Shortcrust pastries never steer you wrong.
For the pastry, in a food processor add the flour and butter and pulse until butter is incorporated into fine bread crumbs. Place in a large bowl and add 60mls of the cold water and mix in with your hands. Then add the remaining water (130ml) slowly until the dough comes together.
Place on a benchtop and press together without over kneading and divide into 4 separate discs (340g each). Cover in cling wrap and let them rest in the fridge for 10-15 mins. Each discs makes 3 pasties.
For the red beans and rice filling, in a med saucepan add rinsed rice and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Then cover with a lid and simmer on low for 15mins. At the same time, in a frypan add olive oil, chopped onion, capsicum, and celery. Cook on a med heat and sweat the veggies with the salt for 5 mins
. Add garlic, cayenne pepper, sage, thyme, bay leaf, and black pepper and cook for 1 min or until fragrant. Add the rinsed kidney beans, 1 cup of vegetable stock, and liquid smoke and simmer until reduced by half in liquid.
To assemble, preheat oven to 210C conventional with shelf in the middle. Rinse the rice and add to a saucepan with vegetable stock till it comes to a boil then simmer covered for 15mins. In the meantime, make the red bean filling.
While this is simmering make the pastry, divide, and place in the fridge to rest. When rice is done place in a large casserole dish to cool quickly and fluff with a fork. Add the red bean filling to the rice and gently mix all together with a fork. Cool down quickly and place in the fridge for 15min, stirring every now and then to make sure it cools completely.
Check your pastry and if its firm and start to roll it out to a 1/4 cm thickness. Using a 15cm saucer, cut 3 x 15cm rounds out of each disc of pastry. If the filling is still too warm, just keep making the circles and put them aside with baking paper between each one. Then place back into the fridge till ready to fill.
When the filling is ready, brush one half of the pastry circle with egg wash around the edge only. On either end of the half circle, add and press a tsp each of extra pastry to both sides. This is going to be the alligator head and tail.
Fill with 70g of cooled filling mixture in the center of the circle and pick both ends of the pastry up to meet in the middle, creating a half moon with the seam on top. Roll and seal the pastry with a twisting motion, then shape and mold the head and tail.
Brush the whole pasty in egg wash and then add 2 nigella seeds on top of the alligator head for eyes. Place 6 per tray and bake in the oven for 20minutes or until pastry is cooked and golden.
This recipe has not been edited or tested by the Bake Off Food Department.
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