Thomasina Miers' recipe for turkey, pancetta, and parsnip empanadas

The remaining Christmas ham and poultry are ready for this festive cake pack

Isn't it time we looked at leftovers in a different way? It's a neat package of beautifully seasoned ingredients that are prepped, cooked, ready to go and perfect for making something new when you're short on time and inspiration. Christmas leftovers are a treat, and a ready-to-use filling for these empanadas. Whether you buy your cookies or make your dough from scratch, the joy here is in the rich, wonderful flavors of the filling.

Turkey, pancetta and sweet potato empanadas

Sage, allspice, pancetta and garlic transform cooked turkey and leftover root vegetables into something rather special.

  • Preparation 20 min
  • Refrigerate 1 hour
  • Cook 55 min
  • Makes 10-12 empanadas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, peeled and finely diced
  • 150g pancetta, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • Few cloves
  • 200ml white wine, or stock
  • 12 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 300g leftover roast turkey, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg, beat briefly

For cake

  • 360g plain flour, plus extra for rolling (white flour works very well here too)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 170g cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 60g cold lard, diced


Smoky harissa, or other chili flavoring

Greek yogurt

First make the pastry – it needs to be as cold as possible for a light and crumbly result. Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and lard and quickly rub into the flour until half is incorporated into crumbs and half is still in small flakes. Add four tablespoons of cold water, quickly knead into a ball, flatten into a rough disc, wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

Now the contents: put a large skillet over medium-high heat and, once hot, add the oil and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and pancetta and cook for another five minutes until the pancetta starts to release its fat. Add the carrots, parsnips, garlic and spices and continue cooking for another seven to eight minutes, until the onions are soft and the vegetables change color. Add wine, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Stir in the sage and turkey and taste, checking for seasoning, before chilling in the fridge. Line two trays with parchment or silicone paper.

Remove pastry and filling from refrigerator and preheat oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F/gas 5. Roll out pastry on a floured surface 3-4mm thick. Use a 10 or 12 cm round cutter to cut out the circles and fill each circle with a tablespoon of the filling. Fold it in half and use a little water to seal it, bending the edges with a fork. Place on a baking sheet, brush with egg (the rest can be added to the omelet) and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy.

Stir a few tablespoons of harissa into a bowl of yogurt and serve with hot empanadas.

Simple flexibility

For vegetarians, replace the lard with an equal amount of butter, and use sliced sprouts and chestnuts in place of the pancetta and turkey.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post