RECIPE: San Telmo's silverbeet, mushroom and Bechamel empanada

San Telmo's silverbeet, mushroom and Bechamel empanada. Photography: Kristoffer Paulsen

Melbourne restaurant San Telmo is celebrating Argentina's Independence Day with a barbeque feast on Sunday July 8. And kicking off the dishes and treats will be the venue's special recipe for silverbeet, mushroom and Bechamel empanada.

Makes 20 empanadas

Bechamel sauce
50 g butter
50 g flour
500 ml milk
Pinch of nutmeg
125 g Grated manchego cheese
Salt, to taste


  • In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy colour. This should take about 5 minutes. Add the milk to the mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook for 10-20 minutes, stirring constantly, then add the manchego cheese and continue to stir until fully melted. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use. Sweat leeks and minced garlic in butter and oil for 10 minutes then set aside. Roast mushroom on a baking tray in the oven at 225°C for 10 minutes with butter, salt and pepper.

500 g Swiss brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 silverbeet, white stem diced, green leaves roughly
1 leek, diced (white part only)
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 225°C.
  • Sweat leeks and minced garlic in butter and oil for 10 minutes, then set aside.
  • Roast mushrooms on a baking tray for 10 minutes with butter, salt and pepper.
  • Cook diced silverbeet until soft, add chopped green leaves until wilted. Add the leek and garlic mixture to the silverbeet, followed by the mushrooms. Drain excess liquid, if any. Stir in Bechamel sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


625 g plain flour
4 g baking powder
13 g table salt
58 g duck fat
300 ml water
4 cups vegetable oil


  • In a medium-sized pot, bring half of the water and all of the duck fat up to heat until the fat has melted. Mix in the remainder of the water and cool to room temperature. Using a kitchen aid with the dough hook attachment (or similar), mix the dry ingredients for 3 minutes. Slowly add the cooled liquid and mix until just combined. Cover the dough with glad wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Once chilled, divide into 3 and roll to 3 ml thickness with a rolling pin. Cut out 12 cm diameter circles. If not being used instantly, place between pieces of greaseproof paper cover with glad wrap and refrigerate.


  • Preheat oil to 180 degrees in a deep fryer or large pot.
  • Place a circle of pastry in your left hand, then take 40 grams of cold empanada mix (about one full dessert spoon) and place it in the middle of the pastry. Bring pastry edges together and pinch to create a seal. Using a fork, press sealed edges to create a linear pattern. Deep fry empanadas for 3 minutes or until golden.

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