Makes 10-12, 14cm (5in) pasties.
460g of pâte brisée (see below main recipe)
450g lean braising beef (skirt is really good, but will take longer to cook)
3 tablespoons groundnut oil
300ml ready-made beef stock (I use a Knorr stockpot mixed with hot water)
1 thinly sliced medium onion, about 150g
1 potato cut into 5mm (1/4in) dice, about 150g
swede cut into 5mm (1/4in) dice 150g
salt and freshly ground pepper
egg wash (1 yolk, mixed with 1 tablespoon of milk
Cut the beef into 1.5cm (3/4in), heat the oil in a pan and sear the beef all over. Pour off the fat, then add the stock and cook gently for about an hour or until the meat is very tender. If the stock reduces too much, add hot water, but sparingly. Season the beef as it’s cooking, tasting as you go. The meat should be coated with a gravy when it’s finished. When tender enough put the meat aside in a bowl and leave to cool.
Cook the onion, potato and swede in separate pans in small amounts of salted water until just tender. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the water, then drain and mix the vegetables in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, cover with cling film and along with the bowl of meat, chill for several hours. You can make the mix the day before you use it.
To assemble the pasties. Break off or cut a piece the size of a large egg from your chilled pâte brisée and, on a floured surface, roll turning a quarter turn each time until it is a disc, 2-3mm in thickness and cut a 14cm disc either with a cutter or a suitable sized saucer or dish. I roll them individually not to overwork the pastry. When I make these pasties I usually make some for vegetarian friends, so I keep the beef and veg mix separate and only mix the vegetables and beef together once the vegetarian ones have been assembled.
So, brush a small amount of the egg wash around the edge of the pastry disc and put your mixture into the centre, approximately two level dessert spoons. (Don’t be tempted to put in too much, because you don’t want it spilling out of the pastry once it is folded).
Then carefully bring one half of the disc over the top of the mixture and bring it together with the other half, pinching hard with your fingertips all around the edge then make small folds all around the semi-circle, to completely seal the pastry.
Place on a baking sheet and brush with the remaining egg wash. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Heat the oven to 180C (gas mark 4) and bake the pasties for 25 minutes until a deep golden colour.
They can be eaten hot from the oven or cooled and chilled and eaten the following day.
Pâte Brisée (From the book Pastry buy Michel Roux)
260g plain flour
160g butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened
1 teaspoon of fine salt
pinch of caster sugar
1 tablespoon of cold milk (if necessary)
Heap the flour on a clean work surface and make a well. Put in the butter, salt, sugar and egg.
Using your fingertips mic and cream the ingredients together. Little by little draw in the flour, working the dough delicately until it has a grainy texture. If the mixture is dry add some of the milk and incorporate gently.
Using the palm of your hand, work the dough by pushing it away from you four or five times until it becomes smooth. Roll it into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate until ready to use.
Pâte brisée will keep perfectly in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or up to 3 months in the freezer.