Cornish Pasties are traditional handheld meat pies filled with beef, potato, onion, and rutabaga wrapped in a savory crust. They originated in Cornwall, England where miners would take them to work for a hearty, satisfying midday meal, but nowadays they are also popular in Upper Michigan, where many Cornish miners came to work, as well as other parts of the world.
Servings: 6 servings
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 12 Tablespoons salted butter cold, cut into cubes
- 8 Tablespoons shortening
- ⅔ cup cold water
- 1 pound beef skirt steak or sirloin cut into small cubes
- 1 pound red or yukon gold potatoes peeled and diced small (about 1 cup of ¼-inch pieces)
- ¾ cup rutabega or turnip or parsnip but not carrots peeled and diced small (same size as potato)
- ½ onion chopped (about ¾ cup)
- 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter cut into small pieces
- 1 egg beaten
Combine flour and salt in a bowl or food processor. Cut the cold butter and shortening in using a pastry cutter or food processor until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add the water, mixing it in with a fork or by pulsing the food processor, just until the dough starts to come together in a clump.
Squeeze the pastry dough into a ball and divide it into 6 equal portions. Squeeze them into discs and cover or wrap with plastic wrap. Set these in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to chill thoroughly and to allow the gluten in the dough to relax, which will make them easier to roll out.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll out each disc of dough into a large, thin circle on a floured surface.
Evenly divide the potatoes, rutabega, and chopped onion between each disc, piling them into a half-circle shape on the bottom half of each circle of dough.
Add the cubed meat on top of the root vegetables, then season generously with salt and pepper. It's okay to be a little aggressive on the pepper - traditional pasties have a bit of heat from this spice. Dot the meat with 2-3 small pieces of butter.
Carefully fold the dough over the meat and vegetables. Use your fingers to fold the edges of the crust over and crimp them together, then transfer the pasty to the prepared baking sheet.
Brush the beaten egg all over the top of each pasty, including the edges of the crust, then use a sharp knife to cut a small slit in the top crust for venting.
Bake for 45-55 minutes until golden brown on the outside. Cool slightly before eating.
- In Michigan pasties are often enjoyed served with ketchup, but we like them plain. While traditional Cornish pasties are made with cubed beef skirt steak or sirloin, you could also use crumbled up (uncooked) ground beef instead, which is common in the States.
- Some people will add herbs like thyme or rosemary, or even add garlic powder, but that's not a traditional cornish pasty. That's not to say those wouldn't be delicious, but in the interest of authenticity I wanted to make as traditional of a cornish pasty as I could. If you want to add herbs, I would try ½ to 1 teaspoon each of dried herbs.
- Again, while not traditional, you could replace the steak with cubed chicken or even make a vegetarian version using lentils or chickpeas. Or add in other vegetables like bell peppers.
Calories: 814kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 1272mg | Potassium: 706mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 866IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 5mg