Argentinian Lunch – Recipes.

For Mothers Day yesterday our Argentinian guest made lunch. It was just wonderful. So tasty and I learnt a few very good tricks. So as a practice for his  English studies, last night Federico wrote the recipes down for me and described to me out loud how he made yesterdays lunch. This made him search for a number of words he had not used before.  The lunch was wonderful and the rain held off long enough for us to be able to eat out in the garden and he improved his English. empanada


1 lb Mama’s ground beef, in bowl, add finely chopped onion, plus handful of chopped green onions.  Cook with butter and olive oil for about 10 – 15 minutes.  Add 2 chopped boiled eggs and a small handful raisins and 1/2 cup chopped olives with 2 tsp sugar.

While this is resting make the pastry. He said the important part of this is to let the pastry sit in the freezer twice during its rolling out period.  pastry

Pastry –  500 gram flour, 350 gram butter cubed, 100 mls water, mix together with your hands.   Roll to 1/2 inch thickness, then put whole thing still on the board into the freezer 10 minutes. Fold and roll thick again, then back into the freezer.  Then roll thin, cut out circles and  make your empanadas.



  • 1 cup oregano
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 whole garlic
  • 3/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp paprika (or  in Argentina: Aji molido)
  • 1 tsp salt

Chop all ingredients very finely by hand. This takes a long time. Make 24 hours before serving so the flavour grows.


Steak on the grill. Mix scant  1/4 cup of salt in a bottle of water.  Put your finger over the top of the bottle and dribble onto meat as it cooks – maybe every 5 minutes I think.


This makes a wonderful crusty layer on the meat.  Not too much though or it will get too salty.

I hope you have a lovely day. dinner-038

Your friend on the farm.

Oh almost forgot to tell you. Our border of sweetcorn and sunflowers running down the east and half way down the South side of the field, right next to my garden, has popped up. Four rows of sunflowers, closest to the house and four rows of sweetcorn behind. Now, as long as this last bout of rain does not drown it I will finally get my collar of sunflowers around the garden.





58 Comments on “Argentinian Lunch – Recipes.

  1. What a wonderful mothers day lunch! LOVE your last photo – I love eating al fresco.
    Have a wonderful day C.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  2. Ooh! Federico knows that if he cooks like that, he’ll be asked back!

    I’m enjoying the warm sunshine on the swing hammock on the slab of concrete that poses as a patio, in the pocket handkerchief that calls itself a garden. I hope you also have warm sunshine.

  3. looks delicious to me along with some wine to dine!! and the beautiful peonies in the background! lovely Mother’s day for you Celi!

  4. Looks really fabulous! How long should you bake the empanadas?

  5. Wonderful! Big thanks to Federico 🙂 !!! Have not used quite as much garlic and normally make the sauce with one of the red wine vinegars; also oft use coriander if I do not have enough oregano. Shall try this way next. And have never put the empanada dough in the freezer, just for 20 minutes or so in the fridge!! Must try also! The raisins do sound good . . . I often use some cumin, cinnamon and cloves in the meat but my recipe probably was morphed quite a few times after birth in Argentina!! The steak looks great and the beautiful table attests to an enjoyable meal!!! Looking forwards to the sunflowers . . . .

    • Federico gave me a stern lecture that Chimi MUST have oregano and parsley. If i substitute they are not the Argentinian gaucho ones.. then it is closer to pesto.. c

      • Must plant another big pot of oregano in that case when spring arrives: I make quite a bit of the stuff 🙂 ! Thanks to Federico!!!

  6. OH MY GAWD!!! The kids would LOVE Empanadas!! I’m on it! Thanks for sharing!

    • He baked them for about 30 minutes, on 400. As the insides are already cooked he says they do not need too long in there.. also you can make them with potato. Kids will love them, probably love making them too..

      • Our neighbour is Brazillian – a great cook too – and she makes these delicious wee snacks for us if we have a get together. She puts palm hearts, among other things, into them. Yummy!

    • With the sunflowers I have had the farmer plant them so that as they follow the sun at sunset the flowers will be looking into the house.. hope it works..

  7. OOh lovely! Big Man’s father was born in Argentina so I shall have to make these soon 🙂 Tell Federico “que comida mas rica”!

  8. A tasty for certain. I will need to remember that little trick of salt water on meat. I imagine that beside flavoring the beef and providing a tasty crust, it also helps keep it moist. We don’t eat much beef, but, when we do . . .

  9. Your meal looked wonderful. What colour olives? Or does it not matter, and also green onions are they what we call here spring onions? Finished my questions now 😊X

  10. An amazing lunch. Perhaps Federico will consider becoming a personal chef…and I must say, even though I don’t eat meat anymore, that steak looked yummy 😉

  11. What a treat for Mother’s Day. The food looks very good. I planted a row of sunflowers against the fence and the birds ate all the seeds.

  12. I’m planning to plant sunflowers myself today – I’m so glad yours have popped out the ground. I’m looking forward to seeing how they look in the near future – it’s going to be lovely! Thanks for these great recipes – you can’t get any more authentic than that. My husband loved Argentina. (He used to go there for business.) In fact, at one time he thought of buying a 2nd home there – that’s how much he loved it. AND – we live in the northeastern United States – so that would’ve been a real haul !! Hope you’re having a great day and that you only receive some light rain on those corn plants and sunflowers!

    • The rain is still coming down, sigh, but we might get a break from it tomorrow so things can drain, but now the temps are going Down! Rainy season here!.. c

  13. Oh, you have reminded me today of my precious daughter who thrice has traveled to Argentina. Once to study abroad and twice to visit. She prepares some delightful Argentine dishes. Looks like the perfect day to dine outdoors.

  14. Lovely setting for a scrumptious meal! I make chimichurri a good bit when my herbs are up in summer. It’s great with venison and wild hog – I often use it as a marinade for wild meats. Your photographs are lovely… I always notice “hands” in photographs. These were “working” hands… the salt of the earth!

  15. Lucky you. Lunch looks wonderful, and thank Frederico for taking the time to share his recipes. I think learning another language by doing something you enjoy is the best way. I learned to sew in German, but that’s another tale.
    I’m intrigued by the sweetcorn / sunflower combination, is it a similar idea to three sisters? I’m trying to incorporate more flowers into my vegetables but I have a lot to learn. Having the flower heads face the house in the evening is brilliant!

  16. Frederico’s lunch looks amazing! The recipes are great too, sufficient & pertinent details 🙂 I love your black table & chairs. Very elegant – outdoors roomy in the garden. Hmmm, a border of sunflowers. I like this but I’m pondering which way they’ll face and where to plant them.

    • Ella – Sunflowers are absolutely fascinating as their big heads move around all day to face the sun: like a flower ballet!!

      • Oh, that makes sense! My across the road neighbour had them in the front yard and they faced us I thought but I obviously didn’t notice that feature.
        It would be lovely to have them around some of our fence line at least. They are so cheery and the feathered locals will go nuts 🙂

  17. Oh Gracias, Gracias Federico for these fabulous recipes and to you C. for documenting them for us! Federico, can you come to Washington state when your farm stay with Miss C. is up? You won’t have to pull half as many weeds! 🙂

  18. Any chance of sharing Frederico? I am going to try this .. Can’t wait! Those sunflowers would make the best support for some runner beans 😊

  19. I planted six small sunflowers around part of my garden. Ornery squirrel (I assume) broke the head off one, now there are five, but I have a feeling he’s munching on them.

    • Oh no.. I hate that when something eats the plants so young, sometimes I cover them with wire baskets, even old dishwasher baskets until they are older.. I hope nothing eats my field ones.. all set out in a line like that!

      • I hope yours stay safe, too. Thanks for the basket idea. I may have to put something heavy atop–those squirrels are pretty persistent!

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