I love cooking late into the night. I love the smell of sweet spices filling the cool evening air. And I love how the action of making food makes me feel rejuvenated after a long day. Still tired but a happy type of tired that makes going to bed a pleasure.
This evening, I made meat pasties, a type of small pie that you don’t need a pie mould for. It’s basically like empanadas except they’re baked and not fried. Yes, empanadas is the perfect comparison to meat pasties. Perfect portable meals. My meat pasties are made of pork. Leftover pork curry, to be precise. The curry is drier than usual, as it uses very little liquid. It’s supposed to feel more like a kheema. To make the filling, you want something that’s not too saucy. However, feel free to use any meat filling you’d like. You can also make it vegetarian by replacing the meat with vegetables, tofu or meat-replacements.
Make curry. Heat oil, add cinnamon stick, star anise and fry onions, garlic and ginger for about 5 mins.
Add potatoes and pork in and cook for another 5 mins, or till the meat and onions are brown around the edges. Season with salt and pepper.
Add curry powder and half of the garaam masala. Stir well to coat and to toast the spices. 2 minutes. Add tomatoes in. Stir and let it come to a simmer, till most of the liquid is gone but still juicy. About 10 minutes on medium heat.
Now, add remaining garaam masala and cook for 15 mins. If it’s too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water. You want the meat to be wet enough to be juicy but not soaking in liquid. I find the diced tomatoes to give it the curry enough liquid for this dish. In the final minute, stir in yogurt.
Set curry aside till cool to use later.
Preheat oven to 400F or 200C.
Make pastry. Combine flour, salt and butter till crumbly. Add water and knead gently till smooth. Do not overknead. Let it rest for for approx. 20 mins.
Assemble meat pasties. Separate dough into 12 balls to make hand size pies, about 6 inch wide.
Flatten and roll the dough balls into a flat shell. Spoon 2 tablespoons of filling and crimp the edges shut with a bit of water. You can get fancy with the crimping design or just use a fork. Repeat till filling is all used up.
Apply egg wash over each pastry. Sprinkle some freshly cracked black pepper over the top and bake for 30 mins or until golden brown.
Each pie is a nice lunch size portion. And perfect for a midnight indulgence. These pies also freezes well too, just make sure to wrap them nicely to prevent freezer burn.