At the busy Bar Coruña in Santiago de Compostela, trays of these spherical meat pies are constantly emerging from the kitchen and are devoured by the two- and three-deep crowds at the bar. The favorite accompaniment is the thick raspberry-colored Ribeiro wine of Galicia.
- 1 package dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water
- 3½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup warm milk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons minced green pepper
- 1 pound ground beef
- Freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup water
- 1½ tablespoons dry red wine
- ¼ teaspoon crushed dried red chili pepper
- Oil for frying
To make the dough, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Mix together in a bowl the flour and salt. Add the egg, then stir in the warm milk, butter, and the yeast mixture. Turn onto a working surface and knead a minute or two, just until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky, adding more flour as necessary. Place the dough in a bowl greased with oil, turning to coat with the oil. Cover with a towel and leave in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1½ hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion, garlic, and green pepper until the green pepper is tender. Add the meat and cook over a high flame until it begins to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste, water, wine, and red pepper. Cover and cook 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into thirty-two 1½-inch balls. Roll each into a 3-inch circle. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each circle, pull up the sides, and pinch to seal.
Heat the frying oil, at least 1 inch deep, in a skillet. Lower the heat to medium and fry the meat pies slowly, turning frequently, until they are golden. Drain.
Nutritional information is based on 16 servings, 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving and 1 cup added oil for frying.