Pastéis (pl) are fried pasties that today can be found everywhere in Brazil. However once could only be found in the farmers’ produce street market – the feira livre – and were prepared by the descendants of Oriental immigrants. Next to a pastel stand one can be sure to find a “caldo de cana” (sugar cane juice) stand: a perfect match!
At home you can make pastéis of any size, even as small as a mouthful, but the authentic farmers’ produce street market pastel is big, it takes little filling and is mainly pastry, which is very crispy.
For the dough:
• 350 g all-purpose flour
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon corn oil
• 1 tablespoon pinga
• 1 pinch salt
• 100 ml water, approximately
For the meat filling:
• 500 g ground beef
• 1 small onion chopped
• 1 garlic clove chopped
• 2 tablespoons corn oil
• salt and black pepper
• chopped parsley
• 50 g green olives, pitted and chopped
• hard-boiled eggs, optional
Preparation of the dough:
- In a large bowl combine the flour and salt.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the egg, the pinga and olive oil.
- Knead dough with hands and add water, a little at a time, until dough comes together quite firm but malleable and doesn’t stick to your hands.
- Let stand for 30 minutes wrapped in a tea towel or in plastic film.
Preparation of the meat filling:
- Stir fry over high heat the ground beef, the onion and garlic in the oil.
- Season with salt and black pepper.
- Add the chopped parsley, the chopped olives and, if you like, some cubes of hard-boiled eggs.
To assemble the pastéis de feira:
- Roll out the dough with a rolling pin or pasta maker until very thin.
- Cut the dough into rectangles (7 x 14 cm).
- Stuff with 1 tablespoon of filling, after it has cooled, and fold the dough over the filling to form a square.
- Seal the edges with a fork. If the dough is dry you must moisten the edges with a little water.
- Place the pastéis over grease-proof paper or plastic film so they will not stick.
- Deep fry a few at a time in the hot oil, so as to keep the oil hot, until they are golden brown. To check the temperature of the oil put a toothpick into it: if it bubbles it is hot enough.
- Place them on paper towels to drain excess oil.
- Serve immediately while hot.
The pastéis can be made with various fillings:
- Pizza: cheese, tomato and oregano;
- Fresh cheese or mozzarella cheese; 3. Cheese, ham and tomato;
- Shrimps e palm heart (V. filling for “rissol”);
- Special (big): meat filling, 1 whole hard-boiled egg and cubes of cheese;
- Sweet: banana, sugar and cinnamon.
You can freeze the rolled out dough wrapped.
Posted on: 11 November 2011