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!
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan, Gas Mark 6.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with the remaining pesto and salad leaves.