Empanadas are typical of Galicia, the north-western region of Spain. Essentially they are a bread pie and can be filled with anything from seafood to meat or chicken or just vegetables. They can be served in small slices as part of a tapas selection or be a meal in themselves for lunch, with nothing more than salad needed alongside. This recipe uses pork loin or tenderloin, but you can replace it with chicken or beef if you prefer. For a vegetarian version replace the meat with extra vegetables and add more eggs.
If you can buy ready-made bread dough or yeast pastry, this is a relatively simple and quick recipe, despite the list of ingredients. Or make it when you are already making a batch of bread and just reserve enough dough for the pie.
325g / ¾ lb pork loin sliced thinly
½ teaspoon smoked pimento (Spanish paprika)
½ teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium onions, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
3 ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
450g / 1lb bread dough or yeast pastry
½ cup piquillo pimentos sliced
2 hard boiled eggs
1 egg beaten
Marinade the sliced pork with the paprika, oregano, salt and pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the chopped garlic for at least 30 minutes.
Peel, deseed and chop the tomatoes. Chop the onions and peppers into fairly small pieces. Hard boil the two eggs and allow to cool.
Put the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan and fry the pork quickly just to brown it. Remove the slices to a warm plate as soon as they are browned.
In the same oil cook the chopped onions, the remaining garlic and the chopped pepper until they are softened. Add the prepared tomatoes, the chopped parsley and a seasoning of salt and pepper and cook to a thick sauce.
Divide the bread dough into two equal pieces. Roll it out to about 1 cm / ½ inch in thickness and line a cake tin with it.
Spread half of the sauce onto the bread dough base. Arrange the browned pork slices on top. Add the piquillo pimentos as the next layer. Follow this with the sliced hard boiled eggs. Lastly cover with the remaining sauce.
Roll out the remaining dough and cover the pie. Crimp the edges together, pressing down firmly. Cut off any excess dough.
Make a hole in the centre for steak to escape.
Bake at 180C / 375F for about 30 minutes. Then brush the top with beaten egg and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes until the crust is golden and crispy.
Try more delicious tapas treats at some of Nottingham’s Spanish Restaurants.