Healthy savoury mince pies

This was meant to be yesterday’s post. Yesterday was one of those days. I should have said ‘Claire, get a hold of yourself this is not a bad day’ but being tired and hormonal seems to make things appear all that much worse.

I started, as you do, with great intentions and a big list of things to do before visiting my grandma and meeting some friends for one of the highlights of my week – tarts. Instead, I got home from dropping Will to work to find the internet down then spent the next hour and a half arguing with them.

Apparently they don’t really care that I have a business to run and their service isn’t working. I ‘should have a back up’ as they don’t guarantee service 24/7. The guy was possibly the most unprofessional call-centre person I’ve ever dealt with and that’s saying a lot.

Eventually I had to ring Telstra and up my data plan to 3GB (for $30 – side note I used most of my data in Tassie) so I could get some work done. Then I proceeded to drop a full jar of beef stock powder on the ground and it went everywhere like a fine coating of dust. I didn’t cry though so that’s a win (that’s 2 things lost to me dropping them this week, just waiting for the third).

Pie filling

‘It’s ok… you’re having tarts soon,’ I told myself. By this time I was running a little late to visit my grandma and for lunch so messaged my friend. As I got in the car to head to lunch I checked my phone… ‘tarts are closed!!!’

Yep my day was ruined. Told you I was a tad dramatic. We managed to salvage it with a reasonably good brownie up the road but it was no tart. I guess next week’s will taste even better. At least I have the memory of last week’s tart to get me through.

On tart day I try to make something a little healthy for dinner but I happened to have a hankering for pie. I compromised and created a healthy savoury mince pie from what I had on hand – a bunch of tomatoes that we were never going to eat and a few veges that were on their last legs and some beef mince. Channeling Jamie Oliver and being pretty lazy, I thought I’d take a bit of a risk and just throw the tomatoes in the blender.

Sauce

I added some onion, garlic and a few herbs and blitzed it up to make what looked absolutely revoulting. It didn’t smell all that good and I was worried I’d wasted all those tomatoes but pressed on. I was seriously happy 10 minutes later when my pale, watery broth turned into a rich, red tomato sauce. I will never bother with boiling/skinning tomatoes ever again.

Assembling the pies

I added the mince and veges and a few other things and a while later had a deliciously tasty savoury mince ready to stuff into some homemade pastry. Ok so I may have gotten lazy and used puff pastry from the freezer but the thought was there.

Mine were free-form pies which means no waste from the square pastry sheets and after 35 mins in the oven they were crispy and golden and got a thumbs up from the husband. I stashed the rest of the mince in the freezer for an emergency meal so make a bit extra and you’ll have it ready for ‘one of those days.’ Enjoy!

Pies

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Healthy savoury mince pies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 shallots
  • some mixed herbs
  • BLEND
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • salt & sugar pinch
  • tsp gravy powder
  • ½ head broccoli chopped finely
  • small carrot chopped finely
  • Kernels from 1 cob of corn
  • 350g beef mince
  • 2 squares of puff pastry
  • milk for brushing
Instructions
  1. Put the tomatoes, garlic, onion, shallots and herbs in a blender and process until smooth.
  2. Tip the mixture into a large saucepan and add the tomato paste, salt and sugar and heat, stirring, until thick and a dark red.
  3. Add the gravy powder and vegetables and stir them through then simmer for two minutes before adding the beef mince.
  4. Cook the meat, stirring and breaking it up, until cooked through then set the pot aside to cool to room temperature.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 200C (430F) fan-forced and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  6. Lay the pastry out on the bench and cut into four even squares.
  7. Place four squares on a lined baking tray and top with 4 heaped tablespoons of filling leaving a little border of pastry around the edge.
  8. Brush the border with a little milk then place another square of pastry on top.
  9. Fold the bottom pastry over the top to enclose it then press all the way around with a fork to seal the pastry.
  10. Brush each one with milk and cut a little slit in the top.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden.