Cornish Pasty

Lately, I’ve been hearing quite a lot about the Cornish Pasty (pasties).  What is Cornish Pasty you may ask? Well, it’s type of a meat filled pastry enjoyed by people in Ireland and Great Britain.  Apparently it was first created as packed lunches for the miners (so that they didn’t have to dirty the food, but rather, they can just take a pasty or two and eat like sandwiches). 

Here in Philadelphia we don’t really have “authentic” British foods.  Aside from high tea (with finger sandwiches, etc).  But really, what exactly is British food??  Anyway, while I was searching online for the recipe, I was rather surprised to see many variations in this recipe.  Here’s the recipe where I sort of combined few other pasty recipes.

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This recipe will make 2 large pasties or 3-4 medium to small pasties. 
For the Pastry:

  • 4 oz/110g all purpose/plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 oz/ 55g butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1 oz/55g lard or shortening, chilled and cubed
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water
  • Place the flour, butter, lard/shortening  and salt into a large clean bowl.
  • Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, working as quickly as possible to prevent the dough becoming warm. If you need to add more flour add little by little. 
  • Add the water to the mixture and using a cold knife stir until the dough binds together, add more cold water a teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too dry,
  • Wrap the dough in Saran wrap/Clingfilm and chill for a minimum of 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes.
    The dough can also be made in a food processor by mixing the flour, butter and salt in the bowl of the processor on a pulse setting. When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add the water, slowly, through the funnel until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap in Saran wrap/ Clingfilm and chill as above.

For the Filling:

  • ¼ cup/50g onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup /110g potato, cut into 1/4 inch /5 mm dice
  • ½ cup /110g , cut swede (rutabaga)  into 1/4 inch /5 mm dice
  • 4oz /110g beef skirt, cut into small cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • Cook the onion in a medium hot saucepan with a little of olive oil in it.  After few minutes add the other ingredients and cook until the meat is almost cooked.  Season with salt and pepper towards the end.
  • Transfer the meat mixture into a strainer with a large enough bowl underneath to drain out excess liquid.  Set it aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F
  • Divide the pastry into 2 or 4,  and roll each piece into rounds the size of a tea plate (approx 6 – 7 inches).

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  • Divide the meat mixture between each pastry circle and place to one side of the circle. Brush the edges with a little beaten egg.
  • Fold the circle in half over the filling so the two edges meet. Crimp the two edges together to create a tight seal. Brush each pasty all over with the remaining beaten egg.
  • Place the pasties on a greased baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
  • Serve hot or cold.

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My opinion: Flaky pastry, and wholesome and savory filling.  Mmmm yum yum yum!  This took me back to my childhood.  No, I didn’t grow up in the UK, but in Kobe, Japan, there was a really good German bakery.  My mom used to get mini minced beef pies from there.  This pasty had the flaky pastry shell similar to the minced beef pie, I’m very happy.  Steve also took some of these pasties to our block party and people enjoyed them!
I will have to practice more with crimping these pasties.  I’ll practice and perfect these delicacies one day!!

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