Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What's A Cornish Pasty?

Mission trips to Cornwall, England, led me to the discover one of my favorite English foods, the Cornish pasty. From residents in St. Ives, I learned the turnovers were often made with two equal-sized fillings in one pasty: a savory meat mixture and an apple pie mixture—making a full meal. Although its origin is unclear, 14th century cookbooks included recipes for a variety of pasties.

In the late 18th century, when Cornwall’s miners sought employment overseas, they spread the popularity of their traditional food to the United States, Canada, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, and Brazil. These workers enjoyed a hearty meal with minimal fuss, and so can you!




Cornish Pasty


For pastry:                                          For Filling:

1 lb. white flour (2 cups)                     1 lb. lean beef (or ground beef)
5 oz. lard (1 ¼ stick)                           1 lb. potatoes
Pinch of salt                                        1 lb. swede (rutabaga)
Water to mix                                       1 small onion (optional)
1 oz. butter

Set oven to 400ยบ F. Make the pastry and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into rounds 7” diameter. Cut up potatoes into small, irregular shaped pieces, similarly the swede (and onion if used). Cut the beef into small cubes about 1/4", removing all fat. On each round of pastry put a share of vegetables and add salt and pepper to taste. Then add the meat and a knob of butter and another sprinkle of pepper. Dampen the edges of the pastry and bring up from both sides with floured hands to envelope the filling. Pinch the edges together and crimp firmly to seal. Cook on a floured tray for 3/4 hour. Makes 4 pasties. (recipe from Favourite Cornish Recipes, compiled by June Kittow)

Note: I prefer to use lean ground beef, substituting peas for rutabagas, and using a sweet onion. I serve the pasties plain or with gravy. Some of the recipe’s clarifications are mine. If you’d like to learn more about Cornish pasties, visit http://www.cornishpastyassociation.co.uk/.

If you've heard of Cornish Pasties, made one, or have suggestions on variations of this English meal, I'd enjoy hearing them.

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Cheers,

Deb

10 comments:

  1. Yum! Pasties are fairly popular in northern Michigan and I think the ingredients are similar. Do you put lard in yours, Deb? Is there a healthier alternative? I bet the apple pie pasty is amazing!

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    1. You are in good company in Michigan, Peggy! I prefer using butter or shortening myself.

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  2. I grew up buying pasties on the side of the road in N Michigan too! Love 'em! :-)

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    1. Wow, they're very common in Michigan!

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  3. I've never had a Pasty but I'm thinking they are similar to our Runza's. I have read a series of book's where the writer Quillerian (Quill) had cat's that helped him solve mysteries and these were a favorite meal for him.. they sound delish!

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    1. Ah, and I need to check out a Runza! Love the idea that they can be incorporated into a storyline. Fun!

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  4. Sounds good, and like you, I would change some items in the recipe. May try it someday soon.

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    1. If you like Indian cuisine, a local Seattle restaurant makes a chicken curry version that is also very good. Lots of possibilities!

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  5. I've never had a pasty, per se, but the ingredients sound a lot like a meat pie my sibling made for me. It was pretty good. Thanks for sharing, Deb.

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    1. Quite similar, Crystal. I imagine you can use any meat pie filling in this recipe and it'd be a winner.

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