Pastel (Fried Pasties)

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.

Ingredients

  • 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 method


Preparation of the dough: 
1. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt.
2. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the egg, the pinga and olive oil.  
3. 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.  
4. Let stand for 30 minutes wrapped in a tea towel or in plastic film.  

Preparation of the meat filling:  
1. Stir fry over high heat the ground beef, the onion and garlic in the oil. 
2. Season with salt and black pepper. 
3. Add the chopped parsley, the chopped olives and, if you like, some cubes of hard-boiled eggs. 

To assemble the pastéis de feira:  
1. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin or pasta maker until very thin. 
2. Cut the dough into rectangles (7 x 14 cm).  
3. Stuff with 1 tablespoon of filling, after it has cooled, and fold the dough over the filling to form a square. 
4. Seal the edges with a fork. If the dough is dry you must moisten the edges with a little water.
5. Place the pastéis over grease-proof paper or plastic film so they will not stick. 
6. 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. 
7. Place them on paper towels to drain excess oil. 
8. Serve immediately while hot. 

The pastéis can be made with various fillings: 
1. Pizza: cheese, tomato and oregano; 
2. Fresh cheese or mozzarella cheese; 3. Cheese, ham and tomato;  
4. Shrimps e palm heart (V. filling for "rissol"); 
5. Special (big): meat filling, 1 whole hard-boiled egg and cubes of cheese; 
6. Sweet: banana, sugar and cinnamon. 

You can freeze the rolled out dough wrapped.
Posted on: 11 November 2011
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