20 September 2010

Great British Bake-Off 2

Well, watching the contestants make Cornish Pasties made me keen to give this dish a go.


When I proposed it to Lundulph, his eyes started to sparkle.

And so, since I felt in a very good mood today, I looked up Paul Hollywood's Classic Cornish Pasty recipe for ingredients and went off to the shops. Nothing called "suet" on the shelves, so I bought "vegetable spread" which was listed as "perfect for pastries".

I also wandered down to the butcher's to get beef skirt, sadly they were closed. I even walked in to town for the other butcher, but they were closed as well, so in desperation I asked at the meat desk in Waitrose. "We don't sell beef skirt" was the answer and the chap recommended butterfly steak. And wasn't it just my lucky day - there was one packet left and it was precisely the amount I needed, yay! As an extra bonus it was already cut very thinly, better still!

The recipe stated kneading by hand. So I did, entirely uncertain if I was doing it correctly. Plus I should have used a bigger bowl, I ended up pouring everything out while it was still floury and sticky. But it did come together eventually and looked rather nice. Into the fridge it went and as I was running very late in my schedule, it only got just over 30 minutes rest, instead of the planned 60.

I peeled and diced all the vegetables and the meat and again put them all in a too small a bowl and ended up spilling half on the work surface while trying to mix things together. And the meat kept sticking together in clumps, so not uniform at all. I was surprised at the smell from the swede, it reminded me of mooli, but its texture was much denser, drier and harder.

And so, the fridge rest was over, I divided everything into 4 and set to work rolling out the pasty dough. That worked quite nicely, no stickiness to the dough, no shrinking back etc.

I then piled on the allotted amount of filling and as feared, it was a bit too much perhaps. But I pressed together the edges and made a feeble attempt at crimping. Actually I wouldn't call it crimping, I'm not sure what it is and it sort of did the job but it wasn't pretty. I watched the instructional video afterwards, should have done that first, it shows very well how to do crimping.


And of course the oven was playing up again and I struggled to reach the 170 degrees required for the baking. So my pasties had to bake for 15 minutes longer than the recipe says, but they came out lovely. Lundulph ate one whole one, I just about managed a third. They are big.

I'm now waiting for the other two to cool down, so I can cut them and freeze them. Lundulph said that the pasty continued expanding in his tummy and one whole pasty of this size was perhaps a bit too much for a meal.

But it was great, I particularly liked the pastry, it had a very good texture. There was a clear sweetness coming through from the swede. The filling had cooked well, perhaps the meat was still a touch on the chewy side and I was surprised at the amount of flavour there was, given that it was only seasoned with salt and pepper.

I'm keen to experiment next time, perhaps with fresh herbs in the filling and perhaps also try a vegetarian version.


Anonymous said...

Oh, they look great. I've never tried making these before but I'm going to my mum's at the weekend and am not sure what to cook, these could be perfect. Her oven is very tempremental though so might be best to do them at home.

Caramella Mou said...

Yes, might be tricky with a temperamental oven. Mine is these days so I keep an eye on the thermometer I've put inside.

But definitely try them out, they really were good.

I've now located real suet in the supermarket and have bought a packet, so will try again and compare the difference in flavour.