Thursday, September 20, 2012


If there is one meal in my house that falls into the "comfort food" category, it's pasties. I know they are more evil than they are good, but damn they are tasty! In the winter they do seem to creep onto our regulars list, but I tend not to make them more frequently than once a fortnight at most, for the sake of our arteries and waistlines.

I don't particularly enjoy making pastry, of any sort, and this is no different. Shop-bought frozen puff pastry is easy, cheap and generally of sufficient quality warrant saving my time and energy. You can now also buy reduced-fat puff pastry which isn't as flaky as its butter-filled counterpart but is still tasty. Here is what a pastie looks like in my kitchen. This will serve myself, Hubby and the babes with enough for one adult lunch left over.

500g lean beef mince
2 potatoes
2 carrots
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp mustard (I either use french or wholegrain, whatever I have on hand)
good shake of season-all
4 sheets reduced-fat puff pastry, just thawed

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (fan forced). Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Dice carrots and potatoes.
  3. Combine carrots, potatoes, peas, tomato sauce, mustard and season-all in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly with your hands until well combined.
  4. Divide mixture evenly across the 4 sheets of pastry, arranging it on the diagonal.
  5. Pull in the corners of the pastry, one at a time, wrapping the meat mixture up in a parcel.
  6. Prick each parcel several times with a fork
  7. Cook for 20 mins or until browning nicely, then reduce heat to 160C and cook for a further 30-40 mins until escaped juices have dried up. 

You can fold the pastry any way you like, but I find the parcel method ensures an even pastry to filling ratio across the whole pastie and you don't get left with excess pastry around the edges that doesn't contain any meat. I also normally divide my 4th sheet of pastry into 4 even squares and make mini pasties for the girls. These often need removing from the oven about 5-10 mins before the big ones.

I love pasties served with tomato sauce, but the filling is tasty enough that it's not necessary. Of course you could adapt the filling to add whatever you like (corn, beans etc) and change the flavouring. I sometimes add some worcestershire sauce or horseradish. You can reheat pasties in the microwave, but like all pastry, reheating in the oven avoids soggy pastry, and I'm yet to meet anyone who likes soggy pastry.

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