Duck pies

Duck pies

Empadas de pato vinha d’alhos

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From
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Makes
15-20
Photographer
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Empadas – little pies with various fillings – are a staple food in Lisbon. Over the years I’ve searched far and wide for the perfect empada and now I’ve found it, filled with duck. The acidity of the wine and garlic sauce cuts deliciously through the richness of the duck and the pastry.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the dough

Quantity Ingredient
300g plain white flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
100g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon duck fat

For the duck

Quantity Ingredient
2 duck legs
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
sea salt flakes
ground white pepper

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon duck fat
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
3 strips orange, zested
1 bay leaf
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 small fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
50ml madeira
75ml dry white wine
25g butter
35g plain white flour
1 orange, Finely grated zested
a small bunch parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten with a splash of milk

Method

  1. To make the dough — Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter. Stir in the olive oil and duck fat. Pour in 90–100ml water and stir quickly to incorporate it to make a firm but pliable dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes. Wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  2. To cook the duck — Put the duck legs in a pan with the onion, garlic, carrot and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently over a low heat for 1 hour, or until tender, then remove and allow to cool slightly. Remove the meat from the bones and roughly chop the skin and meat. Reserve the liquid.
  3. To make the filling — Heat the olive oil and duck fat in a pan over a medium heat and add the cinnamon, star anise, orange zest strips and bay leaf. Add the onion, fennel and garlic, and cook gently for 10 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the duck meat and skin, Madeira and white wine and cook for a few minutes more. Taste for seasoning and leave to cool, then remove the spices, orange zest and bay leaf.
  4. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat, add the flour and cook for a few minutes, or until light golden brown. Gradually stir in 300ml of the reserved cooking liquid, then bring to the boil and simmer until you have a thick sauce. Stir it into the filling along with the grated orange zest and parsley.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Divide the dough in half and roll each half out to around 3mm thick. Use a large cookie cutter to cut one half into circles big enough to cover the holes of a muffin tin or small individual pie tins with an excess of about 5mm. Cut the other half into smaller circles to fit on top as lids. Line the tins with the larger circles and put a heaped tablespoon of filling inside each one. Brush the edge with the beaten egg and put the smaller circle on top. Pinch the edges together to seal and crimp them, using a skewer if necessary, and brush the tops with egg. Poke a steam hole in the tops. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the pies from the tins, transfer them to a wire rack and bake for 10 minutes more. They are best eaten 15–20 minutes after they come out of the oven, when they’re still warm but the duck has rested a little.
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