Everyone loves a “twofer.” Ok, what’s he on about now? A “twofer” – you know what that is, right? Two-for-one. Essentially that’s what you could take from this brand new recipe from me. The overall recipe is for something I’ve created ahead of a couple of weeks of football madness, the end of the season run in. Looks like Wolves are going up (GET IN!!) So I’ll need to facilitate my “habits” around it and be prepared. I need to be in control so it was a chance to devise something new. I love chilli con carne and I’ve had my own recipe, created by inspiration from hundreds I’ve seen over the years & developed into my own, pre-eating disorder, that I love. Let’s hope you do too. So, there’s one recipe that you can use yourself (if you like it that is – don’t question the addition of dark chocolate, go with it – it works!) I’ve now combined that using my pasty pastry and come up with “chilli con pasties.” To finish it I add a bit of creme fraiche and cheese inside and voila, something to be enjoyed hot or cold and tailored to your pallet; ie use chilli powder at a strength you can cope with. Me? I went for extra hot. ED aside I genuinely love hot & spicy! Enjoy – these are the BOMB!
For the chilli
1 tablespoon vegetable for frying mince & onions
500g lean beef mince
1 large onion (finely chopped)
1 420g red kidney beans (undrained)
2 red pointed sweet peppers (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
250g baby plum tomatoes (cut in half)
3-4 tablespoons chilli powder (strength is up to you)
30g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
Salt & Pepper to season (to taste)
Grated Cheddar Cheese
For the pastry
500g strong plain flour
120g vegetable shortening (Trex or something like that)
125g unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
1 tsp salt
150ml cold water
1 egg (beaten) to glaze
For the pastry
Makes 6 pasties
Pre-heat your oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3
Line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the salt and stir it in. Add the shortening & butter and rub both into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the middle and add the water. Incorporate the flour and stir until it starts to form a dough. Get your hands in (it’s gonna get messy) and then remove to a lightly floured surface & start to knead. You need to knead the dough until it becomes elastic-like. This is to ensure it can hold the filling and keep a good shape. It might take a while but stick with it. Once this is done, wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge for around 2-3 hours.
For the chilli
In a large pan heat the oil (low heat). Add the mince and onions & gently heat this through to brown the mince off and soften the onions. Add the peppers & garlic and let those soften up a bit, about 3-4 minutes should do.
Add the kidney beans, sweetcorn & tomatoes and, again, let those cook down. Give it about 5 minutes. We just want to let those tomatoes start to soften and begin to break down a bit. Sprinkle over the chilli powder and give it all a good stir through. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes and then break up the chocolate and add it into the pot. This will melt into the chilli. Give it a good stir so that it combines in with the other ingredients well.
Season everything with salt and pepper – you’ll have to do a little bit of taste testing just to make sure you get this right. Keep it on a low heat and just let it simmer away, giving it a stir now and then. You want the peppers to have softened nicely, the tomatoes to have broken down completely and all the juices from the different elements to have combined to get the flavours just right. You’ll know – the smells will tell you. It’s just – well – special (I’m allowed to say that, aren’t I?)
Roll out your pastry to about 3mm thickness. You can use a side plate as a rough guide for size (around a 20cm circle for each pasty). Put a good dollop of the chilli across the centre of the circle but, of course, leave enough room to fold over the pastry to cover it and form the pasty. Next, put a teaspoon or two of creme fraiche on top of the chilli and sprinkle some cheddar cheese over it. You don’t have to if you don’t want to but I think it really finishes them off.
With some cold water wet half of the edge of one half of the pastry and fold over the other half. Gently press it down so that it seals and then “crimp” the pasty. (You can see how it’s done here – clearly I’m still not very good at it!)
Put each pasty on the baking tray, leaving a space of about 5 cms between each one, and brush over with beaten egg to give each one a nice golden brown finish when they’re baked. Pop in the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes.
Once baked either put on a wire rack to cool and eat cold or serve hot – your choice.
These can be frozen or they can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days.