With their beautifully crimped edges, golden crust and gorgeous, savoury filling, who could resist biting into these delicious pasties, straight out of the oven or plucked from a picnic basket?
Sift the flour, 1 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper into a large bowl. Add the butter and lard, and then, using your fingertips, rub together until the mixture reaches the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. Gradually add enough cold water, 100-150ml (5fl oz), to bind the mixture together.
On a lightly floured work surface, knead the pastry for a few minutes (see Expert tips). Shape the pastry into a fat disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill for a 2-3 hours.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the diced vegetables for the filling and parboil for 5 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water, then transfer to a large bowl.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and cook, over a low heat, until softened. Tip the onions into the bowl with the parboiled vegetables and leave to cool. Once cool, stir in the chopped beef and season well. Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin. Cut out 6 x 20cm (8in) circles and divide the filling between each one, leaving a 2·5cm (1in) border. Top each with some butter or clotted cream. Brush the pastry edges with a little beaten egg, then fold in half.
Line up the pastry edges and crimp together to create a neat seal. Arrange the pasties on a large nonstick baking tray and brush all over with a little more of the beaten egg. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the filling is cooked through and piping hot.
Lamb, mint and pea pasties
Use 400g (13oz) potato and swap the swede for 150g (5oz) frozen peas. Swap the beef for 300g (10oz) diced lamb neck fillet. Stir some finely chopped mint through the filling.
Cheese and spinach pasties
Replace the swede with more diced potato. Instead of the beef, add 250g (8oz) coarsely grated Cheddar or a mix of Cheddar and a crumbly tangy cheese, such as Caerphilly. Wilt 200g (7oz) spinach, then refresh under cold water and squeeze out as much liquid as possible before chopping into small pieces and adding to the filling.
Sweet potato and chorizo pasties
Swap the swede for diced sweet potato and the beef for 200g (7oz) sliced chorizo. Briefly fry the chorizo to release its oil, before adding it to the vegetables. For extra favour, add some chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon or parsley.
Freeze the uncooked pasties for up to three months. Cook from frozen at gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C, adding an extra 10-15 minutes to the cooking time.
Using a mixture of both cold butter and lard will give the cooked pasties a crisp, light shell.
When kneading the dough, keep working it until it feels elastic. This helps to develop the gluten, producing a strong pastry for holding the filling.
Choose waxy potatoes, as they will hold their shape when cooked, so won’t turn the filling mushy.
It is traditional to use uncooked beef in the pasty filling, as this helps keeps the pasties moist. However, if you prefer to cook your meat first, simply sear the chopped beef in a pan, before adding to the diced veg. Minced beef will also work well.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. Always defrost and heat thoroughly before eating. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.
See more British recipes
For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home and view the full Food safety at home video.