IHAVE PROMISED you a recipe from one of the participating nations every week during the course of the World Cup, but here is where it gets tricky. We have reached the knockout stages of the competition, which means that by the time you read this, the majority of nations will have made their way home. However, as I have to write the column a week in advance, it’s hard to predict who will still be in the tournament.So I have come up with a cunning plan to cover all eventualities.
South America is a big continent with a huge range of cuisines but there is one snack which makes an appearance in most South American countries — the empanada.
Empanadas are a type of pasty which originated in Spain — and they are both Moorish and more-ish. The country which made the empanada famous is Argentina but if Messi doesn’t work his magic then we need not worry because versions are made in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and I daresay Colombia — they can’t all be knocked out, can they?
This is an Argentinian recipe for a beef empanada – they are tasty and easy to make and feature a surprising mix of sweet and savoury ingredients. Sauté an onion in a little vegetable oil until translucent, then add 250g of minced beef, a teaspoon of paprika and half a teaspoon of cumin. Fry on a medium heat for a few minutes until the beef is cooked through, then add a handful of sliced green olives, a chopped hard boiled egg and a handful of raisins. Warm through and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 180ºC and roll out a 500g packet of (non-dairy) puff pastry. You need to cut eight to 10 discs of 11 cm — by chance exactly the diameter of a CD — choose Coldplay or some other band you will never listen to again. Place a dessert spoon of beef mixture in the middle, brush the edges with some beaten egg to seal, fold over and press all the way around the edges with a fork. Brush the empanada with some more beaten egg and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Consume while watching the footie. Me? I’ll be supporting Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay or Colombia (if still in the tournament, of course).
It’s hard to predict who will still be in the tournament. So I have come up with a cunning plan