I have made Cornish Pasties before, but this recipe is adapted for little mini pasties. They’re good for taking to parties (dinner or otherwise) as a starter/snack/nibble or for impressing your friends and workmates.
This recipe makes about 35 mini pasties, which may seem a lot but they’ll go quickly. Also, it’s difficult to make them in smaller quantities because even though you’re only using one small potato and one small carrot, you need 225g meat to get meat-to-veg ratio right and a little of the filling goes a long way. If you wanted to, you could make less by using half a potato and half a carrot but frankly, that way madness lies. You’d be left with random halves of vegetables lying around. That’s no use to anyone.
Makes around 35
For the pastry
330g plain flour
A pinch of salt
A pinch of cayenne pepper (if you have it)
A pinch of mustard powder (again, if you have it)
For the filling
225g lean minced (ground) beef
1 small onion
1 small potato
1 small carrot
1 teaspoon plain flour
About a cup’s worth of stock – veg or beef
People get scared of pastry and think it’s some big mystery, but it’s really not – it’s just flour, butter and something to bind them together. Nothing scary about that. First of all, measure out your ingredients, put the flour, salt, cayenne and mustard powder into a big bowl and cube the butter thusly:
Now put the butter into the flour and using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour. Try to do this lightly and be patient, it will get there in the end.
Yes, those are my hands. What you’re aiming for in a texture like rough breadcrumbs:
Now beat the 1 egg and pour it in. With a wooden spoon, give it a stir and the ingredients will start to stick together. Use your hands to bring it all together into a ball. Behold:
Pop it in some cling film (saran wrap) or into a plastic sandwich bag (that’s what I use, less fiddly) and put it in the fridge to chill for half an hour.
While that’s chilling, do your veg prep. Finely dice the onion, potato and carrot. Set a non-stick frying pan on a high heat and when it’s good and hot, tip in the minced meat and move it about, browning it. After a couple of minutes, tip in the diced veg and give it a stir. Splash over a few shakes of worcestershire sauce and some salt and pepper. Be a little more generous with the pepper than you normally would be. Sprinkle over the tablespoon of plain flour, mix it in and cook for a further minute. Now pour over a cup of stock and reduce the heat to a simmer.
After 5 minutes or so the veg should be softening up and the liquid thickening and reducing. You don’t want it too wet otherwise it’ll make the pastry soggy – it just wants to be moist. If there’s too much liquid, turn up the heat and reduce it a bit.
Take the filling mix off the heat and set it aside to cool. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.
Okay, now take the pastry out of the fridge, divide it into thirds and wrap two pieces back up and put them back in the fridge. Sprinkle flour on a large chopping board or just a kitchen surface and sprinkle some on your rolling pin to stop it sticking. Roll out the pastry until it’s quite thin – about as thin as you dare before you think it might tear when you move it. Now cut circles out of the pastry – if you have a pastry cutter, well done and you should use that. I don’t have one, so I use the end of a can of tomatoes which works just as well. Peal away the offcuts of pastry, ball it up and cover it to stop it getting dry.
Now put a small amount of pilling in the middle of each circle like this:
And fold the circle over. Pinch the edges together and put it pinched end up on a baking try. Do the same with the rest of the circles and roll out the rest of the pastry and repeat until it’s all used up. Beat an egg and if you have a pastry brush, brush the egg over the pasties to glaze them. I don’t have a pastry brush so I used some kitchen roll dipped into the egg and then wiped over the pasties. Works just as well.
Put the baking tray with the pasties into the oven for 10-15 minutes until they’re golden brown. Do it in batches if necessary.
Now, eat! Hot or cold, both works well. Tasty, innit?