Holiday Leftover Pies!

November 28, 2016

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Who out there has leftovers? I bet one or two of you do if your Thanksgiving feasts looked anything like ours did. Well boy oh boy do I have an awesome recipe for you today… Holiday Leftover Pies! Now I will admit, this might be a bit of a replay on my part, but I got the idea from those delicious Pirozhki’s that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. Pirozhkis are little Russian yeast buns which have been stuffed with ground beef, leeks and cheddar. Quite yummy as you can imagine. So I was thinking about them. Well, them and the fact that the Husband loves the day-after Thanksgiving sandwich. You know – the Thanksgiving dinner -turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy – squished between two slices of bread. Yeah, well he loves it…quite possibly more than he likes the original Thanksgiving Day feast. So, combining the two thoughts, I stuffed these little Thanksgiving Pirozhkis with leftover turkey and all the trimmings, baked ’em up and let me tell you…They were Awesome! Dare I say even better than the sandwich version.

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And the fact that you are working with a filling that has spent at least one day in the fridge is a big benefit as well. I mean cutting off a slice of gravy to add to the filling rather than working with a hot liquid version when stuffing dough is a far superior experience. Just take a few moments to dice up any meat into bite sized cubes and the rest is easy-peasy. The total amount of filling, whatever leftovers you might have on hand, should be about 2 – 2 1/2 Tablespoons per bun. And I will say that when you pinch the folded over dough together to seal the bun, don’t hold back! Give it quite a pinch or use a fork like you would in making a pie crust to ensure that the bun edges stick together and don’t pop open in the oven. But if they do, no worries. I assure you, it won’t effect the taste one little bit!

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These Day-After Leftover Pies will be a tradition after every holiday feast from this day forward, I can assure you. We’re already thinking ahead to Christmas when we’ll have leftover prime rib, mushrooms, mashed potatoes and gravy. Drool, drool, drool! So I just had to share this with everyone. If you’ve already gobbled down all your Thanksgiving leftovers, keep these in mind for Christmas. You, and whomever you decide to share with, will be delighted!

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Holiday Leftover Pies

  • Servings: 16 pies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Holiday Leftover Pie dough recipe from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 4 cups (17 oz /482 grams) All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz./28 grams) Vermont Cheese Powder (don’t have cheese powder? you can substitute grated parmesan or leave it out altogether.)
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./113grams) sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, 2 oz./57grams) soft unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./113grams) warm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (7/8 oz./25grams) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

For the filling:

  • Whatever leftovers you have, such as: diced turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy & cranberry sauce

Directions:

To make the dough: Combine all the dough ingredients and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until a soft, smooth dough forms.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow to rest for about 90 minutes, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk.

Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces; if you have a scale they’ll weigh about 2 ounces each. 

Shape the pieces into balls, and place them on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about an inch between them. 

Cover the dough balls, and allow them to rest for about 15 minutes.

Ready your leftovers. Don’t reheat them, leave them cold. They will be much easier to work with.Chop any large pieces of meat into a smaller dice.

Shape each ball into a flattened round about 5″ in diameter, brush the surface with some of the egg/water wash, and place 2 tablespoons of filling onto the center of each round. 

Pull the dough over the filling, pinching two opposite edges together tightly, to seal in the filling; it should look like a dumpling. 

Place the buns on two lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover the buns, and allow them to rise for 1 hour, or until puffy.

Towards the end of the rising time preheat the oven to 400°F.

Brush the buns with the remaining egg wash. Bake the buns for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. It’s OK if some of the seams have come undone and the filling is visible; they can be prettier that way!

Remove the buns from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Store any leftover buns in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

Holiday Leftover Pies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Useful Links for Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Holiday Leftover Pies:

6 Quart Dough Rising Bucket

Norpro 2 Tablespoon Cookie Scoop

SAF Instant Yeast

Vermont Cheese Powder

 

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Smithwick’s Beef & Cheddar Pies

March 11, 2014

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Mmmmm….meat pies! I know lots of folks out there get real worked up about sweet, dessert-type pies. But around here, we’re all about the savoury meat pie. And we pretty much swoon for any type of meat pie whether it be pot pies, pasties or empanadas. We love them all. As if you couldn’t tell. Just look back at my recipe archive and you’ll find quite a few. But I’ve got to let you guys in on a secret…so far these are our favourites! I don’t think I’m supposed to pick a favourite. It’s sort of like parents not having a favourite kid (or should I say not “admitting” to it). Well, just don’t tell the other pies, but this Smithwick’s Beef & Cheddar Pie recipe can do no wrong in our eyes.

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Now I will say that these pies do take a bit of planning to get them done properly. You should allow yourself two days. I suppose you could throw them together in just one day. But why would you want to put all that pressure on yourself. With a wee bit of planning ahead, you’ll be much less stressed and have superior tasting pies.

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So, here’s the plan of action I recommend. Day one – make the beef and ale filling. First step is browning the beef. Browning not only gives the meat a much more appealing colour, but it also boosts the flavour. This is followed by a long cooking time. You just let that browned beef simmer away with all of those spices and that Smithwick’s Ale broth for a good 3 -4 hours.

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Not only will the beef be incredibly tender, but all those flavours will have time to come together and really intensify. If you are in a rush at this time you can move right along to making the crust and assembling the pies, but if you can wait, that beef filling will taste much better after an overnight rest in the refrigerator. And just think, your work is done for the day – on the pie front anyway. You should kick back and have a pint or two.

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And as for that crust… well, that was the huge surprize for me in this recipe. Whenever I have made a shortcrust in the past, I have had to cut chilled butter into a flour mixture, add liquid – in my favourite recipe a mixture of vodka and water, form the dough – handling it ever so gingerly – and then let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour, if not overnight. This recipe introduced me to a new way of making pie crust and I must say I am absolutely loving it. It is much less fussy. You just melt butter in a bit of water, add some flour until a dough forms and there you have it. How easy is that! You roll it out and bake it right away. No waiting time. Done in a jiffy! And the crust is just perfect for these pies, buttery and tender yet substantial enough that you can pick a pie up and move it around without it completely crumbling into a heap.

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I was able to make eight of these little pies with this recipe, which fed the husband and I for four meals. I served them up with a lovely green salad on the side and we never got tired of them. And once you make them and taste that tender beef in a tangy sauce, spiked with gooey sharp cheddar, all wrapped in a buttery pastry crust, I think you’ll see why they hold the most-favoured pie status with us. Comfort food at its best!

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Smithwick’s Beef & Cheddar Pies

recipe adapted from: Mel’s Creative Corner

yield: Eight 4 – 5″ pies

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil plus more for browning beef
  • 2 1/2 lbs. of beef brisket, cut into 2-3 inch pieces ( beef chuck will work fine as well)
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 stalks of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups of Smithwick’s Ale, roughly 12oz bottle (or your favourite craft beer ale can be sub’ed in)
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary
  • 6 sprigs of Thyme
  • 4 ounces Irish Cheddar, grated
Pastry:
This recipe makes enough pastry for eight of the 4- 5″ pies. 
  • 3 sticks of butter
  • 1 1/3 cups of water
  • 5 cups of flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • sea salt, for sprinkling over top

Directions:

Heat oil in large dutch oven, sprinkle beef with salt and pepper, dust with flour and cook, in batches, 3-4 minutes each side and set aside

Heat oil  and sauté onions, celery until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste, beer, vinegar, beef stock, sugar and spices to pan. Bring to a boil. Add beef back to pan.

Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and cook for 3 -4 hours or until tender.

Remove beef to shred and then return to pan.

For pastry and pie assembly:
Place butter and water into a sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil

Remove from heat, stir in flour and salt until smooth dough forms. Knead until smooth and elastic.

Roll out pastry dough (roughly ¼ inch thick) and line your pie pans, make sure you save enough dough for later to cover the pies. Divide beef among the dishes. Top with grated cheddar.

Roll out remaining dough to cover pies. Make sure to adhere the pie crust together by pressing a fork along the side of the pie dish.

Cut a small slit on the top of the pies

Brush the top of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake at 400°F  for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy!


Scotch Egg Pie

January 24, 2014

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So I can’t believe it, but apparently it’s the New Year! And quite a few days into it I must admit. Hmmm….I seem to have been a very neglectful blogger. In my defense, I have had quite a bit going on around here recently, you know, the usual Thanksgiving/ Christmas hysteria, but I also had several vacations, a family health scare and a small house fire…I will tell you all about those things a bit later, I promise. But enough excuses. Let me start anew by saying “Happy New Year” to all you folks out there on the “interwebs”. I would go on to tell you some nonsense about how I had made a resolution to blog faithfully every Tuesday and Thursday, but I think we all know that would be quite optimistic, bordering on delusional. Life just has a way of making a mess of those types of declarations, so I think I won’t bother. I’ll just get back into the swing of things with this great recipe for Scotch Egg Pie,  just in time for the upcoming Robert Burns Night celebrations on January 25th!

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Throughout the world, though especially in Scotland, folks will be celebrating with a Burns Night Supper to mark the occasion. Robert Burns was born in 1759 and is regarded as the National Poet of Scotland. I’m quite a Burns fan myself and will certainly be raising my glass to The Bard this weekend. I have given you some great Scottish recipes in the past in case you might be planning a Burn’s Night Supper of you own. Last year it was Cock-a-leekie soup

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which I served with delicious, crusty Struan. Struan, also known as Celtic Harvest Bread, is thought to have taken its name from a town in Western Scotland called Struanmoor, on the Isle of Skye. It was originally enjoyed once a year as a harvest bread, using whatever grains were available from the previous day’s harvest. This is my absolute favourite bread, so it is almost always available in my house. It toasts up particularly brilliantly.

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The year before it was Deviled Scotch Eggs.

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And I had also previously given you the traditional Scotch Egg recipe. If you don’t know what Scotch Eggs are, believe me it is time that you find out! Basically it is  a hard-boiled egg encased in sausage and then deep-fried. Good Lord Have Mercy!

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Now, the Scotch Egg Pie we’re about to discuss was not deep-fried, it was baked. But I just knew from the get-go that it was going to be amazing! I mean how could it not be with the list of ingredients it was sporting…spicy sausage, hard-boiled eggs all wrapped up in a buttery flaky pie crust?!! My husband could hardly contain himself when I teased him with a description of the culinary creation which would soon be arriving on his dinner plate! I think I’ve mentioned before that he absolutely loves any sort of meat pie, pasty, empanadas, etc. He also seems to really have an egg thing. He never tires of them, any and every way you fix them. Now this Scotch Egg Pie checked all of the boxes for him. He knew it would be awesome. And I am happy to say it did meet, if not exceed his expectations. Just delicious!

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I found this recipe on BBC Good Food. The original version called for Lincolnshire sausages. Lincolnshire sausages are a type of pork sausage that is associated with the English county of Lincolnshire. These sausages have more sage spice than the usual peppery or thyme flavours you might find in sausages which hale from other locales. Furthermore, they are coarsely ground rather than minced which gives them a much more chunky texture. Well, I couldn’t find any authentic Lincolnshire sausages here in good old Virginia, but believe you me, there was no scarcity of coarsely ground pork sausage around here, so I just made do. And while I was at it, I bought some really hot spicy sausage, because we definitely like a bit of heat! Red pepper flakes, habañero sauce, jalapeños, or Sriracha…bring it on! I did customize the sausage mixture a bit further as well with the addition of some Worcestershire sauce and parmesan cheese. Oh and I used my favourite short crust pastry recipe which creates the most buttery flaky pie crust imaginable. I’m telling you it is the pie crust of your dreams, is really easy to make and has vodka in it! (Always a welcome addition in my opinion). I suppose just grabbing a box of premade pie crust of the supermarket shelf is easier, but if you do have the time, I highly recommend you try this particular recipe. If you are anything like me, this will be your go-to pie crust recipe from that point on!

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Although I served my Scotch Egg Pie with a lovely green salad and a pint or two… for a casual, simple dinner, I’ve been told that Scotch Egg Pie is normally seen as more of a picnic food than sit down dinner entrée. Indeed I can see how it would be fantastic for a picnic in that it is easy to eat with your fingers, though perhaps a bit messy and tastes equally good at room temperature or piping hot from the oven. It would be great for breakfast, brunch or in a packed lunch as well. And I think it would be a well received addition to any Burns Night Supper. I hope I’ve managed to inspire you with these lovely Scottish dishes. If so, whip some of them up and raise a wee dram and drink a toast to Scotland’s Favourite Son this Saturday.

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Scotch Egg Pie

recipe adapted from: BBC Good Food

Ingredients:

  • 8 medium hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 lbs. sausage
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon thyme, leaves only
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 100 grams panko
  • 1 batch of short crust pastry (recipe below) or 500 grams of store-bought pie pastry
  • flour, for dusting
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds

Directions:

If you are planning to make your own short crust, remember that it will need to chill 1 hour in the fridge before you plan to roll it out into the pan. You can make the pastry the day before if you are a super-organized, type A planner or if you are pretty laid back and usually just wing-it, start production on this recipe at whatever time a bit earlier than usual would be for you. If you are using store-bought pastry, move on to the next step.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter an 8″ springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Or, if you don’t have a springform, just use a regular 8″ round cake tin. Criss-cross two long strips of baking parchment in the tin to aid you when you are ready to lift out the pie.

Place 6 of the eggs in a large saucepan of cold water. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Let the eggs stand in pan for 5 minutes, then run cold water into the pan to cool eggs. Peel when cool enough to handle.

Place the sausage in a large mixing bowl. Add the nutmeg, thyme, 75 grams of the panko ( a heaping cup), 1 egg, Worcestershire sauce, parmesan, pepper, salt and mix well. Set aside.

Roll out half of the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Line the baking tin. Scatter the remaining Panko over the base of the pastry.

Pat about one-quarter of the sausage mixture into the bottom of the tin. Arrange the peeled eggs on top, spacing them evenly. Gently pack the remaining sausage mixture around and over the eggs.

Roll out the remaining pastry dough and cover the pie, crimping the edges. Cut a steam hole in the top of the pastry. Beat the remaining egg lightly. Glaze the top of the pastry dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Place tin on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour or until the pork registers 160° F.

Remove pie from the oven and lift it from the tin, or remove the sides if using a springform pan. Place the pie back on the cookie sheet and return it to the oven for 10 minutes or so to brown the sides. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy!

Perfect Flaky Pie Crust

Originally adapted from: Inspired Taste

Ingredients:

(this recipe makes dough for two pie crusts)

  • 2 1/2 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)
  • 6 tablespoons vodka (chilled)
  • 2 Tablespoons ice water

Directions:

This recipe will make enough dough for two pie crusts. You will need both for this Scotch Egg Pie.

Mix 6 tablespoons of vodka and 2 tablespoons of water. Put in fridge or freezer (don’t forget it) to chill.

Add 1 1/2 cups flour, salt to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.

Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).

Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).

Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water/vodka over mixture. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra water/vodka and continue to press until dough comes together.

Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).


Mince & Cheddar Pasties

March 10, 2013

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I know I have mentioned that my husband and I love meat pies, so I’m very happy to share this recipe for Mince & Cheddar Pasties today. Last year, during my St. Patrick’s Day countdown, I wrote about one of our favourite type of pasty, Chicken & Leek. The origins of the pasty (pronounced pass-tee) are unclear, but it is most usually associated with Cornwall, England not Ireland. However, I ate my first pasty while living in Ireland and therefore when presented with one, warm memories of Ireland always accompany it. But for those of you who might be as of yet unfamiliar with these particular culinary creations, let me start from the beginning. A pasty is a pastry case filled with a meat/vegetable, meat/cheese mixture, or strickly veggie mix, sealed by crimping the edges (more on this “crimping” technique later) and then baked. Oh, and when I say “mince” here, I am talking about ground beef or hamburger. Not whatever that stuff is in mincemeat pies. So Mince & Cheddar pasties are kind of like a “cheeseburger pie” if such a thing exists. (If so, I bet it is delicious!)

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The most difficult thing about making these pasties is getting the edges crimped together properly after you’ve topped the rolled out dough with mince & cheese filling. The easiest thing to do is paint the edges of the dough with water or egg wash, fold it over and then just use a fork to crimp the edges closed, thus sealing it. This technique will certainly get the job done. But I have never been satisfied with that simplified crimp. I wanted to get much fancier and do a proper crimp.

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I took a look out there on the interweb and as it turns out, there is all sorts of controversy surrounding how and where the crimp of a pasty is done. If you crimp your pasty on the side, it can be called a Cornish Pasty, however if you do a top crimp it should be called a Devon Pasty. And believe me, it looks like folks get really riled up over this. Hmmm…Here is a link to a demonstration of how to crimp a pasty, if you are interested in trying to give it a whirl. It does take a bit of practice, but it looks great if you can master it and the thicker crimp provides a great “handle” to hold onto your pasty while eating it.

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Now, if you were pressed for time and didn’t want to bother with fiddling around with the dough much at all, what you could do is get some puff pastry from your local supermarket. Put the mince filling in individual ramekins or a larger pie dish or casserole dish and just cut that store-bought pastry to fit over the top. Easy peasy right? I’m afraid I just couldn’t do that to the husband though, he really loves the pasties when they show up here, so I guess I’ll just keep practicing my crimping.

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When my husband and I visited Ireland this past October, we met friends out in a pub while in Dublin. That particular establishment’s “Pie of the Day” turned out to be a Mince & Cheese Pie. We couldn’t resist and ordered it and while it was good, I was delighted when my husband whispered “yours are better”. I’m hoping it wasn’t just the pints talking! I do think that these Mince & Cheddar Pasties of mine are just little bundles of tasty goodness. The rough puff pastry is buttery and flaky and the mince mixture is really flavourful and oozing with cheddar cheese. Yum! Maybe I can get a job as Top Pasty Chef down at the local pub…

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Mince & Cheddar Pasties

yield: 6 pies

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef (mince)
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 springs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato puree
  • 1 Cup beef Broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Cup Irish Cheddar

For the rough puff pastry:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 2/3 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of milk, for glazing

Directions:

For the Puff Pastry:

To make the pastry, mix the flour with the salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine.

Add the cubed butter pieces and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add just enough ice water ( 8 – 10 tablespoons) to bring the mixture together into a fairly firm dough.

Shape the dough into a rectangle with your hands and on a well-floured surface, roll it out in one direction, away from you, so that you end up with a rectangle about 3/8″ thick. Fold the far third towards you, then fold the nearest third over that (like folding a letter), so that you now have a rectangle made up of 3 equal layers. Give the pastry a quarter turn, then repeat the rolling, folding and turning process 5 more times. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

While the dough is chilling, make up the mince and cheese filling.

For the filling:

Heat oil in large frying pan. Add ground beef to pan and cook until browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If meat has released a lot of grease, drain off. Return pan to heat and add onion and garlic. Stir to combine. Add Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and thyme. Cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes or so. Pour in red wine and reduce until it is almost completely evaporated. Add beef stock and bring to boil. Allow to simmer until sauce is thickened. Set aside to cool completely.

Once filling has cooled, Preheat oven to 375° F.

Assembly:

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to about 1/8″ thick. Using a plate or cake pan as a template, cut out six 8″ circles.

Brush the around the edges of the circle with the egg wash. Spoon about 1/6 of the mince mixture on to one half of each circle. Cover meat filling with cheddar cheese. Fold the pastry over the filling to form a half-moon shape and crimp the edges to seal.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush the tops of the pies/pasties with the egg wash. Slice a couple small slits in the top of each pasty. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Eat hot or cold as you wish.

Enjoy!

*Recipe for “Rough Puff Pastry” from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s “River Cottage Every Day”


Spicy Chorizo & Cheese Empanadas with Avocado Cream

September 22, 2011

Let me just start off by saying “Dios Mio” these empanadas were fan-freakin-tastic! I am totally serious! I had never attempted to make empanadas before, but was definitely interested in them. They are essentially latino meat pies. I LOVE meat pies, no matter what country they spring from, be they Cornish pastys, bridies, peirogis, pot pies or calzones. All awesome and all grab my undivided attention the second they make their appearance! So it is no surprize that when I saw the recipe for Chorizo Empanadas over at Handle the Heat, I could not resist. I had always assumed that these delicious little pastries originated in Mexico/Central/South America. However, apparently empanadas trace their origins to Spain and Portugal. From there they were carried to Latin America and the Philippines by the Spanish and Portuguese colonists. Once introduced, each country added their own special regional flavours to the dish. Baked or fried, they are, ladies and gentlemen, the perfect comfort food. They are a bit time-consuming to prepare, however you can make the dough and filling up to two days ahead of time and leave the actual assembly of the empanadas for the day you plan to serve them. Then, while they are baking, you can just whip up the avocado cream sauce. Easy peasy!

These particular empanadas are baked. The crust is just a buttery perfection, the filling spicy and cheesy and loaded with good, old spuds! (Another big favourite of mine – no matter how they’re prepared.) They were unbelievably yummy right out of the oven and were also just as good – if not better – reheated a couple of days later. Though to be honest, I don’t know how they made it that long around here because they really were stunning. And if they weren’t good enough on their own (and they were) the avocado cream will put you right over the moon! Your really have to make this dish!

Oh and the other simply wonderful thing about this recipe is that I had quite a bit of that mouth-watering filling left over. You might think, “Hmmm. Well I’ll just cut the amounts in half.” No! Don’t do it!!! Make every bit of the filling as the recipe calls for, because it tastes great and you will be able to feast on it in other dishes you’ll prepare later that week. For instance, we made a Spicy Chorizo & Cheese Frittata:

Spicy Chorizo Frittata

As well as a very adventurous Cilantro Pesto Pizza topped with the Spicy Chorizo & Cheese filling.

Spicy Cilantro & Chorizo Pizza

I really must say, that pizza was really delightful. And yes….spuds do go great on a pizza! Who’d of thunk it? So don’t delay, get to making some empanadas today!

Spicy Chorizo & Cheese Empanadas with Avocado Cream

recipe very slightly adapted (I merely added some cheese) from Handle the Heat

yields: 20 empanadas

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • pinch paprika

Filling:

  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo, casings removed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 2-3 medium Yukon gold potatoes (or other waxy potatoes), peeled, finely diced, and boiled
  • 1 cup mexican blend shredded cheese

Avocado cream:

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 avocados
  • kosher salt

Directions:

For the dough:
Heat water and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted. Let cool slightly. Mix flour, salt, and paprika in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Pour melted butter mixture into flour mixture and mix with your hands until you get a wet, oily dough. Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
For the filling:
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add chorizo, breaking apart into small pieces, then add onion. Saute until chorizo is cooked through. Turn off heat, add diced and boiled potatoes, and let cool completely.
To assemble:
While the filling is cooling, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment. Tear off pieces of dough to roll about 20 golf-sized balls. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough balls on a lightly floured surface into 5″ circles. Place 2-3 tablespoons of cooled filling into the center of each dough circle. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the filling. Fold dough over filling and cheese to make a half-moon shape and press edges firmly to seal. Crimp with the back of a fork. Place empanadas on baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Let cool.
For avocado cream:
While the empanadas cool, place sour cream, half and half, lemon juice, and jalapeno in the bowl of a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Peel, pit, and dice the avocado and add to blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt. If not serving immediately, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, pressing plastic onto the surface of avocado cream to prevent browning.
Enjoy!

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