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Gluten-Free Lamb & Mint Pasties – a meal and a snack all in one!
A true Cornish pastie would only have beef chunks, swede (rutabaga), potatoes and onion seasoned with salt and pepper and a sliver of butter. I’ve swapped the beef for lamb fillet, kept the traditional vegetables and added fresh mint. I thought this would be a nice alternative during Easter time and to make the most of some great lamb cuts as we enter Spring in the northern hemisphere. It’s similar to eating a pastry-filled Irish stew!
How did Cornish pasties evolve?
Tracing the Cornish pasties to the eighteenth century, they grew more popular amongst the working men across Cornwall, U.K, specifically tin miners. As the main ingredients were cheap and plentiful, the pastie made an ideal lunch on the go, plus the pastry crusts were perfect for holding each pastie with dirty hands, leaving the end crusts to be thrown away.
Nowadays, Cornish pasties are loved worldwide and actually protected. In 2011, the Cornish pastie achieved PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status so that any pasties made commercially that are named “Cornish pastie” must be made in Cornwall; contain only beef, swede, potato and onion; baked (not fried) and have the edges of the pastie sealed by using the “crimping” method.
What is crimping?
As for all my pastie recipes, this is the method used to seal the pastry edge and ensure the filling doesn’t leak out. The best way to describe crimping is by twisting and pressing the pastry edges along the longest side of the pastie. It takes some practice and can be a bit tricky to perfect when dealing with gluten-free pastry as it can tear or rip easily. If it proves to be too hard to crimp, they can be sealed pressed down with a fork.
How do you eat pasties?
Besides being a perfect snack or meal with a side salad, these robust pasties are sturdy travellers to take on road trips, train journeys, picnics and school excursions or simply to have as a packed lunch.
Warm or cold pasties are usually accompanied with plenty of condiments to choose from, especially mint sauce, hot English mustard, HP sauce, tomato sauce/ketchup and relishes.
Gluten-Free Lamb & Mint Pasties
GLUTEN-FREE PASTIE PASTRY
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, to sprinkle on the pasties
LAMB & MINT FILLING
- 350 g lamb fillet, sliced thinly into bite-size pieces
- 200 g swede (rutabaga), peeled and diced in 1.5cm pieces
- 200 g potatoes, peeled and diced in 1.5cm pieces
- 2 medium onions, chopped in 1.5cm pieces
- 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, shredded
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped finely
- 1 tbsp mustard powder (e.g. hot English mustard)
- 1 tsp mace powder or nutmeg powder
- 2 tsp black or white pepper
- 1 lemon, grated zest only
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp cornflour* or rice flour *Known as cornflour in the UK and corn or maize starch in the USA
- 50 g butter, chilled and cubed
- mint sauce, hot English mustard, HP sauce, tomato sauce/ketchup and/or relishes
GLUTEN-FREE PASTIE PASTRY - preparing the dough
- Mix the flour, salt and xanthan gum together in a medium bowl.
- Run in the chilled cubed butter into the flour mixture using your fingertips.
- Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix it into the crumbled flour mixture using a wooden spoon.
- Add the iced cold water gradually, mixing well between each addition. Once the pastry starts to come together into a ball, cover the bowl with a tea towel and set it aside for 30 minutes to rest.
LAMB & MINT FILLING
- Gather all the ingredients listed to make the filling.
- In a medium bowl, mix the lamb fillet pieces, swede, potatoes, onions, mint, parsley and the rest of the filling ingredients listed. Use your clean or gloved hands to gently massage the seasoning and butter into the lamb and vegetables. If time permits, prepare this filling mixture the day before and chill to develop more flavour.
Assembling the Pasties
- Mix the egg yolk and water to prepare an egg wash to brush on the assembled pasties. Set aside, covered.
- Start rolling out equal-sized pastry portions into circles measuring approximately 14cm in diameter and place several spoonfuls of the lamb mixture onto the centre of the pastry disc.
- Brush the pastry edges with some water and bring one side of the pastry circle over to the other side, pressing down firmly along the edges.
- To finish off the pastry edges, start by folding the corner towards the pastie. Then continue folding and pressing until you reach the opposite corner.
- Transfer the pasties onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and brush each pastie thoroughly with the egg wash prepared earlier.
Baking the Pasties
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 180°C/350°F and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, or until the pastry appears golden brown.
- Keeps for 2 days chilled
- Suitable to freeze once baked