Party pies with spelt puff pastry

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It’s been a rainy old April weekend here, so what better way to spend the days baking pies!! Miss 5 was thrilled to have some party pies “just like the kids get from the tuckshop”….yet SO much healthier!! You could easily make a family sized meat pie with this recipe as well. With any leftover meat mixture, just top with mash potato and you’ll have a scrummy shepherds pie as well.

Meat Filling:

1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1Tbsp butter
500g beef mince
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup water/stock
1Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1Tbsp tomato paste
1tsp dried rosemary
1tsp dried oregano
1TbspĀ  arrowroot plus a splash of water to thicken
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan, fry off onion and garlic in butter over medium heat for a few minutes until transparent and aromatic. Add in mince, fry for a few more minutes until lightly browned. Add in all other ingredients except arrowroot and allow to simmer over very low heat for an hour covered, then a further half an hour uncovered to reduce liquid. Add in arrowroot paste to thicken gravy. Allow to cool completely.

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Spelt rough puff pastry

300g spelt flour
250g butter, cubed
140g ice-cold water
1tsp salt

Cube butter and pop in the freezer for at least half an hour before making. In a high-powered food processor, “cut” butter into the flour and salt, the butter should still be quite chunky (speed 5, 15 seconds). Slowly pour in water while mixing at a med-low speed until it forms a firm dough. Wrap dough in cling film and allow to firm up in the fridge for half an hour or so. Little chunks of butter are a GOOD thing.

Once dough is ready to roll out, flour your surface and hands really well, and roll into a rectangle roughly the length of your rolling-pin. Fold into thirds. Rotate dough 90 degrees and repeat again 3 or 4 times, this is what is going to give us our lovely flaky layers. On a hot day, I recommend working in the early cooler morning, or refrigerating between foldings. We want the butter to stay as cold as possible during this process, because as it hits the heat of the oven, the steam produced within each tiny layer will give it the “puff”.

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After completing the folds, refrigerate dough wrapped in cling film until ready to use.

If you are lazy efficient like me, when assembling the pies I hate having to do the tops as well, so just kind of allow the overhang around each muffin case to fold over like a parcel. Otherwise, you’ll need to reserve some dough (about 1/3) for the lids.

When ready to assemble, roll out dough to fit your muffin tray, roughly to 1/4-1/2cm thickness. Gently shape the dough into the muffin moulds, then cutting and folding the overhang from each portion once filled with cooled mince mixture (or desired filling), just like this (these were also stuffed with a bit of grated cheese):

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Bake in a 190 oven for roughly 30-35 minutes.

Enjoy x

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