Longstanding GOLDEN EMPANADA title holder San Telmo has shared this recipe for its Silverbeet, Mushroom and Bechamel Empanada in time for Argentina’s Independence Day.


Bechamel Sauce

  • 50g Butter
  • 50g Flour
  • 500ml Milk
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 125g Grated manchego cheese
  • Salt to taste


  • 500g Swiss brown mushrooms – thinly sliced
  • 1 Silverbeet, white stem diced, green leaves roughly
  • 1 Leek – diced (white part only)
  • 1 Garlic clove – minced
  • Butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste


  • 625g Plain flour
  • 4g Baking powder
  • 13g Table salt
  • 58g Duck fat
  • 300ml Water

4 cups of Vegetable oil (for deep frying)


Bechamel Sauce Method
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted.

Add the flour and stir until smooth.

Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy colour. This should take about five minutes.

Add the milk to the mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth.

Bring to a boil. Cook for 10 – 20 minutes, stirring constantly, then add the manchego cheese and continue to stir until fully melted.

Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.

Sweat leeks and minced garlic in butter and oil for 10 minutes then set aside.

Roast mushroom on a baking tray in the oven at 225 degrees for 10 minutes with butter, salt and pepper.

Empanada Filling Method
Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

Sweat leeks and minced garlic in butter and oil for 10 minutes, then set aside.

Roast mushrooms on a baking tray for 10 minutes with butter, salt and pepper.

Cook diced silverbeet until soft, add chopped green leaves until wilted.

Add the leek and garlic mixture to the silverbeet, followed by the mushrooms.

Drain excess liquid, if any.

Stir in Bechamel sauce.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Empanada Dough Method
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 kitchen aid with the dough hook attachment (or similar), mix the dry ingredients for 3 minutes. Slowly add the cooled liquid and mix until just combined.

Cover the dough with glad wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Once chilled, divide into three and roll to 3ml thickness with a rolling pin. Cut out 12 cm diameter circles. If not being used instantly, place between pieces of greaseproof paper cover with glad wrap and refrigerate.

Assembly Method
Place a circle of pastry in your left hand, then take 40 grams of cold empanada mix (about one full dessert spoon) and 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.

Preheat oil to 180 degrees in a deep fryer or large pot.

Deep fry empanadas for three minutes or until golden.

Makes 20 Empanadas