Mexican Black Bean Pasties

Recipe and Images: Amber Bremner

One of the first pies I learned to make was a good old Cornish pasty in home economics class at intermediate. This meat free version is much tastier and an absolute hit with my kids. The flavours are loosely Mexican and inspired by South American empanadas, but using store bought pastry and pantry friendly ingredients. You could also pop a little grated cheese (regular or vegan) in the pastry parcel, if you like. I like these with some heat—ground chilli, cayenne pepper, chilli flakes, chopped fresh chilli or pickled jalapenos are all good additions.

1 tbsp cooking oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small red capsicum (or half a large one), chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
⅛ tsp ground chilli (optional)
½ tsp salt
1 can black beans, drained
1 tbsp tomato paste
½ cup water
½ cup frozen corn kernels
squeeze of lime or lemon juice
3–4 sheets of flaky puff pastry
soy milk (or milk of your choice) to glaze

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions, garlic and red capsicum with oregano, cumin, chilli and salt for a few minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add the black beans, tomato paste and water, then simmer for 5 minutes. Use a potato masher to roughly mash some of the mixture, to create a thick but chunky texture. Stir through the frozen corn and cook for a few more minutes. Add a squeeze of lime or lemon and taste to adjust seasoning if needed.

Preheat oven to 200°C fan bake. Cut 11–12cm circles from pastry sheets (I cut around a small bowl turned upside down). Fill each pasty with about a tablespoon of filling (avoid overfilling), lightly moisten one edge, fold in half to close, then crimp the edges together with a fork. Brush the pastry with the milk of your choice.  Prick each pasty with a fork a few times to let out steam. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until pastry is deep golden brown. Makes 12–16 pasties.

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