Lentil and Squash Pasties

Never had I ever used butternut squash before. A youtube video informed me that you top and tail it with a big knife, peel the skin, half, then scoop out its insides. That done, it proved to be a tasty addition to the filling for these pasties – indeed I doubt that it could have been substituted without changing the entire nature of the dish. Not that it would be an awful idea to experiment, of course. The smallest squash I could find weighed about 900g, so the clingfilmed remainder is currently sitting in my fridge… despite the rain I don’t feel it to be soup weather, so I’m thinking a roasted butternut squash risotto is soon in order; watch this space!

Filling

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
100g green or brown lentils
300ml stock
Sprig of thyme / 1/2 tsp of mixed herbs inc. thyme
250g butternut or other squash, diced into 1cm cubes
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp English mustard
Milk for glazing

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, carrots, garlic and some salt and pepper and cook gently for 10-15 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the lentils and stock, season, then add the thyme. Stir well, cover and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the squash and simmer for another 20 minutes. Drain off some liquid if it still looks wet. Stir in the vinegars and mustard and check for seasoning then leave to cool.

Rough Puff Pastry

All about the ratios: Flour:Butter:Iced water = 2:2:1. Which translated for me to:

200g flour
200g butter
100g iced water

  1. Make a well in the flour.
  2. Cube the butter, and put in the flour-well, along with a pinch of salt.
  3. Pinch the butter and work it together with the flour until the cubes are small and slightly squashed.
  4. Pour in the iced water and gradually mix – keep on rubbing the butter.
  5. Do not knead; stop working as soon as it is coming together but there are still a few flakes of butter.
  6. Roll it away from you into a rectangle, and fold over each side in thirds so that there are 3 layers. Rotate it 90 degrees (quarter-turn), then repeat the rectangle and folding 2 more times.
  7. Wrap it in clingfilm, and rest for at least 20 minutes until 25 minutes before cooking. Repeat step 6, then cut out 4 large circles of pastry (using a large bowl would be ideal) and place on a dampened baking sheet. Chill for a further 20 minutes before filling and cooking.

Spoon the filling onto one half of each circle. Brush the pastry edges with a little milk; fold the other half of the pastry over the filling to form a half-moon shape and crimp well to seal.

Place the shaped pasties on a lightly oiled baking sheet and brush the tops with a little milk. Bake at 190oC for about 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.

Eat as is, hot or cold, or serve with peas or a salad. Potato smileys add a real touch of class and can be baked at the same time as the pasties….

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