Fresh take on golden oldies

Karen Martini
Lamb, vegetable and cheddar pasties with olive oil pastry.
Lamb, vegetable and cheddar pasties with olive oil pastry. Photo: Photography by Marcel Aucar. Sty

Lamb, vegetable and cheddar pasties with olive oil pastry

The story goes that pasties were created as a complete meal for coalminers - meat and vegetables with an edible wrapper and a disposable handle (the crimped seal) for work-stained hands. These are a little more luxurious than the original, with beautifully intense roasted vegetables and delicious olive oil pastry that I'd encourage you to eat all of - coalminers excepted.

Extra virgin olive oil

1/4 kent pumpkin, peeled, 2cm dice

2 carrots, peeled, 2cm dice

2 large potatoes, peeled, 1cm dice

3 parsnips, peeled, cored, 2cm dice

Salt flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

250g lamb mince



2 large brown onions, diced

3 cloves garlic, sliced

2 leeks, sliced in rounds

5 sprigs continental parsley, chopped

1 egg, whisked

1/2 cup frozen peas

150g good cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

1 egg, whisked, to brush pasties

2 tbsp sesame seeds

Olive oil pastry

500g plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

60ml extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 165C fan-forced or 185C conventional.

2. For the pastry, in a food processor whiz the flour and salt. Drizzle in the oil while processing, followed by 250ml cold water. Keep processing until the dough comes together in a ball. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly. Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for two hours.

3. Drizzle a generous amount of oil over the pumpkin, carrot, potato and parsnip, season and toss to coat. Tip into a large baking dish and roast for 45-60 minutes, stirring through twice during this time to evenly cook and colour. Once cooked, the vegetables should have lost quite a lot of their mass and will have concentrated in flavour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray - this will help preserve their shape.

4. Turn up the oven to 200C fan-forced or 220C conventional.

5. In a large pan over medium heat, fry the mince in a little oil until crisp and brown, season. Drain off any excess oil and tip into a large bowl.

6. In a medium pot, add a little oil and butter and the onion, garlic and leeks. Season and sweat over gentle heat until softened, about 10 minutes.

7. Add the leek mix, parsley, egg, peas and cheese to the lamb and combine. Gently mix through the cooled vegetables until you have an even mix.

8. Cut the dough into 10 pieces and roll out into circles about 18 centimetres in diameter. Divide your filling mix into 10. Brush the circles with egg, place filling in the centre of each circle and bring the edges together crimping the pasties closed as you go. Brush them with egg, sprinkle over the sesame seeds and bake on a paper-lined tray for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Makes 10

Drink Brown ale


Cream of mushroom soup

The "cream of" prefix tends to date any soup. But I'm not sure this combination can date. The potatoes give the soup a silky plushness that is a perfect textural match for the earthy depth of the mushrooms.

180g butter

6 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 brown onion, finely diced

Salt flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

3 large potatoes, finely sliced

800g portobello or field mushrooms (the darker and meatier the better), sliced

20g dried porcini, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes, then chopped and liquid reserved

250ml dry white wine

1 litre quality chicken stock

3 sprigs thyme, picked

300ml cream

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based pot, add the garlic and onion, cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the potato, season and stir to coat in the butter. Cook while stirring until the potato becomes translucent and starts to break up, about six minutes.

3. Add the fresh mushrooms and the porcini and cook, stirring, for another five minutes - this mix might seem a little dry, but the mushrooms will cook down.

4. Add the wine and simmer to reduce a little. Add the stock, porcini liquid, thyme leaves, cream and mustard. Bring to a simmer and cook for eight or 10 minutes, stirring occasionally - the potato should be well cooked and breaking down.

5. Ladle out about a quarter of the soup and reserve. Use a stick blender to blitz the rest of the soup in the pot. Add back the unblended soup, adjust the seasoning and serve.

Serves 6-8

Tip Tear up small pieces of bread and fry in a little hot olive oil until golden to make rustic croutons.

Drink Oaked chardonnay


Golden tubetti with cauliflower and tuna

The tuna bake was a staple of the family dining table of the '70s and is popular again now. This quick version makes for a great midweek dinner. Just add a simple bitter-leaf salad or some blanched greens.

500g tubetti or other short pasta

1/2 cauliflower, in 1cm slices

60g butter

5 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 red onion, finely diced

Salt flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 tbsp curry powder

60g plain flour

800ml milk, warmed

100ml cream

90g grana padano parmesan, finely grated

2x185g cans tuna in oil, drained

2 handfuls breadcrumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced or 200C conventional.

2. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted, boiling water, tipping the cauliflower in for the last five minutes, then drain.

3. While the pasta cooks, add the butter to a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, season and cook for four or five minutes, or until softened but not coloured.

4. Add the curry powder and fry quickly. Add the flour and stir through to cook out a little. Pour in the warm milk, whisking as you do. Cook for about two minutes while whisking until the sauce has thickened and is lump-free.

5. Add the cream and half the cheese, whisk until combined and season. Tip into a large bowl with the tuna and the pasta and cauliflower. Stir through, breaking up the larger pieces of cauliflower a little.

6. Tip the pasta mix into a ceramic baking dish, top with the rest of the cheese and the breadcrumbs and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden.

Serves 4-6

Drink Pinot gris