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 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
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 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
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.