Goan Pork Pies

Goan food is heavily influenced by their former Portuguese colonisers. There is a love of pork, pastry and vinegar as well as beef that is not found in other regions. These little pork pies are inspired by the little pork empanadas much loved in Goa. I have changed the pastry a little as I wanted to bake rather than fry mine and also changed the recipe a little, more texturally, the flavours are fairly true to the original (though as with all Indian food, the recipe will change from home to home). They would normally add sugar to the pastry and keep the filling entirely savoury. I like the pastry savoury and sweetened the pork a bit. These are best served hot, make wonderful lunches with a salad, great for picnics but also great as starter or finger food although you might make them smaller then.

Makes 8 medium or 10 small sized empanadas


  • 3-4 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 400g pork shoulder, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 2 small-medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 3-5 green chillies, pierced with the tip of a knife
  • 30g ginger, peeled 
  • 40g garlic, peeled
  • 1 rounded tsp. garam masala 
  • 1 rounded tsp. cumin powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. Kashmiri (degi mirch) chilli powder, not spicy but has a lovely colour
  • 300ml chicken stock (I use 1 gel pot and add the hot water)
  • 1 good tbs. flour
  • 1 ½-2 tsp. sugar or to taste
  • 2 ½-3 tbs. white wine vinegar or to taste
  • Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
  • 1 large egg, whisked to glaze bake


  • 225g plain flour plus extra for rolling out
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 90g cold butter plus extra for greasing baking tray
  • 3 tbs. ice cold water to bring together 
  • A little milk to help them stick


For the pastry:

Place the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and mix in with your fingertip so the whole thing looks like crumbs. Don’t overwork. Add the eggs and iced water and bring together to form a clump but again, I do like to work the dough until it is smooth and not cracking too much. The heat of your hands will help this. Place on your surface, make a smooth log, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to firm up and settle for 1 hour. You can do this the night before but take out and allow to soften.

For the filling:

Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and well browned on the edges. Meanwhile, make a paste of the ginger and garlic adding enough water to make a smooth paste. Add to the cooked onions and stir until all the water has dried off and the paste has had a chance to fry a little. Add the pork, flour and spices and stir over a gentle for a few minutes. Add the chicken stock and seasoning and bring to a boil. Over and cook over a moderate flame for 20-25 minutes or until the pork is soft. 

Add the sugar and vinegar and take off the lid and stir to evaporate most of the liquid but not all, it should be a moist filling. Remove the chillies and leave to cool. 

Preheat the oven to 180C. 

Take the pastry out of the fridge and cut into 8 pieces. Allow to soften slightly if too hard. Using a little flour roll each one out into roughly a 4” circle. They are quite delicate as they are quite short so don’t press to hard. Place a good rounded tablespoon and a bit in the middle, brush some milk all around the edges and enclose to make a semi-circle. Press the edges together to seal, either with your fingers or with the tines of a fork. Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper or foil and greased. Repeat with the others. 

Brush well with the whisked egg, leave to settle and brush again. Place on the middle shelf and bake for 20-25m or until golden. Serve hot or warm.

Goan food is heavily influenced by their former Portuguese colonisers.



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