The Spanish answer to a pasty, these little pastries are stuffed full of tuna amd sweet onions and peppers, and are heady with the scent of smoked paprika. For the very best flavour, they are great served warm, rather than hot, making them the ideal candidate for a street-food picnic.
In a large bowl, by hand or in a food mixer with a dough attachment, mix together the flour, polenta, yeast and salt for the dough. Pour in the wine and olive oil and add the lard or fat and the beaten egg. Add enough warm water to bring it all together into a soft, pliable dough. Knead for a couple of minutes, but don’t overdo it; it just needs to be well mixed and look smooth. Transfer to a clean bowl brushed with a little oil and cover with cling film. Leave to prove until it has doubled in size – about 2 hours in a warm room.
While the dough is proving, heat the olive oil gently in a large, deep frying pan. Sweat the onions and peppers together for 15 minutes until starting to soften, then add the garlic, paprika and sherry vinegar. Continue to cook for about an hour until you have a softly melting mass – the longer and slower you do this the sweeter the result, so take your time. Stir through the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently fold through the tuna, trying not to break it up too much. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas Mark 7. Once the dough has risen, turn it out on to a lightly oiled worktop and chop into 12 even-sized pieces. Roll each piece out to a circle about 5mm thick. Add a little pile of cooled filling to one half of each circle, leaving a generous 2cm margin around the edge. Top each with a couple of slices of hard-boiled egg and bring the empty half of the pastry up and over the filling, encasing it completely and crimping the edges together to seal. Brush with a little beaten egg and scatter over a few flakes of sea salt.
Spread the empanadillas over a couple of baking trays and bake in the oven for about 20–25 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp.