For Easter in Mallorca, we locals follow the old tradition of gathering with family members (typically at our grandparents’ house) to cook empanadas or, as they’re called in Mallorca, panades. We spend the entire festive day around the table and the oven, cooking, eating, and just gossiping about life.
Panades are a bit different from the empanadas of Latin America. They follow the Jewish tradition (during the Middle Ages, Mallorca had a lot of Jewish citizens), mixed with some Christian influence. Each family has their own recipe, and below we’ve shared our family’s personal version, which we cook every year at Easter. (For best results, cook in a wood-fire oven — but don’t worry if you don’t have access to one, as they’ll still be delicious!)
Ingredients for the dough:
- 1 kg flour
- 250 ml of melted lard
- 250 ml of water
- pinch of salt
Ingredients for the filling:
- 2 kg of lamb (leg)
- black pepper
- cayenne pepper
- olive oil
- peas and sautéed onions (optional)
- Marinate the lamb overnight. Cut into cubes of about one centimetre and coat with olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and bacon Then cut again into half-centimetre (or smaller) cubes.
- Mix all the dough ingredients, then gradually add the flour, steadily mixing as you go.
- Once the dough is ready, break off a piece to make a bowl shape. This will be one empanada. It will need a base of about 10 centimetres in diameter and a wall of 3 to 4 centimetres.
- Fill the bowl with meat, a couple of bits of bacon, and sobrassada. If you like, you can add peas and sautéed onions.
- Once the empanada is filled, take another small portion of the dough, roll it out, and make a thin layer. Cover it over your “bowl.”
- Pinch the edges of the dough together, giving any patterns you like to the edge of the empanada.
- Repeat until you’ve used up all the dough.
- Bake the empanadas at 180 degrees until the pastry is golden brown (30-40 minutes).
- Chill and serve cold. Bon profit!
Paella is more than just a meal – it’s a celebration! Join a local chef in his family home and learn how to make this famous Mediterranean dish.