I used to make these pasties all the time when my children were small. I made them for the first time in ages last night – I had forgotten how delicious they are.
They are not only economical to make, but you can include a range of vegetables that will go unnoticed by fussy eaters. I think that the combination of vegetables here is by far the tastiest – the combination of potato and swede is traditional. If you do substitute other vegetables, be sure not to include too much of any that will go watery as they cook because they may make the pastry soggy.
You can make your own pastry (the recipe is provided) or, if you are in a rush, simply use commercial frozen puff or shortcrust pastry sheets.
Pasties are delicious served with tomato sauce or chutney. Of course you can use the commercial variety, but with little effort you can make your own – the recipe is provided here also. You can double it if you like. This sauce keeps really well, and is not only good served with these pasties or savoury pies, but is a spoonful added to a stew, casserole gravy gives them extra flavour.
Leftover pasties make an excellent, easy and popular addition to a lunch box. This recipe makes 12 pasties.
Shortcrust pastry (see recipe below) or 3 sheets ready rolled puff or shortcrust pastry, thawed
300g grated potatoes, peeled weight
150g swede or turnip, peeled weight
1 onion, peeled
300g beef mince
½ teaspoon salt
If making your own pastry, do this at the outset and leave in the fridge for half to 1 hour. When you are ready to make the pasties heat the oven to 200°C and line 2 baking trays (30cm x 30cm approximately) with baking paper or grease them.
On a lightly foured surface, roll the pastry out thinly (about 6mm) and, using a saucer as a guide, cut out 1o to 12 rounds, re-rolling scraps as necessary to make more rounds. It can be made up to three days in advance. If using the ready rolled product, thaw and cut each sheet into 4 pieces.
To make the filling, coarsely grate the potatoes, swede and onion and place in a bowl with the mince and salt. Mix well. Divide the mixture between the prepared pastry and place a small piece of the butter on top of each. Dampen half the edges of each pastie and fold over to enclose the filling. Crimp edges well. Place on trays and bake at 200°C for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 160°C and bake for a further 15 minutes until golden brown. Serve with tomato sauce.
Savoury Shortcrust Pastry
Makes 450g, approximately
250g plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons cold water, approximately
Place the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and process until it resembles breadcrumbs (or rub butter into the flour and salt to the same stage). Turn out into a bowl and, with a metal spoon, mix with the lemon juice and enough water to bring it together into a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and place in fridge for 30 minutes or more before rolling out.
Home-made tomato sauce
1kg tomatoes, chopped roughly
1 cooking apple – peeled, cored and roughly chopped
250g onions, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1½ cups white or cider vinegar
Place the tomatoes, apple, onions, garlic, salt, mustard powder, curry powder, sugar and vinegar into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved and continue to cook for 1 ¼ hours. Press though a sieve or food mill or blitz with a stick blender for a slightly more textured sauce. Return to the stove and cook 5 minutes more or until it becomes a sauce-like consistency, keeping in mind it will thicken a little as it cools. Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately.
If you prefer, you can make this into a chutney by simply cutting the tomatoes, apples and onions into smaller dice instead of chopping roughly. At the end of cooking time, thicken the mixture (still on the heat) by mixing to a paste 3 teaspoons cornflour with 1 tablespoon of extra vinegar and pouring into the boiling chutney, stirring constantly.
Pour into sterilised jars and seal immediately.