Empanada Gallega is a large round pie from Galicia, Spain. The dough is slightly different to typical Latin American-style empanada dough. The empanada is often baked in a paella pan or in a pizza pan. The fillings of Galician and Portuguese empanadas usually include tuna, sardines or chorizo, commonly in a tomato, garlic, and onion sauce.
- 4 cups (600 g) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- good pinch fine sea salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ⅓ cup olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 1 egg, beaten, plus 1 extra egg to glaze
- 1 cup (250 ml) milk
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 1 red capsicum, halved, deseeded and cut into thin strips
- 500 g roma tomatoes, chopped
- ⅓ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 200 g drained, tinned tuna in oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 2 hours
To make the pastry, place the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl, mix, then make a well in the centre. Add the oil and beaten egg and gradually incorporate the flour into the liquid. Start adding the milk, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a slightly sticky and elastic dough (but not wet). You may not need all the milk depending on the size of the egg you are using, or add slightly more if too dry. Bring the dough together with your hands. Place on a plate, sprinkle with a little flour, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for 30–60 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the onion until soft but not coloured, stirring regularly. Add the red capsicum and chopped tomato and cook for 3 minutes, or until just starting to soften. Take the pan off the heat, add parsley, salt and pepper, and mix everything together. Leave until cool (20–30 minutes). Drain the oil from the tuna, break into smaller chunks and add to the tomato mixture.
Preheat the oven to 200˚C/Gas 6 and lightly oil a flat baking sheet. Weigh the pastry, remove 120 g for decoration and divide the remaining weight by 5. Roll two-fifths of the pastry into a ball and put it to one side. Form the rest into a slightly larger ball. Roll out the larger ball of pastry until it forms a circle about the size of a large plate (35 cm) and place on the lightly oiled baking sheet.
Spoon the cooled filling into the centre of the pastry and spread it out towards the edge, leaving a 4 cm border all the way around. Brush the border lightly with beaten egg. Roll out the remaining pastry slightly smaller than the base of the pie (about 32 cm) and gently place it over the filling, leaving a 4 cm edge all the way around.
Bring the base up to meet the smaller pastry disc and fold it over, pressing and rolling into a rope shape to make a sealed pastry edge. Alternatively, press edges together with a fork, supporting the pastry underneath with your fingers, then roll the edge over.
Roll out the 100 g pastry into a long, thin shape, then cut thin strips to decorate the top of the empanada. Brush the top with beaten egg, cut a small hole in the centre and line with a small length of pastry and place remaining pastry strips to decorate. Make a couple of small slits in the top to allow the steam to escape. Bake in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is hot. Serve warm or cold.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Michelle Noerianto. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.