Don’t you love pasties? Our family fell in love with them thirty years ago when we moved to Marquette, Michigan, although we usually bought ours from Jean Kay’s Pasty Shop rather than making our own. However, here’s an authentic recipe for Cornish Pasties shared by a native “Yooper” (born and reared in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula), my friend Grace Truman.
(Makes 6 large pasties . . . each about a pound!)
For the filling, combine in a large bowl:
2 lbs. cubed raw beef, chicken, pork, or venison
4 pared and cubed medium potatoes
4 pared and sliced carrots, or equivalent rutabaga if you prefer
Sprinkle on salt, pepper, onion, parsley, basil, and oregano to taste. (*See notes below for suggestions.)
For the crust, mix together:
4 cups flour (Grace uses organic, unbleached King Arthur)
1.5 teaspoons salt
Cut in 1 C soft butter.
Stir in 1 C water, more or less, to make a moist, but not sticky, dough. (Kathi: I found that 1 cup was just about perfect.)
Divide dough into six pieces and form into balls.
Roll out each ball to dinner plate size. (Kathi: I found it helpful to roll the crusts out on top of saran wrap so that it’s easier to flip over and transfer later. It also helps to flour the surface and make the crust as smoothly circular as possible before rolling.)
Top each crust with 1/6 of the filling. (Kathi: I found this to be almost exactly 2 cups)
Top with 1/2 tbsp. butter. (Kathi: Or 1 tablespoon of butter if you can afford the calories)
Moisten dough edges and fold in half, bringing the crust up and over the filling to make a half circle.
Brush on milk and cut slits in the crust.
Bake 1 hour at 400°F. until brown.
(Kathi: I noticed that the areas where I’d brushed the pasties with milk turned a more golden brown, so next time I’ll be sure to entirely cover the surfaces with a light brushing of milk.)
Pasties are HUGE. I used to eat a whole one without batting an eye, but I suppose that was back in the day when I was chasing kids around and hiking in the hills! I should have only eaten half of mine! At any rate, it was delicious. They are a “meal in one” although I served ours with some fresh berries for dessert and a glass of (non-alcoholic) wassail punch.
Alan is also a native Yooper and loves pasties, so he told me I should take a picture demonstrating just how yummy they are! He ate every bit of his with delight!
Notes: Leftover pasties may be frozen. After they are baked, let them cool completely, and then wrap them individually in aluminum foil and freeze. When you’re ready to eat them again, pull them out of the freezer and bake them at 350°F. for 1 hour. Grace mentioned that some people like them with gravy, although Alan and I always use ketchup with ours.
Notes: When I made them, I tried to measure the spices to get a feel for “how much” might be “to taste.” This is what I did, and it turned out well:
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder (not onion salt)
1 tablespoon dried, crushed parsley
1 tablespoon dried, crushed basil
1 tablespoon dried, crushed oregano
*2 teaspoons garlic powder (not garlic salt; this wasn’t in Grace’s recipe, but we love garlic, and so “to taste” for us needed a little garlic powder)
Also, Grace mentioned later to use parchment paper underneath them, which would be a good idea. I didn’t think of that, so one of mine stuck rather badly to the bottom of the cookie sheet. If you have a cookie sheet that can withstand a metal spatula, then they come off pretty easily, but don’t try too soon, or the crust will crack and break up. I think it’s best to let them rest about 10 minutes before serving them.
“And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?” (Luke 12:42; Oh, to be a faithful and wise steward!)