard as the Spanish variety or as soft as the Mexican variety and is generally not as spicy as other styles. It is one of the most popular items to grill on the parilla and is almost always included in asados. At Alma, we serve grilled vegetables added to the asado.
Preparation: Chimichurri is used to marinate the Entraña before cooking. Then the chorizo, Entraña and vegetables are grilled separately until finished. Finally, it is placed on a wooden board and served with chimichurri.