10 March 2012

Bockwurst & Bean Pasties : a Germano-Mexicano-Cornwallo fusion!

Okay, so - think of a Cornish Pasty.  Now instead of the usual filling, when you bite into this pastie, you get a rich combination of baked beans, red kidney beans, black eyed beans and pinto beans, plus slices of Bockwurst, all carried by a gently barbecued, tomatoey sauce that has a hint of chilli warmth.

Doesn't sound quite so odd now, does it?  Or does it?

I'll be perfectly honest with you and say that I was extremely dubious about this one.  Extremely dubious.

To begin with, it committed the most heinous of crimes which is to include something else with a Bockwurst other than a kartoffelsalat.  Now that is a cardinal sin, in my book.

Secondly, it put Bockwurst with baked beans.  Now that is getting way too close to "Heinz Beans & Sausage" territory for me.  Not that I dislike said beans and sausages, I just have to be in the right mood for them - and it rarely happens.

Thirdly, it involved a barbecue sauce.  Now I'm not the best person to be faced with a barbecue sauce.  Take Macdonalds barbecue sauce - I dislike it intensely.  Hubby loves it.  I have yet to enjoy any of the "cook-in" sauces that involve barbecue and actively dislike Heinz barbecue baked beans.  So maybe you can understand my caution.

However - and prepare to be as amazed as I was - I really liked these pasties.  I know!  Who knew, eh?

In making the contents of the pasties, I took a large can of the abomination that is Heinz Barbecue Beans and added a half a can of chilli bean mix (not one that was in sauce).  I heated this combination up and included a knob of butter (which hubby reliably informs me, creates a "refried beans" type of texture), a half a teaspoon of smoked paprika, a good quantity of freshly ground black pepper and a flat teaspoon of chilli powder.

Once all those flavours had married up, I added the Bockwurst slices and hoped for the best.

The end result tasted (amazingly) as though I'd added a heaped teaspoonful of ground cumin - but I hadn't, honest!  In the saucepan, I continued to be extremely dubious about the wisdom of this combination but hubby seemed content with the flavours (although he did comment that I'd been a bit heavy handed with the cumin!  See?  I told you it tasted like I'd added some!).

So, once it had all cooled down a bit, I sallied forth and put the pasties together.

Ready for baking - awsome egg colour!
As you'll see from the "ready to bake" photograph, the egg yolk that I used to glaze them with was an amazing colour!  You honestly would think that I'd used a Burford Brown or other exotic breed of egg, but no.  The egg came from the box of 24 free range eggs of mixed sizes that all the other (normally coloured) eggs came from.  The shell gave no indication that it would be so glamorous, either.  I can't wait to see whether there are going to be any others like that in the same box!

The pasties baked up beautifully and we served them with some shop bought potato wedges, for simplicity's sake.

It's only a shame that I forgot to get a photograph of the filling for you to see, which would have given you a far better idea of how the combination worked.  I'd made sure that the sauce was quite thick before using it as a filling, so there wasn't runny sauce escaping everywhere.  The pastry seemed to mute the barbecue flavour a tad, but the Bockwurst was still able to be heard, in amongst all the other flavours.

On the whole, I'd make these again.  Maybe not on a regular basis (after all, just look at the amount of pastry involved!) but when we've got a Bockwurst glut, they'll definitely feature.

Oh, and speaking of pastry - have you seen how much the price of pastry has escalated just recently?  Unreal!  We found the two packs of puff pastry that were required in the money off section for 60p each as they were about to go out of date - the same amount in frozen pastry would have cost a quite ridiculous £2.25.

I can't help but think we're going to have to learn how to make rough puff in the future!

BOCKWURST & BEAN PASTIES  (makes 3-4, depending on size)

Ingredients :

1 x 390g can of Baked Beans in barbecue sauce
half a 400g can of mixed beans in water, drained
a knob of butter
half a tsp of smoked paprika
a good quantity of freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
a flat tsp of chilli powder
5 Bockwurst sausages, sliced
1kg puff pastry
an egg, separated, yolk retained - for glazing.

Method :

1.  Into a small saucepan, empty the barbecue beans.  Add to them the half a can of mixed beans and stir to combine.

2.  Begin to warm the beans through, on a low heat.

3.  Add the knob of butter and the smoked paprika, black pepper and chilli powder and stir gently to combine.

4.  Add the sliced Bockwurst and continue to heat and stir.

5.  Do not let the mixture boil, but if it appears very juicy, simmer until the consistency is correct as a pasty filling.

6.  Allow to cool while you sort out the pastry.

7.  Pre-heat your oven to 180degC/350degF/Gas4.

8.  Divide the pastry up into four (or however many you want) evenly sized pieces, then roll each out until 2mm thick.  You will probably find it easiest to do the next few stages individually, rather than try to deal with them all at once.

9.  Cut a circle out the size of a tea plate (I use a tea plate and press it into the pastry to give me the shape).

10.  Brush a little egg around the edge of the pastry, then place spoonfuls of the filling into the centre.

11.  Quickly fold one side of the pastry over the filling and press down around the edges to create a join and prevent any filling from escaping.

12.  Either run a fork around the edge, pressing down, so as to "cement" the join, or crimp the edges as you would for a Cornish pasty and cut two lines into the top, to let out the steam.

13.  Place onto a baking tray and brush each pasty with some egg wash.

13.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden.



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