Cheese and onion empanadas

Three countries brought together in one seriously tasty pastry

“If only Porteña did an advent calendar,” we muse, as we bite into the warm crust of its empanada and send rich rivers of melted cheese and sweet onion over our tastebuds. Though the wisdom of having any pastry every day for 24 days in a row remains dubious, we’d happily waive aside any health concerns if our daily intake consisted of Argentina’s answer to the Cornish pasty.

They aren’t enormous: don’t make the mistake we made of trying to share them. Indeed, the real challenge will be having just the one—just as it is with your advent chocolate. Made with cheddar, provolone and onions cooked to perfection, it is Borough Market distilled and wrapped in a pastry case.

Cheddar from Britain; provolone from Italy—“a very popular cheese among Argentinians, we also use it a lot at our parrilladas! Barbecued on the grill,” explains Porteña’s founder Federico—and the recipe, of course, is from his homeland, Argentina. Onions, flour and butter are sourced locally; the empanadas lovingly compiled in Porteña’s kitchens, just minutes away.

From there they are transported to the stall, where they are baked throughout the day: their pastry crust burnished brown, their aroma billowing into the air, their insides sizzling in anticipation.