Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Recipe: Beef & Mushroom Pasties with Onion Marmalade & Cashel Blue Cheese

Whilst I love traditional Cornish pasties, I have to admit that I have completely fallen for this pimped up version containing sirloin beef, sautéed mushrooms and onion marmalade. The pasties also contain nuggets of Cashel Blue cheese which is one of my favourite Irish farmhouse cheeses. Made by the Grubb family in County Tipperary since the early 1980s Cashel Blue is considered one of the best blue cheeses out there. I regularly use it in my cooking and baking as I find its earthy, nutty notes complement the flavours of so many other ingredients.

This recipe combines the Cashel Blue with beef - another of my favourite foods. I have also included some sautéed mushrooms and a little onion marmalade which I think adds a little sweetness which balances out the other flavours. You can make your own onion marmalade but to be honest I use a commercially produced one. Alternatively a couple of spoons of fruit chutney would also work well.

Although you can use puff or shortcrust pastry to make the pasties but I prefer the taste and texture of hot water crust pastry which is relatively easy to make. Lard is often used when making this pastry but I feel that butter results in a superior tasting crust. The only thing that you need to remember if using it is that you need to roll the pastry while it is still warm/hot because it becomes increasingly difficult to manipulate as it cools.
1tblsp vegetable oil and a small knob of butter
125g button mushrooms, sliced
250g sirloin beef, chopped into small 1cm dice
200g potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1cm dice
50g onion marmalade
1 tblsp of finely chopped thyme
A few splashes of Worcestershire Sauce
75g-100g Cashel Blue cheese, broken into 2cm ‘nuggets’
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to season
Hot Water Crust Pastry:
400g plain flour
½ tsp salt
125g chilled butter
150ml water
To finish:
1 egg beaten to glaze

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan Oven 180C/Gas Mark 6. Line a large baking tray with some non-stick baking parchment and set aside.
  2. Melt the oil and butter in a small frying pan over a moderate to high heat and add the mushrooms, Season with a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper and fry until they have softened slightly and turned a golden brown colour. Remove from the heat, drain on some kitchen paper and allow to cool.
  3. Place the chopped beef and potatoes in a mixing bowl and add the cooled mushrooms. Next add the onion marmalade and chopped thyme. Season well and add a couple of splashes of Worcestershire Sauce. Mix together to disperse everything evenly but try not to break up the cheese.  Set aside while you make the pastry.

Hot Water Crust Pastry:
  1. Sift the flour and salt together. Separately place the butter and water into a medium sized saucepan, place over a high heat and bring up to the boil. Immediately remove from the heat once the butter has melted and add the flour stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth but do not overwork.
  3. Using a large rolling pin, roll out the dough until it 3 or 4mm thick. Using an upturned side plate as a guide, cut out 4 or 5 circles (approximately 20cms in diameter).
  4. Dividing the mixture evenly, place mounds on one half of each circle, leaving a good edge clear all around the circle. Brush around the edge of each pasty with a little beaten egg and bring the one side over to meet the other edge thus encasing the filling. Pinch and crimp the edges together to ensure that they are well sealed and place on the prepared baking tray.
  5. Brush the pasties with a little more egg wash and cut a small slit in the top of each to allow steam to escape.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for ten minutes and then lower the heat to 180C/Fan Oven 160C/Gas Mark 4 and continue to bake for a further 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  7. The pasties can be served hot or cold but I like to eat them when they are still slightly warm and the Cashel Blue oozes out seductively.

Makes 4-5.