Once again I have been in my Grandma’s ear, asking her for another of my favourite recipes; this time her beef pasties. Another classic Australian recipe, I’m sure many families enjoyed these at the peak of their popularity and even continue to do so now (despite pastry-wrapped meat having fallen from favour due to the rise of the nutritionally-savvy public). These are very basic, tasty pasties that will go down well at any picnic or anytime you’re asked to bring a plate. Best served hot with tomato sauce, this is simple fare for casual dining.
- 6 sheets frozen puff pastry
- 2-4 tbs milk, to brush
- 500g minced beef (you could also use pork if you’d prefer)
- 2 grated onions
- 2 grated potatoes
- 2 grated carrots
- 2 grated swedes
- 1 grated parsnip
- Salt and pepper to season
- 1 heaped tbs Clive of India curry powder
Simply mix everything (except the pastry and milk) in a very large mixing bowl, using your hands to ensure everything is thoroughly combined. Now divide the mix evenly between the 6 sheets, making a line of the beef mixture down the centre of the pastry. Fold the sides over to cover the mixture, pinch and fold together to enclose. Now fold and pinch the small ends to enclose the meat completely.
Bake in a hot oven (about 180ºc) for 45 minutes to an hour, checking after 30 minutes to see the pastry is golden brown. You may like to gently turn them over to crisp the bottom too. When you think they are ready, tap the bottom of the pastry; it should sound hollow. Set aside to cool a little before cutting to serve. A quarter of these should serve a child; half a pasty should serve an adult.
If you prefer to make party-sized pasties, simply cut each sheet of pastry into 4 squares, spoon the beef mixture on and fold over the form a triangle. This method is a little more fiddly but they make for good finger-food portions. The triangles only need to bake for around 30 minutes. Use the same method to check they are cooked through as above.
As a teenager, my mum used to make a batch of 6 and freeze 4, while we each ate half a pasty as a meal (with some steamed vegetables on the side). As the recipe was given to me, it uses 6 sheets of frozen puff pastry (Pampas for preference) so there isn’t really a smaller quantity available. And really, they are so simple to make, you are best to just make the entire batch and keep some in the freezer for a rainy day. You can freeze them cooked or uncooked, but remember to begin with fresh beef mince, so you are not re-freezing the meat.
To re-heat pre-cooked pasties, simply pop in a warmed oven (about 160ºc), wrapped in foil for 30 minutes to an hour. This way the pastry will be lovely and crisp when you go to eat it.