There are local dishes that you’ll want to learn to make at your property at La Manga Club not only for their delicious taste but also because their special presentation is sure to raise the bar at all your dinner parties and gatherings. Murcia’s take on the meat pie is one of those, because its high-quality ingredients are topped by a beautiful spiral-shaped pastry. Today, discover how to make this recipe with Arabic roots. It’s the typical dish of a Murcian celebration every April, but you can enjoy it in many places year-round, not only in the regional capital, but also in places like Santomera and Orihuela.
The first time you taste this delicacy you won’t be able to believe that at the beginning of April and the start of Spring, thousands of samples of this meat dish are given away for free in the streets of Murcia. It’s only one day a year, but the good news is that this is a very easy recipe to prepare and you can enjoy it from your property at La Manga Club whenever you like.
The dish has a circular base and is covered in a puff pastry in the rather original shape of a spiral. When served, it is usually in individual portions some 15 cm in diameter. Similar meat pies are consumed throughout Spain, and have been since the Middle Ages, but the Murcian recipe has continued to develop over the years and has become something of a symbol for the “Murcian Orchard”. It’s said that in 1695 the dish was regulated through an ordinance that specified the exact dimensions and the quality of the flour that the dish had to be made with, and even imposed the threat of exile for those who did not comply. Read on and learn how to try your hand at this dish yourself! (Under less pressure.)
The recipe below will serves 4 people.
For the pastry dough
- 500 g of flour
- 1 teaspoon of lard
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 300 cl of lemon juice
- 400 g of margarine
- 1 egg
For the filling
- 250 g of beef
- 100 g of chorizo
- 100 g of ham
- 100 g of pancetta or bacon
- 2 bell peppers
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
First, prepare the pastry dough by putting the flour in a bowl and adding the salt, half a cup of water, and a bit of oil in the centre. Mix together and knead it well until it is compact and no longer has any lumps. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin and cut out 8 circles for the bases and covers of our four pies. The bases can be used as is, but remember that the top cover must be in the form of a spiral, so we’ll have to cut a number of strips of dough and cover the filling at the end with the design.
Now the filling… Cut up the chorizo, beef, pancetta and ham and mix it together. Season to taste and set it aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Finely dice the peppers and tomatoes and fry them with a bit of oil in a pan. Then add the meat and sauté. Remove from the heat and once it’s cooled, add the hard-boiled eggs, diced, to the mixture.
Fill the moulds with the pastry base and the filling, then use the strips of pastry to create the top spirals. Pinch together the edges of the bases and the covers so the filling cannot escape while the pies are baking. As a final touch, beat the raw egg and brush the outside of the pies so that they shine when they hit the table. Pop them in the oven for about 30 minutes at a medium temperature and they’ll be ready!
Now that you’ve seen the ingredients of Murcian meat pie and you know how easy it is to prepare at your property at La Manga Club, we’re sure you’re ready to try it out! Just head to your closest market and get the highest quality ingredients you can find to delight your guests. If you want to riff on the original, you can try the variety the locals call “special”, which adds lamb brain to the filling. And if the spiral seems too complicated, you should know that in Yecla they leave it off. So no more excuses! Get your hands dirty and bake like a local!
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