Life’s a Feast: Con-fusion tacos

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Tacos are a favourite in my household. With their punchy, fresh flavours and vibrant colours, what’s not to like? This week, having whipped up the meat base for our tacos as per the belo
w recipe, I went to the pantry for their casing (either shells or wraps) and found there were none. Oh, the dilemma. The only thing in the house resembling something I could encase this tasty protein in was frozen pastry. So, my kids suggested I make taco pasties for them. Ingenious fusion out of the mouths of babes. They were an absolute hit, with five clean plates in a matter of minutes! Enjoy this ‘Tex Mex meets Cornish Pasty’ – con-fusion but simply delicious!

PREP TIME – 8 mins
COOK TIME – 20-30 mins
SERVES – 5 people

Ingredients

Tacos:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium brown onion, finely-chopped
1 clove garlic, finely-chopped
600g lean beef mince (or 300g each of pork and beef)
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
A pack of five sheets of flaky pastry
1 cup grated cheese
Salt to taste (may need a bit, or add little beef stock)

Tomato and avocado salsa:

4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, halved and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 good handful of coriander, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
A good pinch salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until softened. Add cumin, coriander, paprika and cayenne pepper if using. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  2. Add mince in batches, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up mince and brown. Continue until all mince is cooked. Add oregano.
  3. Next add flour and thoroughly combine. Then stir for five minutes or until sauce has thickened. Ensure it is not watery as it will cause your pastry to become soggy. Add salt to taste. Set aside to cool while you prepare your salsa and pastry.
  4. Remove pastry from freezer and separate the sheets on the bench.
  5. Combine all the ingredients for the salsa and pop in fridge, covered, until ready to serve.
  6. Next take a bowl or something round with an approximate 20cm diameter to cut around. Using a sharp knife, cut around the perimeter leaving a large circle of pastry. Using your fingers, dab water around the rim of the pastry so it will stick when you fold it over.
  7. Take about five heaped dessert spoons of mince and place in the middle of the pastry. Sprinkle over a decent amount of cheese (1/5 of the cup), then gently fold over the pastry to make a half-moon shape and quickly push down the edges with your fingers to ensure the mince doesn’t escape.
  8. To seal the pasty, use the tines of a fork to press down around the edge. Do a good job or the mince will leak when cooking.
  9. Do this with all five pastry sheets and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush with a little beaten egg mixed with water and pop in the oven for about 20 mins until golden brown. Serve immediately with shredded lettuce, the tomato and avocado salsa and sour cream.