August 11, 2022

Pasties – a frugal filling meal

Making pasties is such a good way of feeding a family when you have very little money or food. I  fill them with anything that I have in the cupboards and fridge as they are so versatile.   We eat them hot or cold, they are filling,  they can be made with sweet or savoury ingredients, and they are robust enough to take on picnics, car trips, to work or school.  We always take pasties when we are travelling as they are so easy to eat.

My friend rang for advice as she thought she had nothing in to give her children for meals, and her shopping doesn’t come in until Saturday.   She had the ingredients to make pastry (fat and flour) and so I suggested pasties and beans, as she told me she had a bit of left over stew and mash in the fridge and a tin of beans in the cupboard. Alternatively she could have put the mash with cheese and cooked spring onion, or mixed through some of the leftover tuna that she also had in the fridge.

Pasties are a great way to use up left overs. I have put left over curry, bolognaise, chicken supreme and loads of meals in them. We made our favourite pasty by accident last summer. We were going out for the day and wanted to take a picnic but had no bread and very little in the fridge except salad, two cooked sausages and some cheese. I made 4 pasties by slicing the sausages thinly and putting them, home made tomato chutney, and cheese in as a filling. They were gorgeous.

These pictured, that I made last year, were caramelised onion, tomato chutney, chorizo and cheese. Pastry  is easy to make  and is expensive to make now.  This was made with 8oz of plain flour, 4oz fat (butter, marg or lard or a combination) and cold water (Mix the fat into the flour with the tips of your fingers to keep it cool and until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the water until it forms a dough, rest in the fridge for a while and roll).

I cut mine out using a plate or saucer as a template and cook on 200C until  the pastry is golden brown and cooked. If you have an air fryer you can cook them in there instead. Pasties get a bad reputation for being unhealthy but I roll my pastry very thin to reduce the calories, and serve them with salad or veg. Next time you are going to throw those leftovers away, think pasties. I always make some for the grand kids during the school holidays. They are great as you can customise them for the child’s food preferences, and put an initial on them in pastry so that you know which pasties belongs to which child. What is your favourite filling in a pasty?

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