We first had these on a beach in Hawaii from a Brazilian food truck in Haliewa. It is hard to beat that experience, but knowing we can make them in our own kitchen is getting pretty close.
I highly recommend making both these and the Deep-Fried Polenta since you will already have a nice hot pot of oil, may as well make the most of it!
Pastel de feira de carne
(Pastel Pastries with meat filling)
Adapted from ‘The Food and Cooking of Brazil’ by Fernando Farah
Makes 6 large Pastel, or you can size them smaller for more
2 ¾ cups plain flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp lard, chilled or extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp cachaça or vodka
1 tbsp white vinegar
½ cup warm water
Vegetable oil for deep frying (vegetable or peanut oil)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
10 ounces ground beef
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup green olives, sliced
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp green onions, sliced
ground black pepper
1. Pour the flour and salt in a bowl, mix. Rub in the lard with your fingertips until mixture forms crumbles.
2. Make a well in the center and pour in cachaça, vinegar, and water. Mix the ingredients well.
2. On a clean surface, dust some flour and work the dough vigorously for 5 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion, stirring for 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in the garlic and ground beef, breaking the meat with a wooden spoon. Keep frying for a few minutes until the meat is cooked through. Stir in the olives, parsley and green onions, cook for a further minute. Transfer to a bowl, cover and place in the fridge until required.
4. Using a pasta machine or a rolling pin, roll the dough flat until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Using a pastry cutter cut the pastry into rectangles 4 inches by 8 inches.
5. Pour some water into a small bowl. Place 1 ½ tbsp of the meat mixture on one half of the pastry rectangle. Using a pastry brush or your fingertip, brush the edges of the pastry with a little bit of water. Press the edges of the pastry together and then press down the edges with a fork to ensure it will not open while is being fried. Repeat the process with the remaining pastries.
7. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan to 375° F. Fry the pastries, one at a time, for 1 minute on each side or until slightly golden and crispy. Place each fried pastel on the a paper towel-lined plate. They can be served hot (in which case you can keep them warm in a 200° F oven) or cold.