Hello everyone, as mentioned in a previous post, I recently spent a wonderful week in sunny Cornwall and rented an amazing self-catering apartment with the main intention to try and make as much food as possible (within reason!), so my baking equipment and books came along for the ride! It was nice to be away for that length of time, in the peace and quiet and fresh air; it makes such a difference when you spend your time living in the city, taking the time to go the countryside, especially the sea, feels amazing (my lungs were pleased).
The beauty of staying somewhere such as this is, you need to plan your meals in order to make sure you don’t blow your budget (considering we’re students too) and so that you can buy all the ingredients you need in one go.
I would also like to mention that my next milestone of the C25K was met this week, after running for 25 minutes! I know a lot of people would think ‘pfft, that’s nothing’, but for someone who has never really done any running before, and only started 7/8 weeks ago, I must admit that I’m quite proud of it.
Anyway, here I present two recipes for dinner, that can be easily used for lunch-on-the-go too; both are from Paul Hollywood’s ‘How to Bake’ book and I must say, were thoroughly enjoyed! As a dinner option, we had the sausage rolls with copious amounts of salad; and for the pasties, we had roasted vegetables with minted yoghurt – which was delicious. These were both perfect food for little lunches on the beach; packing up my lovely picnic tin with these and fruit was ideal – it meant that money was saved from buying expensive lunches, and could control what we were eating. Although one could argue ‘these aren’t good for you!’, everything in moderation and no added things like potatoes, pasta or bread, just vegetables/salad. Let’s begin with the sausage rolls!
For the pastry:
- 225 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 200 g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 180- 200 ml cold water
For the Filling
- 450 g Sausagemeat
- 4 tbsp chopped thyme
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
- 1 red onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Optional: onion chutney
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Start off with making the pastry; add the flour, butter and salt to a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice to the water and add 3/4 of the liquid to the bowl. Stir gently until the mix binds together (you might need to add the remaining water if too dry). It has to be lumpy, don’t work or knead it too much, as we need the lumps of butter!
- Tip your dough onto a lightly floured surface, and flatten out into a rectangle; grab your rolling pin and roll out slightly to a narrow rectangle (roughly 2.5 cm thick).
- Fold 1/3 up on itself, then the opposite 1/3, like folding a letter (this is a ‘turn‘); wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Unwrap and repeat the ‘turn’ by rolling it, at a 90 degree angle to the original roll and roll out to a rectangle (approx. 40 x 15 cm). Fold as before, and re-wrap in clingfilm, resting for a further 20 mins. Repeat this twice more, chilling for 20 mins between each turn.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/ fan 180/ gas mark 6 and line two baking trays with parchment.
- Roll out the dough to a rectangle, this time approx. 60 x 20 cm, trimming the edges to neaten. Cut into 6 even rectangles (or 3 large rectangles if wanting to make full size sausage rolls).
- If you haven’t got onion chutney (as I didn’t have at the time), you can make your own lovely onion filling; for this, peel the onion and chop in half. Using a mandolin (or chop very thinly), slice the onion finely.
- In a pan, heat the olive oil until hot; add the onion and thyme, cooking until soft. Take off the heat and set aside.
- For the sausage filling, remove the outer skin of the sausages and mix the meat with the thyme, salt and pepper. Divide it into 6 portions (or 3 larger portions). Using floured hands, roll each of the portions into a sausage shape.
- Along each pastry rectangle, spread a teaspoonful of onion filling (or chutney), leaving the edges clear. Lay a sausage across the top of each rectangle and roll up to enclose the filling. Brush the edges with the beaten egg to seal.
- Place your wonderful sausage rolls on the baking trays; brush the tops with egg, and cut several diagonal lines across the top of each roll. Bake for 30 mins or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Enjoy with a nice side salad for dinner or cold the next day for lunch – easy!
Now for the lamb pasties
For the pastry:
- 250 g plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 125 g chilled, unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 medium egg yolks
- 50 ml cold water
For the filling:
- 200 g minced lamb
- 1 tsp plain flour
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 100 g peeled potato/sweet potato, diced
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch of dried chilli flakes
- 40 g butter, cubed
- 1 egg, beaten
- Start off making the shortcrust pastry first; add the flour and salt to a bowl and mix together, followed by the butter cubes. Rub together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yolks and mix with your hands; slowly add the water and mix until a paste is formed, leaving the sides of the bowl clean.
- Tip onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball; don’t overwork it! Flatten the pastry into a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill for 3 hours before using (recommended, but is fine after 1.5 hrs).
- Now to make the filling! First, heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4 and line a baking tray with parchment. Put the lamb mince, flour and salt & pepper into a bowl, mixing well with your hands.
- In another bowl, combine the onion, potato, garlic, cinnamon, chilli, salt and pepper.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge and cut into 4 portions; roll out each into a circle, roughly 17 cm in diameter.
- Spoon a 1/4 of the lamb and a 1/4 of the vegetables onto one 1/2 of the pastry circle. leaving a 1 cm margin free around the edge. Place a 1/4 of the butter, dotting it around the filling; brush the pastry edge with the beaten egg, then fold the pastry over the filling to make a pasty. Crimp the edges firmly together to seal, repeat with the rest of the pastry and filling.
- Put the pasties on the baking tray and brush with more egg; cut a steam hole in the top of each. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden and bubbling, leave to cool slightly before serving. For these, serve with some roasted vegetables and yoghurt combined with freshly chopped mint – delicious!