We decided to make our second ever Mallorcan recipe! Our first was about Sospiros, which you can check out over here. If you want to skip straight to the recipe, go straight to the bottom, but some of this requires some explanation.
We also wrote a bit about the history of empanadas in Mallorca, which you can read over here!
What are we making?
We took the most typical route, and chose pork with peas, just know that you can use whatever you have lying around.
*Note- We tried to cobble our recipe together from either Spanish or Catalan sources to bring you the most authentic recipe. However, most Spanish/Catalan cooking blogs are run by grandmothers, they’ve been whipping up Empanadas their entire lives, and they don’t believe in measurements. They would use terms like “some”, or “about this much”. The most scientific of the bunch used a cup, the size of which you might use for milk, and said “two of these for lard, half for oil, etc”.
Despite all that, we are immensely proud of how these turned out. The crust is the crummiest most perfect we’ve ever made, and they look exactly like the ones from the bakery down the street.
How did we do it?
So, for the dough you’ll need…
- Lard – four heaping tablespoons.
- Olive Oil – two hearty drizzles.
- Salt – 6 good whacks of the shaker.
- Orange Juice – 3 seconds worth of pouring (figure that one out)
- Some vodka, if you want a crumblier crust.
- Hot water – a bit less than the orange juice
- Egg Yolks – two.
- Flour – enough to make a dough the consistency of Play-Doh.
The ratios I used made 13 empanadas, so use that as a reference.
Once you have the dough, make balls the size of golf balls (for the body of the empanada), and balls the size of gum balls (for the lids).
Put all this in the fridge, and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
(alternatively, you can just buy some premade pie dough, the texture is similar).
You can probably start preheating your oven to 180°C (350°F).
While the dough is chilling, prepare the fillings. And again, you’re going to have to eyeball this.
For the peas:
- Peas (3-4 cups give or take, use the photo below for reference)
- Diced onions (just enough for the flavor)
- half a bouillon cube
- olive oil (just a splash)
I added the peas and onions into a sauce pan, covered them with water, and brought them all to a boil. When they were nice and cooked, I drained them and added the olive oil, and the half bouillon cube (I kept just enough boiling water to dissolve it, but not enough to make it watery, like a table-spoon at most).
Set it to the side.
For the meat
- Diced pork – 500 grams, or 17 oz. This is the only solid measurement you’re getting.
- We used regular pork loin, and found the meat to be too dry. The second time, we used “pancetta” (pork belly) and it turned out much better, if a bit greasier.
- Paprika – to taste
- Salt – to taste
- Black pepper – more than you’d normally use.
- Optional ingredient #1– the egg white from the egg you used for the dough.
- Optional ingredient #2 – Sobrasada
I cut the pork into bite size pieces, and mixed it up with the salt, paprika and black pepper. We added the egg white, only because we didn’t want to waste it, and it turned out just fine. Every empanada I’ve had has had a TON of pepper, so don’t be shy with it.
These fillings PERFECTLY filled the 13 empanadas we had made.
When it’s all mixed together, set it aside.
Now it’s time to form your empanadas. If you’ve ever made a pinch pot in elementary school, then this should be familiar to you. Take a large ball, push your thumb into it, and work the thumb hole outwards until you get the correct size. Pro Tip: after making the initial thumb hole, put the dough onto a square of wax paper on the counter, and try to keep the angle between the countertop and the wall of your empanada around 90°. When finished, put the bodies off to the side (or if they are getting warm put them in the fridge, and work on the lids. Try to match the size of the lids to the empanadas,. When finished, set them aside.
Now you just gotta spoon the fillings into the empanadas. Peas first, then the meat, then a dollop of sobrasada*.
*Sobrasada is a meat/pâté from Mallorca that is 70% fat 30% pork, and tastes heavily of paprika. We wrote about it here. If you buy a tube of Cacique brand Chorizo from Wal-Mart, it wouldn’t be too far off. But if you don’t want to do that, or you can’t find anything, don’t worry. I’ve never had sobrasada in any of the empanadas I’ve gotten from bakeries/supermarkets.
Then put the lids on the top, mash the edges together, and try to make a pretty design if you can.
Pop them in your preheated oven for 50 minutes, until golden brown.
These can be eaten piping hot, luke warm, or straight out of the refrigerator. They can also be reheated in the microwave in just about a minute or so.
For quick reference