Very traditional in Brazil, the pasteis (pastel in the singular ) are sold in the markets. They are called “pastéis de feira”, pastel of fair because it is there that they are found. Children are often the first to ask their mother for their pastels. It must be said that they have everything to please. They are hot and crispy and stuffed with meat, cod, hearts of palm or tomatoes and runny cheese (pastéis “pizza”). The stalls where you can buy them are mostly run by Japanese Brazilians. I give you here a recipe with an example based on meat, but you can put many delicious and varied things in this small fried turnover. I’ll be sure to add more varieties. But the most important thing is the homemade dough, made with cachaça!
In this recipe, it took me a while to find the perfect dough for the pastéis. In Brazil, the dough is usually bought ready-made. But the secret is finally in the addition of cachaça. This Brazilian alcohol at 40° is common there, but can be more difficult to find in France. You can replace cachaça with vodka because it doesn’t have much taste. But the alcohol is essential because it is him who is going to give this crispness, this friability and this lightness to the pastéis by evaporating very quickly in the frying.
Recipe for pastéis de foire:
-500g of flour
-5g of salt
-100ml of warm water
-50ml of cachaça (or vodka)
-50ml of oil
Stuffing (your choice, this is only an example):
-500g of ground beef with 15% fat
-5 peeled tomatoes
-2 or 3 onions
-4 cloves of garlic
-3 tablespoons of oil
Start by preparing the dough. Put the flour, salt, oil and cachaça in the bowl of the food processor or in a container.
Turn on the food processor to mix well, then add the warm water.
Let knead for at least 10 minutes. If you don’t have a kenwood or kitchenaid type food processor, you will have to knead by hand, but nothing too complicated!
Wrap the dough and let it rest in a cool place for at least an hour.
This leaves plenty of time to prepare the stuffing. Peel the tomatoes by placing them in boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds. Dice the onions and peeled tomatoes. Place oil in a large skillet over moderate to high heat and add tomatoes and onions.
Cook for a few minutes to soften the onion, then add the crushed garlic.
Then add the ground beef. Let cook by adding 50ml of water. Stir regularly. The stuffing is ready when the water has evaporated! Season with salt and pepper. Herbs can also be added.
Once the stuffing is ready, let it cool.
Place the dough on a floured work surface.
Spread it out and work it by hand. Cut the dough ball into 4 small balls and roll them into a sausage. Slightly flatten the rolls and pass them through the rolling mill several times over each number, flouring each time a little, until you get to the second to last one.
The result is thin strips of dough. You should try to keep the width of the sheeter in these strips of dough.
Fill a long rectangle of dough with filling.
Fold in half and then cut with a roulette wheel the three edges to weld them together. You can also go around the dough by flattening it with a fork.
We obtain pastéis ready to be fried.
Put oil in a large pan, ideally a wok. When the oil is hot, put a pastel in a skimmer and dip it for 2 or 3 seconds. Then take it out again, this way the pastel will have lots of little bubbles that will be created on its surface. The bubbles appear when the pastel is brought out in full force.
When the bubbles are there, you can put the pastéis back in the oil until they are golden brown.
Drain on paper towels before serving hot and crisp.serve them hot and crispy.