25 September 2013

Preparations for the new kitchen

The time has finally arrived when I'm getting my kitchen thoroughly refurbished with new doors for the cupboards and brand new oven and hob.

This meant moving everything out of course, but before that, I needed to make sure we have enough frozen food to microwave during the week I'm out of cooking action.

IMG_3167 - Cropped

And as the Autumn has arrived, I thought I'd make a new pie and from my Hairy Bikers' Perfect Pies book. Thus from the chapter for handheld pies I selected the meat and vegetable pasties. Despite my questionable crimping during my previous attempt, the overall result was most tasty.

Comparing the Hairy Bikers' recipe to Paul Hollywood, the filling is pretty much the same, but the pastry is different. And reading through the old post, I decided to add some herbs as well this time.

Makes 6 - 7
300 g peeled and diced potatoes (about 2 large ones)
125 g peeled and diced swede
1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
300 g beef frying steak, trimmed and diced
salt and pepper 5 - 6 sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp thyme, finely chopped

450 g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp salt
175 g cold butter
2 egg yolks
125 ml cold water
1 egg for glazing


  1. Dice the meat and vegetables to 1 cm cubes. Keep the meat separate. Season the meat with salt and pepper and stir through. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, add the herbs and stir through. Set aside and make the pastry.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C. Line a couple of baking tins with baking paper.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder, then dice the butter and add to the mixture, pinching together lightly until crumbles form.
  4. Stir in the two egg yolks and some cold water to make the mixture come together into a dough.
  5. Dust the worktop with flour and roll out the dough to about 3 - 5 mm thickness. Cut out circle of about 18 - 20 cm diameter, e. g. using a bowl or side plate.
  6. Whisk the glazing egg with a pinch of salt to an egg wash.
  7. If the vegetables have released some liquid, drain it off, then place some in the middle of each circle and add some of the meat on top.
  8. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash, then carefully fold together over the filling and press/crimp to seal. Place on a baking tin and brush with more egg wash.
  9. Repeat until the dough and/or filling runs out.
  10. Bake the pasties for about 45 minutes, one baking sheet at a time (unless using a fan assisted oven). The waiting baking sheet should be put in the fridge.
  11. When ready, remove from the oven and serve immediately or allow to cool on a wire rack before refrigerating or freezing.


Writing up this recipe, I notice that I forgot to add some flour to the filling to soak up excess liquid, though seasoning the veg and letting it stand for a bit, then draining it off helped to keep things relatively dry.

Unfortunately my beautiful crimping didn't work out this time either and disappeared during baking and most of the pasties also split here and there.

What was a bit annoying was that the amounts of dough and filling didn't match up - I had filling left over, enough for two more pasties. The dough circle size was states as 15 cm diameter, which resulted in 9 pasties. Perhaps cutting slightly larger circles would make things add up, I don't know. I've frozen the remaining filling and will hopefully be able to make a further pasty or two when I have dough left over.

As the pasties were for when the kitchen would be out of action, I let them all cool completely and then froze them. This morning I took out 3 of the pasties and let them thaw in room temperature, then microwaved for our dinner. The pasties were quite nice, even if the pastry had gone soft, but I knew that already. What I should have done is used more of the herbs, they were barely noticeable.

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