Duck Pasties

If you thought cabbage rolls stretched a little bit of duck pretty far, how about these pasties? Again, if you are shy on the amount of duck meat needed, you can fry up a few slices of bacon with the onion. However, you should also be sure not to make too much filling – don’t go over the quantities listed – as this amount will make 6 very stuffed pasties. Each one is a meal with just a bit of salad to keep it company. We ate some of the leftovers cold and re-heated some in a hot oven; they were delicious both ways. Just don’t microwave them, as the pastry will go soggy, as it always does.

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This is a real left-over busting meal. Or to put it another way, you need to cook your potatoes and rutabaga in advance. It’s all in the perspective, I suppose. If you have a little good thick gravy left over a spoonful will help keep them moist, but it’s not traditional to add it, as far as I know, and if you have any holes in the finished pasties, it will leak out. 
I actually used the buttermilk instead of cream to thin my egg yolk, since it was already out. It seemed to work just fine. We thought these were delightful, and I will likely make them again with leftover turkey, because I can see that working really well too. Or the traditional roast or braised beef, for that matter.

In the end, that one 6 pound duck fed the 3 of us as a roast dinner, followed by 2 meals of cabbage rolls for 2 of us, the 3 of for lunch, and it looks like Mr. Ferdzy and I will have one more round of pasties. I did throw in about a quarter pound of bacon to make it stretch, but still, FIVE* meals (12 servings), plus there is still a fair bit of duck stock in the fridge. I’d say we squeezed our money’s worth out of that bird.

6 pasties1 hour 15 minutes – 40 minutes prep time NOT including time to cool

Duck Pasties with Spelt Pastry
 Make the Pastry:2 1/4 cups whole spelt flour1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 cup cold unsalted butter1/4 cup mild vegetable oil1/4 cup buttermilkthe white of 1 large eggMeasure the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and mix. Grate in the butter, turning it to coat it in the flour. Add the oil, buttermilk, and egg white, and mix everything well, cutting it together with a pastry cutter or the side of a spoon. Once it is well blended but still with lumps of butter, pull it together to form a ball (by hand). Let rest for 20 minutes while you make the filling. 

Make the Filling & Finish:1 small onion1 teaspoon duck fat or other oil1 1/2 cups diced cooked duck meat
3/4 cup diced cooked potato3/4 cup diced cooked rutabagasalt & freshly ground black pepper to tasteextra whole spelt flour for rolling
up to 6 tablespoons leftover duck gravy OPTIONAL1 large egg yolk2 tablespoons light cream
Peel and dice the onion, and cook it in the fat or oil over medium heat until softened and translucent. Put it into a mixing bowl with the diced cooked duck, potato, and rutabaga. Season carefully with salt and generously with pepper. 
Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
Divide the dough evenly into 6 pieces. Dust a sheet of parchment paper with a little flour, and roll the first piece of dough out into a circle. Be sure that it is large enough to hold the filling. Put 1/6th of the filling on it, along with up to a tablespoon of leftover gravy, if you have it, and fold it over to close. Press sealed along the edges, then roll the edge up and press again to be sure to have a good seal. Lift the pasty onto a baking tray lined with another piece of parchment paper, leaving space for the rest.

Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough and filling. 
Bake the pasties for 15 minutes. Whisk the egg yolk and cream together. Brush the pasties with this mixture, then return them to the oven for a further 15 minutes of baking. Serve warm or at room temperature. If kept in the refrigerator, bring them out 20 minutes before serving to take the chill off them. They will also reheat well in the oven. 

*The mathematically astute will conclude, correctly, that Mr. Ferdzy and I were piggies with the pasties.
Last year at this time I made the tasty but perplexing Turkish Lentil & Potato Salad.

* Originally published here