Today was a long day filled with all kinds of food prep, and these photos of cauliflower and cheddar pastries had nothing to do with it! I made these a week or so ago, but wanted to remember them because they were so good. Made with suet pastry, these savory pastries are my favorite thing to make on the fly for dinner. You'd think they were time consuming, but they are actually very easy. Last time I made them I filled them with sauteed kale and onions with some gouda. The suet pastry is really a revelation for savory applications. What's nice is there's a satisfying meaty flavor to the pastries, but there's no meat involved. Just fat.
On Saturday morning, I drove to Pine Plains to pick up my yearly half hog. I ask for everything, and this year I even got the tail! Guess the person getting the other half didn't want it. I have spent all day getting various meats into a cure of some sort: ham, hocks, bacon, salt pork, and hog jowl. Tomorrow I will make liver pâté. I also got leaf lard, to be rendered tomorrow. And this year I asked for suet, and was rewarded with about eight pounds of it. This early, cold and creaky "fall back" morning found me in my pajamas prepping it for the freezer. What I do it put it in the food processor and grind it down to a gravelly consistency. Then I freeze it in ziploc bags. When I want to make the above pastries, I measure out what I need from the freezer. It's that easy.
The cauliflower was roasted it in a 400 degree oven for about a half hour, drizzled with rosemary olive oil, salt and pepper. It was then whirled in the food processor to a gravelly consistency. When I make the dough, I divide it into eight pieces and roll each into a square. A spoonful of veg and some grated cheese, pinch the ends together like a big ravioli and there you go. I use buttermilk to glaze to tops, and sprinkled nigella seeds on top. They were baked for about 25 minutes in the oven, still at 400 degrees. The rest of the cauliflower (a huge beautiful orange one from a neighbor) I put in the freezer, to make these again. We had these pastries served alongside some pickles and a salad. A perfect autumnal treat!