Thursday, February 25, 2010

Food for thought Fridays - Mince and cheese pielets

Our freezer is chocka block full of beef. We bought a quarter of a cow off my sister, who raises beef with her husband on their lifestyle block, because it's a great way to save money on meat, and it means we know exactly where said meat has come from. 

It also forces me to get creative with cooking because we get all these unusual cuts I'd usually bypass in the supermarket. 

We use the slow cooker a lot to  make casseroles, but really there's only so much casserole my husband and I can face. That's why Paul came up with the cunning idea of making pielets with the casserole leftovers. (I should clarify, he came up with the idea, but it was left to me to implement.)

It's been a bit of an experiment to find the right pastry for these pielets, but I think we've cracked it with this Destitute Gourmet recipe for quick flaky pastry. It requires frozen butter - half an hour in the freezer wrapped in foil is usually sufficient. I actually buy butter in bulk when it's on special and store it in the freezer to stop it from going rancid, which means it's ready to go when I've got pastry to make.

Pastry ingredients
  • 1 heaped cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 125g frozen butter
  • cold water to mix
Sift the flour and salt into a big bowl. Dip the block of butter into the flour to make it easier to handle, then grate it into the bowl using a cheese grater. If it gets a bit sticky, dip it in the flour again. Gently fork the butter through the flour.

Add just enough water to form a dough. Use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball and pop it into a bag to chill in the fridge until you are ready to use it. Try to chill it for at least 20 minutes before rolling as this helps stop it shrinking during cooking.

To make the pielets, roll the pastry out to as thin as you can (thinner than in the photo below) and use a cup to cut out circles of pastry big enough to line each section of a muffin tin.

Whiz up leftover casserole in a food processor and spoon into the muffin tin.

Cover each pielet with a slice of cheese and smaller circles of pastry. Pinch the top and bottom pastries together all the way around to seal.

Bake at 220°C for five minutes, then reduce to 180°C and cook for a further 25 minutes (or until pastry is golden brown.

Serve with a crisp salad to cleanse your palate from all that butter.

1 comment:

  1. Gosh! Your own sister can supply beef to you. Now that's what I call handy. All my brother can supply me with is beers. But then I have no problem with that. ;)


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