Empanada gallega

Empanada gallega is a pie from Galicia. It has a top and bottom crust and traditionally it´s a vehicle for leftovers; any bits of meat or small pile of seafood can become a gorgeous pie with some dough and a lot of slippery slow-cooked onions.

Being one of those traditional homely dishes, there are as many versions as there are grandmothers. The dough can be yeasted, use baking powder, or nothing. You can use the oil of the sofrito in it, or not. Liquids for the dough can be orange juice, white wine, beer, or milk. Strong words are sometimes exchanged on the subject of putting tomatoes inside. And so on.

As for the filling, anything goes, but make sure you use more onions than seem reasonable. It´s all about the onions, really. And my mother´s trick: a couple of hefty spoonfuls of sugar. Classic combinations are tomato sauce and tuna or sardines(from a can); peppers and onions with pork (pimentón optional); onions, salt cod and raisins; squid in its own ink sauce; peppers and onions with any shellfish or any of the more esoteric tins manufactured in Galicia.

I have been trying several versions, based on the instructions of several of my empanada instructors, and at last have decided on this. It´s an adaptation for the Thermomix, but is easily done by hand, and responds well to tweaking to suit what there is in the pantry. Although it seems to be a big production at fiest sight, like most things it comes down to experience: once you´ve made it a few times you realize that it´s easy, and impressive.

The filling:

The first thing you have to do is sautee a lot of onions and peppers, slowly. This takes the longest, but isn´t hard, as you know. However, if you´re in a hurry and need to get the pie off the ground quickly, a tin of Hida fried onions and a bottle of piquillo peppers, or a tin of Hida pisto will be great. I won´t tell anyone, just take out the trash before the guests arrive.

Mix this with the tinned seafood or meat and let it cool a little.

The dough (enough for a pie for 4/6. If you want a big one that takes up the whole oven tray, make two batches in the Th or a double batch by hand)

You need 80 grams of oil and 3 tablespoons of another fat. The oil can be from the tins of fish you´re using, or it can be fresh olive oil. The fat can be butter, lard, or bacon fat. Mix these with 80 ml of white wine, and heat them a little so the fat melts. In the Th. this is 50ºC 1 minute speed 1.

Now add approximately 450 grams of all purpose flour. You may also want to use yeast, in which case 1 sachet is what you want, plus a good spoonful of salt. I don´t bother with the yeast any more, and it cuts down on waiting time not to.

Either mix in speed 6 for 20 seconds until it forms a ball and then give it 2 minutes of kneading speed in the Th, or do it by hand. You want a dough that is smooth and soft and warm, very nice to the touch. As ever with dough, you might have to add a bit more liquid or more flour to get where you want.

Give it a rest while you preheat the oven to 200ºC. This usually coincides with the onions finishing cooking.

While they cool a little, divide the dough in two. Make a big rectangle, stretching the dough as thin as you can, and spread the filling evenly. Roll out the other half of the dough, cover the bottom crust with it, and them crimp the filling shut. Use the stray cuts to make decorations, make a few cuts to let the steam escape, and brush with beaten egg.

(Here´s a post with step by step photos. That pie is nothing like mine, but illustrates well the point I make about there being no two alike.)

Bake for about half an hour, until golden all over.

Do not, EVER, serve this piping hot. Warm is best, cold second best. Leftovers possibly best of all, and if you take it to a picnic you will receive ovations.

7 comentarios:

Pille dijo...

Yay! I've been so looking forward to this post. I'll be trying your version soon as well. The previous empanada went down a storm, so there's definitely a demand for them here :)

EB dijo...

Using the oil of the sofrito in the dough?! Delicious.

annie dijo...

These sound grand. I hope to make them later this week. thanks.

Rhode Island DUI lawyer/attorney dijo...

Sounds so delicious!

lobstersquad dijo...

Pille: over to you, I´m sure you´ll make beautiful pies
EB: it is. I never use enough, though, so that´s my loss.
Annie: great, I hope you do.

Ken dijo...

I love Empanada! Thanks for sharing your recipies, now I am excited to make these for snacks. :)

Reva dijo...

Encontrada! Me encanta tus descripciónes y los shortcuts y ideas de variaciónes...