Have you ever wanted to make a pasty but then thought it would be too difficult? I know I have. I recently discovered Stork’s Sunday Bakes, a new service that aims to provide baking inspiration every Sunday. One of the recipes on the channel was for John Whaite’s Spiced Lamb Pasties. These sounded delicious and the recipe did not look difficult. My husband is a great lover of pasties and I knew these Spiced Lamb Pasties would appeal to him. I decided to be brave and try the recipe.
It turns out making the spiced lamb pasties was a good idea, over the weekend the weather took as sudden turn for the better. There is nothing like sunshine for making you think of picnics and getting outside. These spiced lamb pasties make the ideal picnic food and would also be perfect for serving up as part of a buffet. They would definitely impress your guests.
I took advantage of the sunshine and decided to tackle the garden. The lack of nice weather recently meant it had gone rather wild. Eddie, our dog, was disappearing into the undergrowth as the grass had grown so long. I was beginning to think we might need machetes to venture into the back. I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if a herd of wildebeest had burst out of the bushes. After mowing the lawn, chopping back bushes and pulling out any amount of weeds we can now see the garden. After all that hard work it was nice to take dinner into the sunshine and relax. I was glad I had made the pasties earlier. They were perfect with some salad.
I was surprised at how easy the pasties were to make. I even made the pastry myself. I was tempted to grab some frozen shortcrust, but the recipe incorporated egg yolks in the pastry. I am glad I didn’t take a short cut as the pastry was lovely, richer than shortcrust. I think the technical name is savoury shortcrust pastry and it definitely imparts more flavour.
The filling for the spiced lamb pastries used mince lamb mixed with spices to give it a delicate Eastern flavour. As well as lamb the filling also contained peas, grated sweet potato and feta cheese. I did wonder how these ingredients would work together but they mingle well to make a lovely tasty pasty. The only thing missing in my recreation of the recipe was pine nuts. I was unable to find them anywhere but I don’t think the flavours suffered as a result.
The only hard thing about making the pasties was the crimping. I hate it when a recipe states something like crimp the edges to form a classic pasty shape, assuming you know exactly what it means. For me a classic pasty is shaped somewhat like a stegosaurus, the plant eating dinosaur with spikes along its back. I managed to shape the pasties in such a way that they resembled mini stegosauruses (stegosauri?) and put them into the oven to bake. The finished spiced lamb pasties looked and smelt very good.
John Whaite’s Spiced Lamb Pasties Recipe
- For the Pastry
- 250g plain flour
- ¼ tsp table salt
- 125g Stork with Butter
- 1 large egg
- 2tbsp. cold water
- For the Filling
- 250g 20% fat lamb mince
- 100g frozen peas, defrosted
- 100g coarsely grated sweet potato
- ½ tsp table salt
- ½ tsp finely ground black pepper
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground allspice/pimento
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 50g toasted pine nuts
- 75g feta cheese, crumbled
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- To glaze
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp water
- Make the pastry by putting the flour and salt into a bowl.
- Add the Stork with butter and rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Mix the water with the egg and add to the pastry.
- Mix with a knife until it comes together and then use your hand to knead it into a dough.
- Roll into a sausage shape, wrap in cling film and leave to cool in the fridge for an hour.
- Make the filling by mixing the ingredients together until they are well combined
- Preheat the oven to 200C, 180C fan, Gas Mark 4
- Take the pastry from the fridge and cut into four discs.
- Roll each disc out until it is about 18 cm circle in diameter
- Place the filling mixture on one half of the circle leaving a 2cm gap round the edge
- Fold the other half of the pastry over the top and crimp the edges together
- Glaze with the egg mixture and bake for 30 minutes