What is the distinguishing characteristic of Argentine cooking you may ask? As per our host this evening, it is the special beef and the beef cut. Our host this evening, Fabiana Wijnschenk, gave us a quick peek into the Argentine culture and cuisine. We started with som Locro Criollo, a thick stew of vegetables and beef, and then rounded that off with some steaming hot Empanadas Criollas, stuffed with “beef cut by the knife”.
Below, we will take you on a photographic journey through the menu and recipes of that evening – text and recipes is provided by Fabi, while the photos are taken by me.
As Fabi explains…
Argentinian gastronomy is known for its main ingredient, especially beef. The type and cut of beef basically determines the type of cooking, and this goes from fast cooking, stir frying to stew.
Each region has its own dishes, but Argentine Traditional Creole Cuisine, Cocina Criolla Tradicional, is the perfect combination of native ingredients and cooking techniques introduced by immigrants.
One of the most representative dishes is Locro Criollo, a thick stew of vegetables and beef, which is usually consumed to celebrate the May Revolution in the fall, or Independence Day during the cold July.
Of course you can never miss the Creole Empanadas, Empanadas Criollas, stuffed with “beef cut by the knife”. And the best Argentine wine for a perfect pairing, Malbec.
Locro Criollo Argentino
1 kg maize
1 kg beans
100 grams of bacon
1 and 1/2 kg squash
2 large onions
100 grams Spring onion
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tsp full pepper
At ease salt
Soak, in abundant water and separately, the beans and the corn during the night.
Cook the ingredients (corn and beans) on high heat until the water begins to boil and then moderate the fire. Incorporate fillet bacon and pumpkin.
Little by little the pumpkin will disintegrate giving consistency and color to the broth. Try the broth and add salt to taste if needed.
In another pot sauté the meats.
Meanwhile, peel the onions, chop finely and sauté in a separate saucepan with two tablespoons of oil. Let it cool, pour it in a separate container and add the olive oil, sweet paprika, hot pepper.
Finally, mix everything and serve.
Empanadas Criollas de Carne Cortada a Cuchillo
Dough (for oven)
3 cups of flour
100 ml of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
7 grams of yeast
1 cup of water (slightly warm, not very hot)
1. Mix the dry ingredients.
2. Add the oil.
3. Add the water little by little and knead.
4. The dough has to “rest” for at least one hour.
100 grams of spring onion
2 large onions
2 red peppers
1 Tablespoon of Paprika
1 Tablespoon of Oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
In a frying pan, sauté the finely chopped onions until they are transparent without browning, along with red currants and diced tomatoes. Add the meat. Stir well, season with the spices and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and let cool.
Optional: Add the olives, chopped hard boiled egg and raisins.
Fill the “empanadas” with a well-filled tablespoon of the filling, close the pie, make the “repulgue” and place in an oven plate.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Bake the “empanadas” for 15 to 20 minutes at 180 degrees until golden brown.