To make the empanada pastry
In a large bowl mix the flour, salt and softened butter as well as the lard and combine and rub together using your fingers until you get pea sized pieces.
Stir in the iced water a little at a time and mix with a fork until you have a nice soft pastry dough. Knead together until the pastry comes together in a ball. Place in the fridge to chill for one hour.
To make the filling
Wash, peel and dice the potato into small cubes. Cook the diced potato for 10 minutes in salted boiling water until tender, then drain and reserve. Defrost the spinach, peel and crush the garlic and peel and dice the onion.
In a large frying pan or wok heat the olive oil until it’s spitting. Cook the onions and garlic for four minutes until they begin to brown then add the spinach and sauté for 2 minutes while constantly stirring.
Drain off any excess juices from the spinach and the remove from the heat. Stir in the cooked potato. Mix in the grated cheddar cheese and season with some salt and pepper.
Assembly and Cooking
On a lightly floured work surface roll out the pastry dough and using a large 3.5 inch diameter round cutter, cut out circles of the pastry. Place a generous helping of the spinach/potato/onion/cheese filling onto the each circle of pastry just off centre. Brush the edges with beaten egg and then fold over to form a semi circle. Crimp the edges together with a fork.
Repeat until all the ingredients are used.
Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4.
Place the empanadas onto a lightly greased nonstick baking tray, brush the outsides with beaten egg and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve as a delicious snack or finger food.
The empanadas can be deep fried in vegetable oil for an extra crispy pastry finish depending on your preference.