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Empanada Pork Pie - Pastel de Carne

Empanada Pork Pie

These pies or empanadas were originally emptied-out loaves of bread with a variety of cooked fillings always based on a sauce called zaragallada made of onion, pepper, saffron, and a little tomato. They were a practical way for pilgrims to carry food on their way to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

Makes 4 servings.

Prep Time: 45 min.

Cook Time: 1 hour

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1 1/2 cups flour
A pinch of sweet pimentón (Spanish paprika)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water, or half water and half white wine

5 tbsp oil
2 onions
2 fine green peppers
2 tbsp fried tomato sauce (Tomate Frito)
10 oz cubed loin of pork
2.5 oz serrano ham
2.5 oz chorizo
3 tbsp white wine
A few threads of saffron

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- Place the flour, paprika and salt in a bowl.

- Heat the oil until it is beginning to smoke then add all at once to the flour. Stir with a spoon and add the water.

- Sprinkle a work surface with flour and knead the dough until smooth. Form into a ball and leave to cool covered with a damp cloth.

- Fry the seasoned pork, diced ham, and sliced chorizo.

- Remove from the pan and in the same oil, fry the thinly-sliced onion and finely-chopped peppers until soft.

- Add the fried tomato and saffron then add the meats. Pour in the wine and cook the mixture until the meat is tender.

- Cut the pastry dough into two pieces. Place one half on the floured work surface and roll out until 1/4 inch thick.

- Line a greased and floured pie tin 9 1/2 inches in diameter -- the pastry should overlap the edges -- then fill with the meat and vegetable mixture.

- Roll out the other half and cover the pie.

- Moisten the edges then press together and crimp.

- Decorate the pie with strips of pastry made from what is left over and brush with beaten egg.

- Prick the surface to allow any steam to escape and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.

- Often the filling for these pies -- which can also be made with raw sardines with the bones and heads removed, de-salted cod with raisins, or chicken -- is made with plenty of oil. Any extra oil is then drained off and used in the pastry.

Selected by María Jesús Gil de Antuñano
Recipe courtesy of Spain GourmeTour magazine.

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