Your MALBEC menu, Melbourne!

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Once again, five of Melbourne’s best empanada chefs will battle it out to win the coveted GOLDEN EMPANADA competition. Two trophies are up for grabs: the Professional, as voted by a team of top local food critics in a blind tasting, and the People’s Choice, voted by you.

Here’s what’s on the menu for the day. Make sure you vote for your favourite!


Empanada de Carne: Beef, almond and raisin – $5
Empanada de Queso: Mushroom, silverbeet, bechamel – $5


Beef cheek empanada
Mac & cheese empanada
Choripan $14


Chicken, chorizo and tomato empanada with chimmichurri – $5
Smoked mushroom and goat cheese empanada with tomatillo salsa – $5


Empanada de Cerdo: Braised pork, chargrilled corn and prunes – $5
Empanada de Pescado: Poached cod, cheese, rigatoni and quail egg – $5


Lomo saltado and Malbec empanada – $10
Cheese arepa (Colombian corn and cheese bread)- $6
Harley House vegetable croquettas – $7.50
Churros with dulce de leche and chocolate $ 7.50

About 4mates Empanadas (Sydney)

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Joining Porteño, La Bastide and Alfamores in Sydney is 4mates Empanadas – an authentic Argentinean eatery run by chef Fernanda and her family. We caught up with them ahead of Gauchito Gil’s Malbec Day to ask them all about what they do.

Tell us about 4mates Empanadas?

4mates is by me (Fernanda), the chef, with the unconditional support of my family. We were missing empanadas in Australia, and we dreamed about launching a gourmet shop selling our lovely food. A dream quickly evolved into an idea, which soon developed into a business concept. We opened 4mates in Sydney in 2015, producing artisan empanadas by hand with the best ingredients and with love!

Where did the name come from?

Here’s the break down:

4 mates = For mates = For friends = Para amigos. This means that we are doing empanadas for our mates.
4 mates = Four mates = Four friends = Cuatro amigos. We are a family of four, so we are four friends in 4mates.

Mate is also a typical beverage in Argentina.

Our logo 4mates represents the empanada as the Harbour Bridge shape, a Sydney Icon, which symbolises the link between Latin American cuisine and Australia.

How do you make your empanadas? 

Our secret ingredient in our empanadas recipe is LOVE.

Why do Malbec and empanadas go well together, do you think?

Malbec is a good choice to pair with 4mates empanadas because its fruit-forward smoky flavour holds up well to the spice used in the meat filling; spices like cumin, sweet paprika and aji molido.

What’s your favourite food and wine match?

Chicken and Beef empanadas with Malbec wine. And the Spinach and Cheese with a Chardonnay .

MENU: Sydney

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We know wine tasting is hungry work, so we’ve got the following restaurants on board to ply you with empanadas, meat, cheese and biscuits.


Empanadas $7

Steak sandwich $13

La Bastide

Saucisson cones $5
Foie gras


Alfajores biscuits $2.50 each small, $4 regular, $7.50 extra large
Black Sesame
Yerba Mate

Gift Box – $24

Dulce de Leche jar $12

MENU: Melbourne

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We know wine tasting is hungry work, so we’ve got the following restaurants on board to ply you with empanadas and meat and cheese. Don’t forget you can vote for your favourite empanada – the winner of the People’s Choice Golden Empanada competition will get a trophy to display in their restaurant for the entire year. Just log your vote with one of our roving Gauchitos on the day.

The Mill House

Empanadas $5 each
Smoked wagyu brisket with fois gras, truffle, and chimichurri
Arroz con pollo with salsa criolla
Chilli con carne
Bottles of Chilli Sauce $5

Gertrude Street Enoteca

Empanadas $5 each
Chorizo and lamb with chimichurri
Smoked scamorza and potato with tomatillo and jalapeño salsa


Kalitsounia Cretan pies (the original empanda!) 2 for $8, 3 for $10
Sheep and goat cheese
Wild greens

CHE (Chicken, Helados, Empanada) 

Pollo a la braza $10
Charcoal chicken, Peruvian slaw, pickled onion and fermented chilli sauce
Empanada de carne $6
Smoked beef, Botija olives, roasted capsicum and Peruvian yellow chilli.
CHE Sundae $6
Helado (ice cream) de dulce de leche with Malbec and blueberry jam, honeycomb and shaved macadamia nuts

San Telmo

Empanadas $5
de Carne: Beef, burnt corn, capsicum, cumin and paprika
de Queso: Corn, onion and mozzarella


Chorizo and pickled padron peppers $12.00
Asado beef ribs with chimichurri $14.00
Picanha and salsa verde $22.00

Yarra Valley Dairy

Cheese platter $15
A selection of three cheeses served with fresh bread, crackers and quince jam

Individual cheeses*
Persian Fetta 275g $10
White Savourine 200g $12
Black Savourine 110g $9
Hot Cow 150g $8
Yering 110g $9

*Select any three cheeses for $26

San Telmo’s Golden Empanada Award-Winning Recipe

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For the past two years at Gauchito Gil’s Malbec Day Melbourne, San Telmo has won the Golden Empanada trophy for the day’s best empanada, voted by a panel of professional food writers and critics. It has very graciously shared the recipe for its prize-winning empanada with us.

Serves 20.


  • 625g plain flour
  • 4g baking powder
  • 13g table salt
  • 58g duck fat
  • 300ml water


In a medium sized pot, bring half of the water and all of the duck fat up to heat until the fat has melted. Mix in the remainder of the water and cool to room temperature. Using a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, mix the dry ingredients for 3 minutes. Slowly add the cooled liquid & mix until just combined. Cover the dough with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Once chilled, divide into three parts and roll each to 3ml thickness with a rolling pin. Cut out 11.5 cm diameter circles. Place between pieces of greaseproof paper. If not being used instantly, wrap and refrigerate.


  • 625 g minced beef
  • 50 g diced red capsicum
  • 35g diced brown onions
  • 1 spring onion
  • 4 g crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1.25 tbs smoked paprika
  • 3.75 tbs sweet paprika
  • 1.25 tbs chilli flakes
  • 60 ml red wine
  • 5 tbs ground cumin
  • 60 g sliced green olives
  • 3 boiled and diced eggs
  • Sunflower oil, for deep frying


In a pot, melt lard. Then place onion and capsicum and cook until soft. Add spring onion, garlic and chilli to the mix. Add mince and season. Once beef has browned all over, add all the spices except the cumin. Add red wine and cook for 15 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat, add cumin and olives. Adjust seasoning. Cool down, and then add chopped eggs.

To assemble, place a circle of pastry in your left hand. Take 40 grams of cold empanada mix (about one full dessert spoon) & place it in the middle of the pastry. Bring pastry edges together and pinch to create a seal. Using a fork, press sealed edges to create a linear pattern.

Heat sunflower oil in a deep saucepan to 180C. Deep-fry empanadas in batches until golden and crisp (about 3-5 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and serve.

Porteño’s Empanadas De Carne

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Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz from Sydney’s Porteño and Bodega restaurants share with us their recipe for empanadas de carne. They’ll be popping up at Gauchito Gil’s Malbec Day at Carriageworks, but if you can’t wait that long for their pastry-wrapped meat moons, give this a go.


  • 500 g plain flour
  • 100 g ghee
  • 250 ml warm water
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt


  • 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 brown onions, minced
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
  • 600 g minced chuck steak
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 60 g pitted black olives, chopped

To make the filling

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over a low heat and fry the onion for 10 minutes, or until softened. Add the spices and cook, stirring, for a further five minutes, then add the meat. Cook, stirring occasionally to break up the mince, for 30 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and the meat is just starting to fry. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Fold through the eggs and olives and refrigerate to chill.

To make the dough

Melt the ghee in a small saucepan over a low heat. Put the flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment and mix to combine. Mix the melted ghee and water together in a jug. Leave the mixer running on a low speed, and gradually add the ghee mixture to the flour until a dough forms. Add another splash or two of water if the dough feels dry or crumbly. Set aside to rest for 1 hour.

Quarter the dough and roll out to a 2-3 mm thickness and cut rounds using a lightly floured 15 cm round cutter.

Fill and fry the empanadas

Holding a round of dough in one hand, wet the outer edge then place 2 tablespoons of the filling in the centre. Fold the dough over the filling to make a half moon, then press the edges together and fold the lip over itself, pressing and pleating as you go.

Repeat until you’ve used up all the dough and all the filling. Fill a deep heavy-based saucepan a third full (no more) with oil, and heat the oil to 170C. Deep-fry the empanadas in batches for 4-5 minutes, or until golden. Drain on paper towel and serve.

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