Traditional Cornish Pasties

As promised, here is the recipe for the Cornish Pasties that were featured earlier this week.

I really had planned to make these myself but as we got to researching and experimenting the best way to make the crust and the best ingredients for the filling, Stephen kind of took over and made it his own personal mission. And since I don’t mind being cooked for one bit, I relaxed and just stuck with taking the pictures.

To recap, if you’ve never had a “pasty”, they’re a traditional hand pie served in the southern region of England (although you can buy them throughout England as well). From what I’ve been told, these were prepared as lunch for miners to take. Originally, they had meat and potatoes at one end with a sweet filling at the other end so as to have lunch and dessert all in one pie. I debated trying this out….and then decided against it.

 I’m very proud of how close ours taste to the ones that we got in Cornwall. Traditionally, these are made with fatty steak, potatoes, onion, and either rutabaga or carrot. I had one while there that was onion and cheese and I loved it! I definitely want to try making one of those soon.

Anywho, lets dive into this, shall we?

We’ll start with the crust. If you so desire, you can use a store bought crust for these. We tried our hands at making our own.

Traditional Cornish Pasties
Flour, cold butter, and lard are worked together by hand. There’s a technically reason that we do this and it has something to do with gluten, but we’re not worried about that today.
Add in a dash of salt.
Once all of the butter and lard is thoroughly coated with flour, slowly pour in the ice water while you continue to combine the ingredients. Keep pouring the water until the dough is firm but not sticky. This should take about 3/4 cup of water.
Next, place the dough on parchment paper in a rectangular shape about the shape of a loaf of bread. Place in the refrigerator for an hour.
Traditional Cornish Pasties
Next we’ll get the filling ready. Cut your onion, rutabaga, potato, and steak into very small pieces. Basically, cut it as small as you have the patience for. Ours ended up in about 1/2 inch pieces.
Traditional Cornish Pasties

Once dough is ready, take it out of the fridge and cut it into 6 even pieces and let the dough sit for a few more minutes. If you want smaller pasties, you can cut the dough into smaller chunks.

Traditional Cornish Pasties

On a floured surface, take one section of the dough and roll it into a circle that is about 9 inches around. It’s okay if it’s not perfect as you can cut off some later.

pasty dough pastry
Now you’re ready for the filling! We started out with one even cup which we found to be a bit too much. You can experiment with it but slightly less than a cup of filling should do you. Position the filling on one side of the pastry.
homemade pasty
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place a small piece of butter on the top. Now comes the fun part!
Around the side of the pastry that has the filling on it, brush the edges of the dough very lightly with milk (so, brush half of the circle with milk). This helps the edges of the dough stick together.
Gently fold the pastry over, making sure all of the filling stays inside, and press down the edges to seal them.
homemade pasty
If you have a lot of dough or uneven dough, you can trim a bit of it off although that isn’t necessary.
Next comes the hardest part: getting the twisted edges. These are a vital part of a traditional pasty. I’ve tried multiple times but I can’t being to explain this in writing. So, instead, please watch this video. This is how I learned to do it. Good luck!
Place all of your pasties (or as many will fit) onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Slice a few holes in the top of each one and if you so desire, brush the tops of each with an egg wash. I don’t personally prefer this but most people seem to like this on pastries.
homemade pasty
All we have left is to bake em in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they get a nice goldeny brown color.

homemade pasty
I know I already said it but I’m very pleased with how these turned out!! If you try making them, PLEASE please send me a picture!
Fun fact: these freeze well (either before OR after you cook them). We used our leftovers for lunches but if you’d rather, you can freeze them and have them for a later date.
Traditional Cornish Pasties
Ingredients:
For pastry:
1 stick of cold butter, cubed
2/3 cup lard or vegetable shortening
3 cups of all purpose flour
~1 cup ice cold water
pinch of salt
Filling:
1 pound of skirt steak (chuck steak will also work) finely cubed
1 medium potato (~1 cup), finely cubed
1 cup rutabaga, finely cubed
1 cup onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
~3 tablespoons butter
1 egg, for wash
homemade pasty
Directions:
Pastry:
1) In a large bowl, cut in COLD butter and lard (doesn’t need to be cold) to the flour. Add in a dash of salt as well.
2) Once all of the butter and lard is thoroughly coated with flour, slowly pour in the ice water while you continue to combine the ingredients. Keep pouring the water until the dough is firm but not sticky. This should take about 3/4 cup of water.
3) Once all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined, place the dough on parchment paper and form it into a rectangle (like a loaf of bread).
4) Place in the fridge, covered, for an hour.
Filling:
Cut the steak, rutabaga, onion, and potato and mix in a large bowl.
To make the pasties:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
1) After taking the pastry dough out of the fridge, cut into 6 equal chunks (you can cut into more if you want the pasties smaller). Let sit for a few more minutes after cutting.
2) On a floured surface, take one section of the dough and roll it into a circle that is about 9 inches around.
3) Position slightly less than a cup of the filling onto one side of the pastry.
4) Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place a small piece of butter on the top.
5) Around the side of the pastry that has the filling on it, brush the edges of the dough very lightly with milk to help the edges stick together.
6) Gently fold the pastry over, making sure all of the filling stays inside, and press down the edges to seal them.
7) Crimp the edges together by folding small sections over top of each other all the way around. Watch this video for clarification.
8) Place all of the pasties on a parchment lined baking sheet and (if you so desire) brush the tops with an egg wash.
9) Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they get a nice goldeny brown color.
10) Let cool (takes quite a few minutes until they are cool enough to hold and eat) and ENJOY!!

Again, if you try this recipe, please take a picture and tweet (@bbritnell)/ instagram  (@b.britnell) it to me!!

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6 comments on “Traditional Cornish Pasties”

  1. Cornwall is my favourite place in the whole world, I go there every year camping. I heard the same story about how it was a staple miner’s lunch, and nowadays you can only call it ”cornish” pasty if it is actually made in Cornwall!

  2. ooh yummy. this looks delicious. thank you for another great recipe. Happy Friday, doll.

    –Me And My Mini Me
    http://www.meandmyminime.com

  3. Mariana who commented is right – Thanks to the European Union ‘Cornish Pasties’ are a protected name! I would recommend starting off at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes then lower the temperature to 350 and do for at least another 35 minutes (I usually cook mine about an hour). I’ll tweet you a picture.

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  5. Making these for lunch! Ate my fill of pasties while in college in the UP. The edge crimping video made me laugh – so great. Thanks for the recipe — found it through Foodgawker.

  6. Thank you for this recipe.My grandparents lived in upper Michigan and when they visited us in New York,West Virginia,and eventually in California,they always brought their meat grinder,and made pasties for day.When I attempted to make pasties,I became very frustrated at the stage where I made the pastry dough.Years later,a friend gave me lard that she had made from a boar..and the lard plus butter made a dough that was like what my grandparents made! I finally had pasties like the ones my grandparents had made for us!My grandparents used chuck steak,onions,potatoes,a small rutabega,and salt and pepper with a knob of butter on top.In upper Michigan,they told us that the miners took pasties with them for a hardy lunch,wrapped in a cloth napkin.My grandparents made pasties for picnics.