People say that winter in Mallorca is boring.
They are wrong.
For this whole month of March and probably for the month of April too, I’m going to show you what great fun you can have in Mallorca in the winter.
Through the blog you are going to become a member of our Winter Activities group and you’ll be stepping into my shoes to discover all the great things that we do in Mallorca in the winter.
This time last year, a huge group of friends got together to learn how to make empanadas. We roped Toni’s family into it too!
Making Empanadas at the Finca
Toni’s abuela (grandmother) lives in Santa Maria in a townhouse. She also owns a finca in the country in Santa Maria. No one lives in the finca but it’s a great venue for parties and get-togethers, it being an old typical Mallorcan farmhouse on the top of a hill with plenty of land around.
The finca has a huge outdoor area and there is still an old typical wood oven that still works. That is where we planned to make the empanadas.
What is an Empanada?
An empanada is a small individual pie that is normally made especially for Easter, but can be eaten at any time of the year. Each area of Spain has its own version of empanada but we were making the one that’s typical from Mallorca.
The empanada is round with a flat base and a flat lid. Inside it normally contains small pieces of lamb or chicken, peas and sobrassada. But you can put anything you want in there.
Empanadas are very fattening but are quite delicious – please don’t be alarmed by the ingredients:
Ingredients for 20 empanadas:
For the pastry:
- 1 ½ kgs pastry flour
- 375g lard – melted
- 250g olive oil
- 200ml tepid water
- 2 egg yolks
For the filling:
- 1 leg of lamb de-boned and chopped into bite-sized chunks
- 200g fresh or frozen peas (optional)
- 100g Mallorcan sobrassada torn or sliced into small pieces
- 100g bacon or pancetta chopped into small pieces
- Juice of half a lemon
Once we have the lamb pulled away from the bone and diced we leave it to marinate in a little olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. If you can prepare this in advance and leave it for a few hours, even better.
Now we make our pastry. Mix all the pastry ingredients together and massage the mixture with your fingers until it makes a dough. Leave it to rest while you make your filling.
Mix together your marinaded meat, the peas (if using), your small pieces of sobrassada and the small pieces of bacon or pancetta. Season generously with salt, pepper and olive oil.
Break off portions of approx. 80g of dough and mould into a ball. Push your thumbs into the ball to make a hole and gradually open up the hole until the dough has lost its dough shape and looks like a mini bowl with a flat bottom. Fill it with your filling.
Take another piece of dough and roll it flat so that you can cut a round piece to make the lid for the empanada. Cover the filling with the dough lid and press the edges of the lid together with the edges of the bowl part to seal it.
Make a tiny hole in the top of each empanada and place them on a tray in a preheated oven for 45 minutes at 180ºC. Or if you can use a wood oven like we did, even better.
Serve fresh from the oven or keep them in a cool dry place and serve cold within two days.
Empanadas with Winter Activities
When we all got together to make empanadas last year, there were not many of us who had a clue where to begin. So we nominated some of the local mothers and grandmothers who are used to making them for their own families every year.
Each expert took a team of novices and set to work correcting our every move and trying to keep us under control.
Before long we had quite a production line going. Those who got fed up with the pie making took control of the sangria.
Soon we had all our empanadas ready and had progressed to other things. We had a few pizzas on the go, there was a paella being cooked on the barbecue and Toni made a couple of huge salmon pastries that turned out to be delicious.
We picked a few of the men to be in charge of the barbecue and the wood oven and they ran the show like clockwork.
I would like to remind you that all the photos used in this blog are my own unless otherwise stated. If you want to see the rest of the photos from this day, see the slideshow below. If you want to know more about Winter Activities, click here.
About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....