Broccoli and miso pasties

Broccoli and miso (or anchovy) hand pies.
Broccoli and miso (or anchovy) hand pies. Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Vegetarian

Inspired by the broccoli and anchovy sauce that's typically served with orecchiette pasta, these parcels make a delightful light lunch or snack. Using hot water to make pastry sounds counterintuitive – we are always reminded to keep hands and pastry cold, but the process works really well and the dough is surprisingly forgiving in the rolling. The wholemeal flour makes a deliciously nutty and sturdy crust, which is all the better to cradle the warm pastie in your hand.

Ingredients

For the pastry

150g plain flour

150g wholemeal flour

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

160g unsalted butter, cool but malleable, diced

120ml hot water

For the filling

400g broccoli

3 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, cut into medium dice

4 large cloves garlic, peeled, finely sliced

4 sprigs thyme

1½ tbsp white miso paste (or 4 finely chopped anchovies)

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

2 tbsp vegetable stock or water

50g parmesan cheese, grated

150g mature cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

zest from 1 large lemon

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 small egg, lightly beaten, for brushing and sealing pastry

Method

1. To make the pastry, place the flours, salt and pepper in a large bowl and rub the butter pieces in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

2. Pour the hot water over the mixture and use a wooden spoon to stir until the pastry just begins to come together. Use your hands to knead gently into a smooth ball – it should feel soft, pliable and slightly greasy – then place back into the bowl and drape a tea towel over it. Set aside in a cool place (but not the fridge) to rest – the dough needs to be cool enough to roll without sticking, but not too cold, as it will stiffen and crack under the rolling pin.

3. To make the filling, chop the broccoli stems into roughly 2cm pieces, and break the rest into small florets. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, and blanch the broccoli for 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside.

4. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and cook the onion over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic, thyme, miso paste (or anchovy) and chilli and cook for another minute or two, then add the broccoli. Over medium heat, stir and toss to combine for a couple of minutes, adding just enough of the stock (or water) to moisten if it becomes too dry.

5. Remove from heat and cool a little before adding the cheeses, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Stir gently to combine, then remove the thyme and scrape the mixture into a bowl.

6. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan-forced) and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Divide the pastry into six even pieces. Beginning with one piece, roll out on a lightly floured bench top to a thickness of 2-3mm. Using a small plate (or saucepan lid) measuring roughly 17cm diameter as a template, trace and cut out a pastry circle. Place a large scoop of broccoli filling (about 100g) onto one half of the circle, leaving a border of about 2cm. Brush the border with the egg wash and fold over the other half to seal. Crimp the edges to form an attractive border, then transfer to the lined baking tray.

7. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling, and when all are on the tray, brush the pasties with the egg wash. Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.