Leftover pulled barbacoa puff pastry empanadas with chimichurri


This recipe works great for any leftovers (meat or veg) you’re unsure on what to do with. It’s quick, easy and sure to be devoured in no time by anyone lucky enough to be around when they come out of the oven. We happened to have some proper barbacoa leftovers given to us by Gaby’s uncle who had arranged for it to be made in my honour (very honoured) at a father’s day get together with the family at a ranch near Naolinco. Barbacoa is a traditional Mexican lamb dish slow cooked in a pit dug in the earth. The meat is marinated in orange juice, lime juice, chili, and spices, wrapped in banana leaves and cooked for hours and hours until tender and falling off the bone.

The empanadas are served with chimichurri on the side which I felt was appropriate given the Argentinian home of empanadas, even if these are not of the traditional Argentinian variety.

I’d alternatively like to have made a creamy, spicy avocado dip to accompany these but that will have to wait until next time.

Whip these up and watch them fly! Delish.

Makes roughly 8

Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 20-25 mins


For the filling:

–  250g of leftover barbacoa (pulled)
– 1/2 medium onion (finely diced)
– 2 cloves of garlic
– Sea salt
– Fresh ground black pepper
– 1/2 lime juice
– Dash of paprika

For the pastry:

– shop bought puff



Saute the onions for a few mins over a medium heat until they start to soften. Add the garlic, dash of paprika and salt/pepper. Continue to cook for a further 5 mins then add the pulled barbacoa and heat through. Add the lime juice, stir in and leave while you prepare the pastry. Flour your rolling surface and roll the pastry evenly and cut out around 8 4 inch rounds with a cutter or anything you have that fits the bill. I used the bowl end of a funnel which did the trick rather nicely. Spoon in a neat helping of the barbacoa, fold the pastry over and seal with your fingers. Crimp with a fork and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Finally, egg wash and transfer to a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 20-25 mins or until golden brown. When the empanadas go into the oven it’s time to get the chimichurri going.


For the chimichurri:

– Hand full of coriander (or cilantro if you are so inclined)
– Small bunch of fresh oregano leaves
– Hand full of Flat leaf parsley
– 2 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely diced)
– 1/2 small onion (finely diced)
– 1 red chili (finely diced)
– Good olive oil
– Splash of white wine vinegar
– 1/2 lime juice
– Dash of chili flakes



Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse a few times to roughly chop and combine. Add olive oil to get to desired consistency and pulse until satisfied. Transfer to a serving bowl or dish and sprinkle with a dash of chili flakes.


To serve:

Serve in the middle of the table with the chimichurri.


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