It’s been way too long since I posted on this blog as the usually hectic family life and busy work have taken over. But at least I come back with something D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. Honest. So I hope you can forgive me.
These pastries are VERY moorish. There are 3 main contributors for the deliciousness of these meat pillows: the first one is the pastry, which is flaky, doughy and moist at the same time; the second one: using leftover slow-cooked beef, and the third: adding chorizo for extra zinginess.
I love pastry things. Any type of pastry, and my hips don’t lie 😉 Plus I am more of a savoury person than a sweet tooth… I am sure you can figure that out by the amount of sweet recipes in here (I think I have 2 so far, one of them a yoghurt-based breakfast so not really a ‘sweet treat’!). In essence, these are right up my street.
This pastry is not quite like the standard shortcrust or flaky pastries but somewhere in-between. I don’t know what to call it (in Portugal it’s called ‘massa tenra’, which roughly translates to ‘tender pastry’) but all you need to know is that the end consistency is flaky and the taste is buttery. You can fill it with whatever you wish and you can fry it or bake it, depending on how health-conscious you are feeling on the day. I have tried frying, baking and baking then frying and I have found this method gives the best results. To be honest, baking this pastry is a crime. I tried it because the thought of bypassing the deep-frying was very tempting (no added calories, no added fat, no kitchen stinking of oil, no hair stinking of oil, no clothes stinking of oil…). The issue with baking alone is that what makes the layers separate and the pastry end up with a flaky consistency is the hot oil. So start by baking them but end in the frier so you get the puffed-up effect and the extra flavour. Sorry, this is not a recipe for people who are on a low-fat diet!
The meat I used here was left over from a beef pot roast. As it was slow-cooked it became a real treat for these pastries making them packed with flavour. I minced it with a little chorizo and then made it into a wet-ish filling. Don’t be tempted to use a minced crumbly consistency, it won’t work as well. You will end up with a dry texture overall and begging for some gravy to dip these in!
You can use both the pastry and the filling base to make all sorts of pastries… I can think of tuna, chicken and pulled pork as delicious alternatives. You can vary the herbs and add tomato paste or curry powder. Or you can keep them vegetarian by using left-over stir-fry or steamed vegetables from another meal. A really yummy way to use leftovers!