Continuing with my new menu planning obsession (honestly, it’s saving me A FORTUNE – I’ve got my favourites saved on the online shopping app and I just tweak it every week, then buy the odd bit of fresh stuff from the farmer’s market or my fab local farm shop), I thought I’d share another of my staple ingredients: puff pastry. I do quite like making puff pastry (well, rough puff), but there’s certainly no shame in using ready made, and a pack of all butter puff pastry is the perfect thing to keep in the fridge to make tarts, pies and much more.
If you remember, lovely Lawrence from Island Spice in Jamaica saw my picture of his jerk seasoning in my buttermilk jerk chicken recipe and sent me his entire range, so I have always have plenty of spices to use. I love using minced lamb, but have got in a bit of a shepherd’s pie rut recently so decided to crack out the spice. I went for his ‘all-purpose’ seasoning, but if you don’t have a generous friend in Jamaica, you can buy any similar spice or seasoning blend you fancy.
This sort of thing is perfect for leftovers – if you cook a roast on Sunday, you can combine the leftovers – veggies, meat, roasties, a bit of gravy, the lot, into a little puff pastry pie and serve it simply with some steamed veg. And since I’ve spied the sun a few times recently, I’m already imagining packing them up with salads and a bottle of wine and enjoying a picnic on a check rug. Bliss.
You will need:
1 red onion
2 tablespoons spice mix
1 pack lamb mince (500g should do it, I had a little left over)
1 large potato, cut into small cubes
Couple of handfuls frozen peas
Small amount of lamb stock (cube is fine)
1 egg for eggy washing
500g pack of ready to roll puff pastry
So first of all, chop the onion finely and start to fry it in a heavy based frying pan (I used a splash of chilli oil but any will do). When it’s translucent, add in the spice and the lamb and stir them all together, browning the lamb mince evenly.
Add the potato, then the stock (you really only need about 100ml, and you’ll find you leave a bit of liquid in the pan when you use the filling) and the peas.
Put a lid on and leave to cook gently for 10-15 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to cool.
Now, roll out the pastry into a big square and divide equally into four. Brush eggy wash around the edges of each square, then spoon a couple of tablespoons of the lamb mixture into the middle.
Flap one edge right over, stick it to the other edge and seal it by squishing with a fork.
A word to the wise: as you will witness (below), one of my pies exploded, and that’s because I didn’t allow my mixture to cool properly and it started to melt the pastry. Slow and steady wins the race, so don’t be a wally like me and allow time for the lamb to cool.
Eggy wash the top, then just plonk them on a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes at 200/gas 6.
We all agreed these would make excellent packed lunch material too. Delicious. Oh and don’t worry, I gave English Dad the dodgy one. He didn’t mind.