The salteña (pronounced salt-enya
) is one of the, if not the
, most famous Bolivian food items in the world. This little baked dough pocket is filled with delicious, juicy meat and vegetables, and is normally served in the morning as a snack between breakfast and lunch. It is known for it's just-barely sweet, flaky dough and is so juicy inside, that people wonder how it's possible to get all that delicious juiciness in there. No worries... we're about to tell you:
For the dough (masa) you will need the following ingredients:
4 cups of flour
3/4 cup Crisco or other lard
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon yellow chili powder
1 cup and 3 tablespoons of waterFor the stew (jigote) inside:
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup Crisco or lard
1/2 teaspoon ground yellow chili pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
1 1/2 cups minced white or yellow onion
6 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup finely diced parsley
1/2 cup diced boiled potatoes
1/4 cup boiled peas
2 pounds of beef, baked or cooked, pulledYou will add the following to your salteñas
, after the broth and other ingredients have been added:
Calamatta olives (1-2 in each salteña)
Raisins (3-4 in each salteña)
Cooked quail eggs (1 in each salteña)PREPARATION:
You will prepare the dough AFTER preparing the stew. The stew must remain overnight in the refrigerator. So prepare the dough the next day right before getting ready to add the stew and then bake the salteñas.
Ffor the dough mix the flour, sugar, shortening, and yellow chili pepper in a blender. When the dough starts to get thick add the water and egg yolks. The dough will be come very firm.
Knead the dough until it is well blended. Then roll out the dough and cut into rounds (like tortillas) that are no more than 1/4 an inch thick and about 4-6 inches (10 to 14 centimeters) in diameter.
For the stew sauteé the onions and yellow chili pepper. When cooked, add 4 cups of the beef broth (having already added the unflavored gelatin to the broth) and allow
to boil. Add the diced meat and cook 15 minutes.
Take it off the stove and add the bone marrow, parsley, peas, cooked potatoes, pepper, salt and the 1 remaining cup of beef broth.
Put it into a container in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow the gelatin to firm up the stew enough to be able to spoon the stew onto the rounds of dough you made. It will have become gelatinous which is necessary otherwise it would be impossible to fill the dough with the stew.
The next day, make your dough and cut into rounds as indicated above. Place one scoop of gelatinous stew onto each round of dough, add one olive (and 1 quail egg - optional) to each, fold over in half and crimp to seal (like you would the edge of a pie).
It is VERY important it be completely fully sealed because while it is baking the stew will become juicy again. It will heat up and expand, and could leak out, making a mess.
Place the salteña upright with the sealed edge on TOP on a greased cookie sheet. Brush the entire exterior with the egg whites (this will cause your saltenas to come out shiny after baking) and bake at 400ºF until the crimped edge is very well toasted and the dough is a dark golden brown (also will look yellowish because of the chili pepper which is fine).
Serve piping hot!
Salteñas are generally served between 9 and 11 am with tea, coffee or soda as a mid-morning snack.
You can freeze salteñas (unbaked) as long as they are very well wrapped. When you want to bake them, place them immediately from the freezer to the oven - do not thaw.
This video is in Portuguese, but the step-by-step instructions are so good, just had to share it. Here you will see every step done and explained including how to make the filling (the chef in this video uses ground meat and slightly different ingredients), how to make the dough and what it should look like (you'll see the exact consistency it should have), how to fill the salteña, and how to "braid" the top.