Megapastie versus Giant Appetite   Leave a comment

Clash of the Titans.

At lunchtime on Wednesday the 15th I wandered down the road to register at the dentist’s. I’d called them up a few weeks ago, and they had room for extra NHS patients, but you couldn’t register over the ‘phone. Unfortunately, when I got there it turned out they weren’t letting new patients in any more, so I just picked up a form and came home. They may have room by March, and there’s a slim chance I’ll have returned the form by then.

It’s not that I mind going to the dentist; I actually quite like knowing my teeth are in good nick. But I really don’t like telephoning to register or make appointments, and I can never be bothered with filling in their silly forms*, which is why I’ve lived herabouts for fifteen months without registering. It’s just as well my teeth generally are in good order; I’m over a year overdue for a check-up. They’ve had some twinges lately (which is what reminded me to call in the first place), but they’ve had twinges on and off for ages, and nobody’s found anything wrong with them yet, so I’m going to put that down to Galloping Hypochondria.

It’s amazing what good nick they are in, actually, considering my recent enthusiasm for encougaging their rotting, and attempting to catch diabetes, by eating all of the sugar. My biscuit and confectionary consumption of late has been disgusting. Disgustingly awesome.

In a similar vein, I decided to make a cheese and onion (and vegetable) pastie for my dinner on Wednesday and Thursday. I haven’t made pasties for ages, and having some cheese that needed using seemed a good excuse.

It may not be the most artistic meal ever prepared, but I think it turned out well. Behold, MEGAPASTIE: (click for Big-O-Vision™)


For over an hour, the beast had survived being buffeted by winds of up to 180°C. But its greatest challenge was yet to come...

In case the scale isn’t apparent, MEGAPASTIE was about a foot long, weighed in at 700g, and its energy content was estimated at about 1,500kCal.

And there was enough left to make another for dinner on Thursday.

I wasn’t working from any specific recipie, rather making it up based on what I felt like and had to hand. The pastry was two lots of this BBC recipe, but with lard instead of half the butter (so 55g of each), because half-butter and half-lard is how my grandmother always made pastry.

The filling comprised 3 onions; about 250g each of swede, parsnip, and cheese (~200g Cheddar to ~50g Stilton); Three or four cloves of garlic; one red chilli; a couple of tablespoons of milk; a tablespoon or so of wholegrain mustard; and worcestershire sauce, dried parsley, salt and pepper to season.

I would suggest anybody following my method should use either three quantities of the pastry, or about two-thirds the quantity of filling; my pasties’ crusts were a bit too thin and fragile to support their great bulk. Oh, this was for two MEGAPASTIEs, not just the one above.

MEGAPASTIE was baked for a bit over an hour, starting at 180°C and turning it down to 160° when it had browned enough.

I’m quite good at making pastry (an advantage of having cold hands, apparently), but I’m not very good at rolling it out. This and its thinness meant MEGAPASTIE wasn’t much of a looker, but it did taste very nice. I used silver foil to prevent the grill pan from getting mucky but, despite flouring it, the foil stuck to MEGAPASTIE where it had oozed (caused by cubes of vegetable piercing its thin skin). It was rather awkward to remove, so Thursday’s MEGAPASTIE was baked without foil; it stuck to the pan instead, and broke when I tried to get it to a plate.

A good dinner, though. Better than any of the measley specimens of pastie-kind you’d find in a supermarket. I ate MEGAPASTIE with some tomato and chilli sauce, but it needed surprisingly little.

Whilst recovering from dinner I implemented an algorithm I’d been thinking about all day (almost as much as pasties), with which I was also rather chuffed. There will be more about it in future, no doubt. A successful day, though.

* I’ve not looked at it yet, but I bet there’s not much on it that couldn’t be found out automatically by typing my NHS number into some database. Which would save everyone time and effort. In fact, you wouldn’t need a human at all; you could do it all online.


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