Galician cockle empanada with allioli

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When most people think of empanadas they think of a small pie about the size of a Cornish pasty. But in Galicia empanadas are much bigger - about the size of an oven tray. Here we have used tinned cockles in brine (berberechos al natural) seasoned with pimentón (hot Spanish paprika) for the filling, and served the pie with an intensely garlickly homemade allioli.

First published in 2022




Empanada Dough





To make the dough, first gently warm the milk - you’re aiming for a temperature of around 40°C, or barely warm. Whisk in the instant yeast, then leave to one side for the yeast to activate and the milk to become frothy


Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Or, if you have one, combine them in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment


Add the milk and yeast mixture for the bowl, followed by the oil. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes. If using a stand mixer, start the mixer and gradually add the yeast and milk mixture, followed by the oil. Mix on a medium-low speed for 10 minutes

  • 100g of vegetable oil

Remove the dough from the mixer, if using, and give the dough a brief knead to bring it together into a smooth ball


Dust the outside of the dough lightly with flour, then return to the bowl, cover and allow to rest for an hour


While the dough is resting, make the filling. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the onion. Cook for 10 minutes, or until slightly softened, then add the peppers


Cook the onion and pepper mixture, stirring regularly, for a further 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft


Add the garlic and cook for a minute more


Add the white wine and then cook down until almost all the liquid has evaporated

  • 100ml of white wine

Stir through the cockles, pimentón, parsley and vinegar, then season with salt. Set aside


To make the allioli, mix the egg, garlic and lemon juice and a pinch of salt together with a whisk


Slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil a drop at a time, whisking all the time, until a thick, pale yellow emulsion forms. Once the oil and egg yolks begin to emulsify, you can add the oil slightly quicker

  • 100ml of vegetable oil

Once all the vegetable oil has been incorporated, add the olive oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed, then set aside


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4


Dust a work surface lightly with flour and tip the dough out into it. Knead briefly, then divide the dough into 2 equal pieces


Roll out 1 piece of dough to a rectangle that’s roughly 20 x 30cm and around 3mm thick


Transfer the dough to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper


Roll out the other piece of dough to the same size


Spoon the filling onto the bottom rectangle of dough, leaving a 3cm border around the outside


Top with the second piece of dough, then fold the bottom piece of dough over the top edges, sealing them together and crimping them between your fingers as you go


Cut a hole in the top of the empanada, to allow steam to escape during cooking


Brush the whole empanada with the beaten egg, then transfer to the oven and cook for 35 minutes, or until golden brown


Slice the cockle empanada and serve with the allioli

First published in 2022

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