Beef and Red Onion Tarts with Watercress Pesto Beef and Red Onion Tarts with Watercress Pesto

Beef and Red Onion Tarts with Watercress Pesto

A wonderful alfresco picnic recipe for all the family using individual pastry tarts filled beef mince cooked with onion, peas and egg then served with a watercress pesto -yum!

prep time
30 mins

cook time
40 minutes

8 people


  • 375g lean beef mince
  • 1 x 500g pack prepared short crust pastry
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 50g fresh peas
  • 5 large eggs, beaten
  • For the Watercress Pesto:

  • 75g watercress leaves, rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 75g mature grated hard cheese, e.g Cheddar
  • 50g walnut halves, roughly chopped
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin rapeseed or olive oil
  • Salad leaves, to garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan, Gas Mark 6.
  2. Roll out the pastry to 5mm/¼inch thickness on a lightly floured surface and use to line six to eight 12cm loose-bottomed tartlet tins. Prick the bases with a fork and chill for 10 minutes.
  3. Line the tartlet tins with greaseproof paper and a handful of baking beans (or dried pasta shapes). Bake on a shallow baking tray for 10-15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, return to the oven for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is dry. Set aside to cool on the tray. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C, 160°C Fan, Gas Mark 4.
  4. To prepare the pesto; place all the ingredients except the oil in a blender or food processor and blend together. Slowly add the oil until a paste is formed. Season.
  5. Heat a large, shallow, non-stick frying pan until hot and dry fry the mince and onion for 5-7 minutes until brown. Season, cool slightly and add the peas and 3 tablespoons of the pesto, reserving the remainder. Spoon the beef mixture evenly between the tartlet tins before adding the beaten eggs, taking care not to overfill the tins.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with the remaining pesto and salad leaves.