Shane infuses Malta’s signature dish with some of his own flair by filling the traditional pide-dough pastizzi with a six-hour slow-braised pork filling.
- 1 kg boneless pork shoulder, skin scored at 3 cm intervals
- 150 g frozen peas
- ¼ cup dried mint
- 100 g flaked almonds, toasted
- 10 whole cloves
- 3 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 250 ml (1 cup) soy sauce
- 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce
- 55 g (¼ cup) brown sugar
- 2 tbsp sabaht baharat (Lebanese seven spice) (see note)
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 kg plain flour
- 2 tbsp salt
- 650 ml (3 cups) ice-cold water
- 100 g unsalted butter, softened
- 150 g Kewpie mayonnaise (see note)
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp honey
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time 12 hours
Resting time 1 hour
You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.
To make the spice paste, combine the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Rub the spice paste all over the pork, cover and marinate in the fridge overnight.
To cook the pork, preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the pork and marinade in a flameproof casserole dish, cover with water and cover with a lid. Cook in the oven for 4–5 hours or until the pork is tender and falling apart. Remove the pork from the liquid and allow to cool. Strain braising liquid through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Place the saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Cook for 30–40 minutes, until reduced to a glaze consistency.
When the pork is cool enough to handle, shred using your hands. Add the reduced sauce, peas, dried mint and almonds to the pork and season to taste. Mix well to combine, then place in the fridge until chilled.
To make the dough, combine the flour, salt and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on medium speed for 6–8 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. (You can also knead the dough by hand.) Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with a tea towel and rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the mustard mayo, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and season to taste. Transfer the mayo to a squeeze bottle. Refrigerate until required.
Stretch the dough out into a long oval shape, then use a rolling pin to roll out until 5 mm thick. Smear the surface liberally with 100 g of the softened butter. Starting from one end, roll up dough, lifting and pulling the dough tight every few turns, until you have a thick log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes, until chilled.
Take the dough out of the fridge and bring to room temperature before proceeding. In one swift motion, lift the log off the bench, stretch it out and allow it to drop back onto the bench. Gently work the dough, stretching it out until about 1.5 m – 1.6 m long. Lightly smear with butter then cut into pieces about 4 cm thick.
To make the pastizzi, hold a portion of the pastry in one hand. Using your thumbs to make a small pocket, stretch and flatten around the edges of the dough until it resembles a small shallow bowl. Place a generous tablespoon of pork and pea filling inside. Fold to make a semi circle, holding opposite ends of the dough. In one swift motion, stretch and twist the ends in opposite directions so that dough elongates and the middle opens up. As you do this, allow the pastizzi to drop onto the benchtop. Flatten the ends by pressing down onto the benchtop, then transfer to an oven tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Cook the pastizzi for 12–15 minutes or until golden. Serve with mustard mayonnaise.
• Sabaht baharat is a blend of spices often referred to as Lebanese seven spice, or simply baharat. You will find baharat in Middle Eastern grocery stores and at quality spice merchants.
• Kewpie is a brand of Japanese mayonnaise available in some supermarkets and some Asian grocers.