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Empanadas, bread pies stuffed with shellfish, fish or meats, are iconic of Galician cuisine. The crusts and fillings vary from place to place, and nearly every Galician family, restaurant, and tavern claims to have the secret formula for making the best version. Of the many empanadas I have tasted in this beautiful northwestern region, these ones are my favorites - their crust is consistently delicate and delicious.

This robust filling is typically made with pork loin or tenderloin, but chicken and beef are fine substitutes.

  • Servings: 6


  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 lb of pork loin, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp bittersweet smoked Pimentón (spanish paprika)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup piquillo pimentos, sliced
  • 3 onions chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb of yeast pastry or bread dough
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 2 hard boiled eggs


Put the sliced pork in a dish with paprika, 1 tbsp of the chopped garlic, oregano, salt and pepper, and let sit for 30 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the pork very quickly, removing slices as they are browned. In the same oil, sauté the chopped peppers, onions and remaining garlic until softened. Add the prepared tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper and cook until the tomatoes are reduced and the sauce is very thick.

Divide the dough in half. On a floured board, roll out to a thickness of 1/4 - 1/2 inch. Line a cake tin with dough. Spread this with half the prepared sauce. Arrange the slices of pork loin on top and add a layer of piquillo pimentos above that. Slice the boiled eggs and layer above other ingredients. Spoon on the remaining sauce.

Roll out the rest of the dough and cover the pie. Crimp the edges together and trim the excess. Make a hole in the center for a steam vent. Put in a medium hot oven for 30 minutes. Brush the top with beaten egg and bake another 15-20 minutes.

The crust should be golden and crispy. Can be served hot or cool.

See also...

Fire Roasted Piquillo Peppers from Lodosa

Fire roasted and hand peeled Pimientos del Piquillo are a unique specialty of Lodosa, a village in Navarra, which has only become available commercially in the last 25 years. They come from a unique variety of red peppers grown in Lodosa and its surrounding area in northern Spain.

Triangular in shape, they have a uniquely curved point (piquillo). You may have read about these celebrated peppers in the New York Times, Bon Appétit, Saveur, and Gourmet -- or perhaps you enjoyed them when you were in Spain.

Thin-fleshed, mild piquillo peppers are grown to a bright red hue. They are picked between late September and November each year. They are slow roasted immediately at a low temperature, peeled by hand and placed individually in a bottle in their own juice: no washing, no chemical treatment, all ecological.

Heat the peppers, and then serve alone or with a little olive oil. They are also good with fried eggs, or perhaps with some grilled morcilla blood sausage. One of the favorite ways to serve them is stuffed with fish, crab or shrimp. The taste is more intense and more refined than that of the fleshier 'morrón' peppers. Each jar contains 8 to 12 whole peppers.

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