Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Sausage, potato and dill pasties

I suddenly realised we were almost half way through this week and I hadn't posted a recipe. Not having done any cooking for the last few days (long story) I've had to dig out an old one but an apposite one as it's British Sausage Week.

To tell the truth I'd completely forgotten about it but I do remember it being extremely tasty. It comes from my book Sausage and Mash and was inspired by one of The Ginger Pig's butchers Paul Hughes who told me they used to make a Swedish potato sausage flavoured with dill. Apparently there wasn’t huge demand for it so they dropped it but it seemed a brilliant idea to me and one that would make a great filling for a pasty.

The pastry is really easy and well worth making from scratch. The technique comes from Delia Smith’s Cookery Course, published back in 1978.

Makes 6 pasties

For the filling
425g new potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
6 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
400g coarsely cut traditional pork sausages, at least 85% meat
2 rounded tbsp finely chopped dill (about 5g)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pastry
200g butter
50g vegetable shortening e.g. Cookeen or Trex (I think they still do it - if not use lard)
350g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
6-8 tbsp iced water
1 medium egg, lightly beaten, for glazing

Measure out the butter and shortening for the pastry, wrap it in foil and put it in the freezer for half an hour.

Put the potatoes on to boil in boiling salted water. Cook for 7-8 minutes then drain.

Heat a large frying pan, add the oil then the butter. Fry the onion for a couple of minutes until softened then turn off the heat and roughly crush the potatoes into the pan. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cool.

When the fats are really cold, measure the flour and salt into a large bowl. Coarsely grate the semi-frozen butter and shortening into the flour, dipping each block into the flour as you go, and lightly working it in with a flat-bladed knife.

Cut the fat into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs then make a well in the centre and add about 5 tbsp of iced water. Work the pastry mix into the liquid and gradually pull the pastry together, adding as much extra liquid as you need to form a ball. Turn the pastry onto a floured board, pat into shape, put in a plastic bag and refrigerate for half an hour.

Take the sausages out of their skins, break up roughly and add to the potato mixture along with the dill. Take the pastry out of the fridge and divide into four. Roll out each portion thinly into a circle then cut round an 18cm plate or flan tin base, saving the offcuts. Pile 2 tbsp of filling into the centre of the circle and form it into a lozenge shape. Brush round the edges of the pastry with beaten egg. Bring the edges together in the middle, seal firmly then crimp to get a wavy line down the centre.

Repeat with the rest of the pastry then roll the offcuts to make two more pasties.

Refrigerate the pasties for at least 30 minutes then bake at 225°C/425°F/Gas 7 for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 and cook for another 30-35 minutes until the pasties are thoroughly cooked and well browned. Cool for at least half an hour before eating but don't refrigerate them.

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