Empanada de Carne o de Pescado

Empanada de Carne o de Pescado
Prepared December 7, 2013


Has de tomar la carne o el pescado, y darle un hervor; mas si fuere carne, hierva mas que el pescado; y desque haya bien hervido, quitarlo del fuego y ponerlo en agua fría; y después hacer la empanada, y ponerle la carne o el pescado cortado a pedazos pequeños, tan grandes como los dos dedos, y aun menores y ponlos en la empanada, y después vaya al horno y hacer un agujero encima del cobertor de la empanada porque pueda respirar, que de otra manera reventaría en el horno; y cuando pusieres la carne en la empanada poner también la salsa fina con ella, y si fuere de pescado, carga la mano en la pimienta; y si de carne, cargar la mano en la salsa; y un poco antes que sea hora de sacar la empanada del horno, poner por el agujero huevos batidos en una escudilla con agraz o con zumo de naranja o vinagre blanco Rosado y después tornarla al horno por espacio de un Pater Noster y un Ave María y sacarla y ponerla en la mesa.

[Ruperto de Nola, “Libre de Coch”, 1529, Recipe #130]


Pastry of Meat or Fish

You must take meat or fish, and give it a boil. But if it is meat, boil it more than the fish. And when it is well-boiled, take it from the fire and put it in cold water. And then make the empanada. And put in the meat or fish which is cut into small pieces, as big as two fingers, or even smaller. And put them in the empanada, and then go to the oven and make a vent hole on top of the lid of the empanada so that it can breathe, or else it will burst in the oven. And when you put the meat in the empanada, also put fine spice with it. And if it is fish, use a good deal of pepper. And if it is meat, use a good deal of spice; and a little before it is time to remove the empanada from the oven, put into the vent hole some eggs beaten in a dish with verjuice or orange juice or rose-scented white vinegar. And then return it to the oven for the space of a Pater Noster and an Ave Maria. And take it out and put it on the table.

Empanada Filling

For the Filling:
1 lb Ground Beef
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
½ Cup Olive Oil
1 Green Bell Pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 Onion, thinly sliced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 tsp Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 Cup White Wine
2 tsp Pimentón (Spanish smoked Paprika)

For the Dough:
1 14-ounce package frozen puff pastry
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1 Egg


Brown the Ground Beef and season it with Salt and Pepper to taste. Remove from pan. Heat the Olive Oil on Medium-Low. Add Onion, Peppers, and Garlic. Cook until Onions are a Golden Brown. Add Thyme and Bay Leaves and cook until mixture is Brown. Add Wine and cook until it evaporates. Add Ground Beef back in and cook for five minutes adding in the Paprika. Remove from heat and put mixture in a strainer to let excess liquid escape. Remove the Bay Leaves.

Roll out Puff Pastry on the back side of a Baking Sheet and trim to the size of the sheet. Prick the dough repeatedly with a Fork to release steam. Spoon in the mixture keeping it about one inch from the edge. Make an Egg Wash and brush it on the edge of the dough. Cover it with the remainder of the Puff Pastry dough and trim to size. Pinch and Roll the edge of the dough. Use a knife to prick air vents in the top of the dough and brush it with the remaining Egg Wash. Bake for about 30 minutes or until Golden Brown.


Empanadas are a traditional dish in Spain and Portugal, especially Galicia. They arrived during the Moorish invasions and are believed to have their origins in the Samosas from India. Empanadas can be made with a wide variety of stuffing. I chose Ground Beef for this one because it was in the Freezer. I also took inspiration from the Empanadas that are currently served in Spain, especially Galicia. They traditionally include Bell Peppers and Paprika. Since Bell Peppers arrived in Europe via Columbus' Second Voyage, I am assuming that it's possible that they started to show up in Empanadas in the latter part of the 16th Century. It turned out well, but I was a bit too cautious on seasoning the meat. It could have done with some more salt and pepper. I hope to make a Chicken or Pork variation soon.

Popular posts from this blog

Salsa de Pago (Peacock Sauce)

Period Food on a UDS

Pullum Particum (Parthian Chicken)