Saturday 15 June 2013

School Night Dinners Series - Recipe 4 - Quick and Tasty Pasty-Pies

Can't really decide if these are a Pasty, or a Pie, but this recipe has been a favourite of ours for a good few years, usually as a weekend meal.  But since school has started we've discovered that this is a great way to get a complete dinner into our girls quickly, and it's even better because by cutting the pasties up a bit, it's an ideal finger food for Hannah.  This translates to great multi-tasking time for Mummy ... supervising dinner while washing up, or sorting out the school bag, or laying out tomorrow's school clothes or .... you know how it is ... the list is endless!  Another bonus is that both girls LOVE these pasties, so there's never any dinner-time fussiness to deal with ... Mummy and Daddy like them too!

Anyway, here's how you make it: Makes enough for 2 dinners for 4 people (based on 1 Pasty per person) - they freeze really well!
- 4 store-bought frozen puff pastry sheets
- 500 grams mince meat (Beef, Veal, Pork, Chicken or Turkey all work well)
- 1 salt reduced stock cube (Beef Stock if using beef, veal or pork mince, Chicken Stock if using chicken or turkey mince)
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 zucchini
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 2 Tablespoons tomato sauce / ketchup (plus extra for serving)
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- Pepper
- Water

1. Take your pastry out of the freezer, and carefully separate the sheets, then place on the countertop (still with the plastic backing on) to thaw while you prepare the filling.

2. Dice onion, carrot and zucchini into similar-sized pieces.

3. Sauté onion lightly on high heat in a large frying pan - use a teaspoon of oil if you like, or even just a small splash of water works well, but don't go over-board as the mince will generally let out some juices too.

4. Add the mince and mix well whilst it browns, ensuring the mince breaks up nicely.

5. Add the carrot, zucchini and peas, and mix well.

6. Dissolve the stock cube in 1 cup of hot water and add to the pan, along with 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce / ketchup.  Once it comes to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, or until the carrots are tender...keep an eye on it at this point, as you might need to add a little water to stop it drying out too much.  You want to have some liquid left once the vegies have cooked.

7.  In a small bowl or teacup mix the cornflour and 2 tablespoons of cold water.  Pour cornflour/water mixture into the pan and mix continually until the "gravy" is thickened.  If it thickens too much, just add a little more water until you like the consistency.  If it's too runny, turn the heat up and simmer until the liquid is absorbed / evaporated.

8.  Have a taste at this point, and add pepper to taste.  Take the frypan off the heat and allow to cool slightly while you prepare the pastry.

9.  Cut each pastry sheet in half across the diagonal as so ...

10.  Place on a lightly oiled tray (a cookie sheet or pizza tray works great), with sufficient space around them to allow for a little bit of "growing" while they cook.

11.  Spoon the filling onto one end of each pastry triangle.  Be careful not to over-fill, or they will split open while they're cooking.  About 3/4 cup of filling is probably sufficient.  (Oh, if you have left-over filling, it's great for a quick toasted-sandwich for lunch the next day, or even mixed through some pasta or rice for a take-to-work hot lunch).

12. Fold the other side of the triangle over, and use a fork to press each of the open side closed.  Use the fork to prick a couple of small holes in the top (which allows the steam to escape).  Brush a little milk over the top.  Then, if you like (and we usually do) sprinkle some poppy seeds or sesame seeds over the top. The milk should help them stick.

13.  Pop the tray in the oven at 180C (350F) for approximately 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.

14.  Serve with some extra tomato sauce / ketchup and voila!

Hope you enjoy this one!  Oh, and these freeze really well - just allow them to cool fully, wrap in plastic wrap and stack in the freezer for those busier-than-most evenings.  To reheat, just remove them from the freezer, and take off the plastic wrap, place them on an oven tray and put them back in the oven at 180C (350F) for approximately 15-20 minutes.  Check them after 15 minutes by sticking a skewer or knife into the middle, then carefully touching the skewer or knife.  If it's hot, they're ready to go!  Tasty little crunchy parcels of Yum!

So, there's one more recipe to come in this series, and it's definitely the favourite!!  Stay tuned!  To see the other recipes in this series just click here, here, and here.


  1. Brilliant idea, a complete meal in one go! They look so yummy!