Now it’s getting cooler in Melbourne – the nights are freezing already – the slow cooker has made a resurgence. Slow cooked lamb & beef stews, minestrone and pulled beef or pork are on the menu over the next few months. I can’t believe I’m using the slow cooker already, it’s a lot sooner than when I pulled it out last year!
Who loves their slow cooker? What are the dishes you love to cook in yours?
Now if you’re looking for something to make with any leftover pulled pork you just spent eight hours slow cooking, then these pasties are for you. Full of flavour, crunchy, flaky pastry and so moreish that you’ll enjoy these pasties. Slow cooked pulled pork is the perfect cook once, eat twice dish.
I slow cooked four kilograms of pork neck for our GP party. I think I over-catered as there was plenty left over. I started thinking of what I could make with the leftovers. I couldn’t just freeze it all and forget about it, as I do most of the time. Plus if you freeze leftover cooked meat, it’s only good to reheat for tacos or bread rolls & coleslaw. I wanted something more substantial and belly warming.
I don’t think you can never go wrong with pasties. They’re a family favourite, they freeze well and are always ready to go when you get hangry (becoming irritable due to lack of food!) I love a traditional pasty with carrots, peas, potatoes and meat. This screams comfort food to me, anytime of the day.
What do you add into your pasties when you make them?
This pulled pork is quite spicy, which is great when you’re eating it with bread rolls and coleslaw, as it balances out that spiciness. But when making pasties, potatoes are the best vegetable to keep the heat to a minimum. Peas weren’t the best choice for greenery in these pasties, so spinach was added. Perfect! For added flavour, coriander and feta were the perfect combination to the Asian pulled pork. I’m drooling about these pasties right now! These sound amazing for dinner tonight and I’ve only just finished breakfast!
If you’re wondering about what exactly Bulgogi is, it’s typically a Korean grilled or stir fried thin slices of marinated pork or beef. Bulgogi means ‘fired meat’, meaning to grill the meat directly over fire. I have fallen in love with this Bulgogi marinade I found at the Asian grocers. Most Asian marinades contain MSG (621) and MSG is no good if you’re asthmatic or have skin allergies, as my husband does. But this Beksul Bulgogi marinade doesn’t contain MSG and it has amazing flavour.
Now, I don’t expect you all to slow cook four kilograms of pork neck just to make these pasties. If you are making pulled pork anytime soon, this is my recipe for 4 kilograms of pork neck – I marinated four kilograms of pork in 500 grams Bulgogi marinade, mixed with two tablespoons of Korean hot pepper paste, for at least 24 hours. Place in your slow cooker on low, with ¼ cup of water and allow to cook for 8 hours. Keep 1kg slow cooked pulled pork for these pasties. If the meat falls away after picking it up with tongs, the pork is ready. Adapt quantities to how many kilograms of pork you have ie. 1kg pork neck = 125gms Bulgogi marinade with ½ tablespoon pepper paste with 1/4 cup water. Check the pork after 4 hours on low to ensure it doesn’t dry out.
2 tbsp rice flour
2 tbsp water
1 kg slow cooked Bulgogi pulled pork
1/3 bunch fresh coriander, leaves, stems & roots finely chopped, leaves kept for later
1 tbsp olive oil
500 gm potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 cups chicken stock
4 cubes frozen spinach, defrosted
150 gm feta, crumbled
Coriander leaves, from above
7 sheets puff pastry
Poppy seeds and sesame seeds
Greek yoghurt (optional)
Make your slurry – mix the rice flour and water together, ensuring there’s no lumps. Set aside.
In a saucepan, add the pork, coriander roots and stems and the chicken stock. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down low and simmer for 8 minutes. Stir in the slurry, cooking for a further 5 minutes so the sauce thickens. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
Heat a frypan on medium-high, add the oil and potatoes. Sauté for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are softened. Set aside to cool.
Once the pork has cooled, mix in the potatoes, spinach, feta and coriander leaves.
Place a sheet of puff pastry onto a wooden board and cut into quarters. Remove one quarter and fill half the pastry, in a triangle, with pork mixture, leaving a border. Fold the pastry over and seal the edge with a fork. Place on a lined baking tray. Complete the above steps until all pastry had been used.
(see COOK’S TIPS below, for freezing excess pasties)
Heat oven to 200°C and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.
Sprinkle sesame seeds or poppy seeds over hot pastry. Serve while hot with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.
Pork neck is the best cut of pork to slow cook. It has a lot of marbling which adds flavour. The neck stays moist when slow cooking. If you’re having trouble finding pork neck, use pork butt.
To freeze, place the remaining pasties on a baking tray in the freezer. Freeze for at least 10-12 hours. Place in a zip lock bag. Keeps for 3-6 months, if they last that long!
I sprinkle the sesame & poppy seeds after the pasties come out of the oven so they don’t burn while cooking.