These little delights are filled with root vegetables, onions, herbs and cheese. The vegetable-suet based pastry is quick and easy to make and creates a crunchy outer shell that’s soft in the middle. Once you break through it, you reach the steaming hot root veg and cheese mixture that just tastes delicious!
Suet based pastry is so different to other types of butter/margarine based pastry such as shortcrust and puff pastry. In my opinion it is the absolute king of pastries for traditional pies. Honestly, one you’ve tried it, you will struggle to make pies and pasties with anything else. One of the reasons why suet creates such a different texture of pastry compared with butter or margarine is due to its high melting point. It melts between 45 and 50 degrees Celcius rather than room temperature, so it maintains its solid texture for longer during the cooking process.
The root vegetables
Here I used even amounts of parsnips, carrots, celeriac, and swede. Sometimes it can be hard to find smallish celeriac and swede, so you may have some left over – both these veg are delicious mashed (seperately) or placed in a root vegetable soup. You can use any root veg really. Beetroot would give it a lovely sweet earthy flavour, turnip could add that slightly peppery taste. To prepare the veg – cut them small – either in 1 cm cubes or slightly larger and thinner. I used a food processor madolin and it sliced my veg in seconds.
Thyme and rosemary are so robust and perfect for root veg dishes. I fry them with the onions to soften their flavours slightly. Parsley I add at the end, to add that hint of freshness.
I used a mature cheddar and it was delicious. A mature Lancashire cheese would be equally lovely – any one with maturity and a little sharpness to it is perfect.
Root vegetable and cheese pasties
- 250 g self raising flour
- 125 g vegetable suet
- 2 eggs 1 for an egg wash
- 60 ml milk
- 60 ml water
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 300 g root vegetables, chopped into 1 cm cubes I used a mix of carrots, parsnips, celeriac and swede
- 1 small garlic clove
- 3 stems thyme, leaves picked and roughly chopped
- 1 stem rosemary, leaves picked and roughly chopped
- 150 g a hard, strong flavoured cheese, such as mature Cheddar or Lancashire.
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
- First, make the pastry. Mix flour and vegetable suet together in one bowl. In another bowl mix the egg with the milk and water. Pour half the egg/milk mixture into the flour/suet and stir well. Keep adding and stiring the egg/milk mixture a little at a time until the flour resembles dough. You want the dough to be sticky but not wet. Place in the fridge whilst you make the filling.
- Fry the onions and thyme and rosemary in oil on a medium heat for 10-12 minutes until the onion is soft.
- Stir in the root vegetables with a little salt and pepper and cover. Let them sweat for 8 minutes until softening, then stir in the cheese and parsley.
- Roll out the pastry until it is about 3 mm thick and use a bowl as a guide to cut a circle with a knife. Place a few tablespoons of filling in the middle of the circles of pastry and fold in half. Seal around the edge. If you have difficulty sealing the pastry, take some filling out and try again.
- Place the sealed pasties on a well oiled baking tray and brush with some beaten egg. Place in the oven for 25 minutes, until golden brown.