Welsh pasty

May 03, 2012

Succulent meat and potatoes all tucked up inside shiny,
crisp shortcrust pasty 

Now that the Cornish pasty's destination of origin is protected it is physically impossible for me to make a Cornish pasty in my kitchen.. in Swansea. So this is my tribute to the pasty filled with the best bits of my local Welsh produce, this is my Welsh pasty!

Makes 5 pasties:

For the filling:

300g Welsh salt marsh lamb, I used lamb leg steaks
1 leek
1 sml jar/155g cockles, if you can fresh that's best but pickled are fine after being soaked
2 medium potatoes
1/2 tsp anchovy paste
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp mint
lug of oil

For the pastry:

250g plain flour
55g lard
55g butter
2-6 tbsp cold water
1 egg for glazing and gluing

Make your pastry first so that it has time to chill in the fridge for about a quarter of an hour whilst you prepare the filling for the pasty.

Also if you are using pickled cockles put them in a sieve inside a bowl and fill the bowl with water, allow them to soak until you need them a little later on.

Crumble together the lard, butter and flour until it has the consistency of damp sand, drop in a tablespoon of water and use a fork to mix the crumbs together, keep dropping in tablespoons of water until the crumbs form together into a smooth dough.
Only work the pastry as much as you need to bring it together into a dough, over kneading it will make the finished pastry chewy and dull when you want it to be crumbly and crisp.

Wrap the pasty in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for about a quarter of an hour, while the party chills you can make up the filling.

Chop up the lamb into small bite sized pieces, make sure to remove any very hard fat of sinew, any soft fat can be left on as it will melt down and soften the rest of the pasty filling. Pop the chopped lamb into a large mixing bowl, tumble the peeled and chopped potatoes in with the lamb and the finely sliced leeks.

If you are using fresh cockles pop them in now, if you are using picked on them lift the sieve out of the water and using a piece of paper kitchen towel press the water out of the cockles. Pop these into a separate small bowl and squeeze in the anchovy paste, mix this together until they are evenly coated, then pop them into the bowl with the lamb.

Season the mixture with the salt, pepper, mint and rosemary then lug over a little oil and mix well, I use my hands so that i can make sure that everything is coated.

Turn on the oven to 200c.

Now removed your pastry from the fridge and roll out until it's about 1/2 cm thick, use a side plate to cut around to make 5 circles. Pile the mixture evenly across the five pastry circles into sausage shapes through the centre of the circles with a good inch of pastry at each end of the sausage showing.

Brush around the edges of the circle with beaten egg and lift the edge of the pastry up to the centre, enclosing the filling. Crimp the edge together with your fingers, not only does this look pretty it create a better seal and a crisper edge. Brush the pasty with beaten egg all over and place in the oven, leave them to crisp and colour for 15 mins then turn down the oven to 180c and bake for another 50 mins.

Serve up as a meal with chips and salad or enjoy on their own eaten with your fingers hot from the oven!

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