Genie Milgrom's Hornazo - Sephardic Meat Pie. Photo: Michael Milgrom
Genie Milgrom's Hornazo - Sephardic Meat Pie. Photo: Michael Milgrom
Recipe

Hornazo – Sephardic Meat Pie

This Sephardic Meat Pie takes layers of different proteins, and hard-boiled eggs, and sandwiches them in a homemade dough that is baked to perfection

I found it very interesting that this hornazo recipe was in all the different cookbooks of grandmothers and also in many of the snippets of paper that were handwritten separately. All the recipes had different measurements that I had to take and combine, as some just had a word or two. This is basically a meat pie, and the recipes say it was always eaten in the fields after an important and long fast day. It was also taken on vacation as something that could be eaten every day.

It originates in Ciudad Rodrigo in Spain, near Salamanca and the Duero River. It is also cooked in the same region up and down the Douro Rive (as the Portuguese call it) but on the Portuguese side.

On this one, I naturally had to make sure all the ingredients were kosher. It is a specialty recipe that is best saved for spoil occasions but should be tried at least once. It’s time consuming, but well worth it in the end. One of my grandmothers wrote that it must always contain eggs. The other one wrote it must never contain eggs! But all agreed that one should use the best sausage that money can buy!

This has been my favorite recipe in the whole group. I made this the night I had a Shabbat dedicated to the grandmothers, and it was a big hit. The hornazo was cut in squares, and people picked it up with their hands as if eating a burger. It cooks up to be a large and hearty artisanal meat pie. It was well loved and highly recommended.

For recipes from Genie Milgrom’s “Recipes of my 15 Grandmothers”

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Picture of Genie Milgrom's cookbook "Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers"
Genie Milgrom’s “Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers”

Ingredients for Sephardic Meat Pie

For the dough:

  • 1 packet Dry yeast active
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 tablespoons white wine dry
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 3/4 cup water

For the filling:

  • 5 hard boiled eggs sliced into eighths
  • 8 oz (225 grams) pastrami or corned beef, beef fry (thin beef similar to lamb bacon), or lamb bacon
  • 3 small steak pepper steaks or thin veal slices
  • 8 oz (225 grams) sausages sliced lengthwise
  • 8 oz (225 grams) chicken filling, (see recipe for sofrito de pollo below)
  • 1 egg large

For the sofrito de pollo:

  • 6 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 onion yellow, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper finely chopped
  • olive oil for sauteing
  • 4 tablespoons black raisins
  • 6 large olives crushed and cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

Instructions

Prepare the dough:

  • 1. Put the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl and stir until the mixture is dissolved. Add 2 tablespoons of the flour and stir. Set aside for 5 minutes.

  • 2. By hand, mix the yeast mixture, the rest of the flour, olive oil, wine, margarine, and ¼ cup water. Mix until smooth. If mixture is sticky, add more flour, little by little. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  • 3. Cut the dough in half. Work with one half only as the base of the pie and reserve the other for the top. Roll out the dough to make long rectangular pieces the shape of a cookie sheet. Lay the dough down on a cookie sheet that has been covered in parchment paper and begin to build the meat pie.  

Prepare the sofrito de pollo:

  • 4. Boil the chicken thighs in water or a broth until the meat is cooked. Set aside and remove all skin and bones and break up the chicken with your hands (do not chop with a knife).

  • 5. Saute the onion and green pepper at medium-to-high heat in olive oil until the onion is transparent. Yet another variation on the Spanish cooking mixture called sofrito!

  • 6. Add the chicken, raisins, olives, sugar, and garlic powder into the sofrito mixture and simmer over low-to-medium heat for 25 minutes. (Any leftovers can be used inside empanadas, over white rice, or baked inside a covered pie shell. Drain well if using in a pie, and leave with all the liquids if serving over rice.)

Assemble and bake:

  • 7. Place the sliced eggs, meats, steaks, sausages, and chicken filling on top of the dough and cover with the other piece of dough. Press the edges to seal. Make an egg wash for the top if desired. Liberally poke holes in the pie so it doesn't grow.

  • 8. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for approximately 30 minutes until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve.

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This recipe is from Genie Milgrom’s cookbook “Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers“, which shares the recipes and the story of Genie’s journey to uncover her Spanish Jewish roots.

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