Friday, August 20, 2010

Potato, Beef, & Onion Pasties (serves 2-4, depending on appetite and accompaniments)

This is my first-ever pasty -- eating or making -- as it's a British food and I've had coeliac long before ever moving to this country. So while I don't know for sure how they should taste, I can say that mine smells like the ones at the Cornish Pasty shops, and it tastes wonderful. Use the best ingredients you can (I used organic beef, potatoes, and butter).

Quite simple -- a crust which starts with a layer of boiled sliced potatoes on the bottom, then a beef-onion mixture on top of that, closed with a top crust, and baked 30-40 minutes.

1. Crust: I used 8 oz of flour (of course my Doves Farm blend), 4 oz of butter, and after mixing those into a crumbly mixture with the fingers, add just enough ice-water to make a soft ball of dough (3-5 Tbsp?). You can do individual pasties, one large one, or as I did here, make one large circle, cut it in half, and then fold those in half after filling. I roll my crust between two sheets of grease-proof paper, as it's the easiest way to handle GF dough.

2. Filling: Before you start the beef, pop a large baking potato into the microwave, and cook for about 8 minutes (4 on each side, so it cooks evenly). When it's done and cooled a bit, the skin slips off easily and you can slice it up -- no need for another pot to wash.

Once that's going, in a large skillet, on med-high heat, cook up 8 oz ground beef and one chopped onion (not too finely chopped, but definitely not coarse). When the beef is nearly done, add 1/4 cp. of red wine, a tbsp of tomato ketchup, a grind of pepper, a pinch of salt, a tsp or two of fresh thyme, and half cup of beef stock. Continue cooking, reducing until the liquid is gone, but the beef is still moist.

3. Putting it together: Place potato slices on the bottom of the crust, spoon the beef mixture over that, cover it with the top crust, seal, and brush the top with a beaten egg. Cut slits to allow steam to escape, and bake at gas mark 6 for 30-40 minutes (until well browned).

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