Last updated 6/12/2012 12:55:43 AM. Recipe ID 17684. Report a problem with this recipe.
Title: Cornish pasty
Categories: British, Cornish, Pastry, Meats
Yield: 4 Servings
1 lb Rump, chuck, or skirt steak
5 oz Onion, chopped
3 oz Turnip (swede), chopped
8 oz Potato, peeled, sliced thin
Salt, pepper, thyme
"Make a firm pastry and roll out two dinner-plate circles, or four
side-plate circles, according to whether you are feeding two ravenous
people or four of moderate appetite. Leave to chill, while you
prepare the filling.
"Cut all skin and gristle from the meat, and chop it. There should
be at least 10 oz of skirt, and rather more of better quality steak.
"Season and layer the filling ingredients to one side of the pastry
circles. Or mix them together (traditions differ). Brush edges with
egg: flip over the pastry to form a half-moon shape, and twist the
edges to give a rope effect. Mark initials on the pastys, if you
have varied the filling, in one corner. Brush over with egg and make
two small holes at the top for steam to escape. Bake at 400F for 20
minutes, then lower the heat to 350F for a further 40 minutes.
Protect the pastry with butter papers or foil if they brown too fast.
"...The pasty -- pronounced with a long ah as in Amen -- is
Cornwall's most famous and most travestied dish. Admittedly in times
of poverty, its contents might be reduced to potatoes, or to parsley
and an egg with a leek or two or a hint of bacon, but surely it never
tasted as awful as the so-called Cornish pasties sold all over the
country in supermarkets and cheap restaurants. The pastry obviously
had to be firm, because pasties were a packed lunch, for carrying to
the mines, fishing boats or schools (though not so hard that the
pasty could be dropped down a mineshaft without breaking -- an old
"At home, whatever might be put in a pasty on a working day, might
come to the table in the form of a double-crust plate pie, or even
without pastry at all -- steak, topped by turnip and potato, being
layered into a pot and baked in the oven, a dish known as
meat'n'under, or under roast.
"Whatever other people do to it, the Cornish keep their love of
pasties; and all over the world, where Cornish miners have gone to
find work, you are likely to find pasties. In the Upper Peninsula of
Michigan, for example, other ethnic groups have taken to the pasty,
and you get Finnish or Italian versions as well as the original
Cornish kind. They even keep the Cornish habit of marking initials on
a corner of the crust, so that a half-eaten pasty can be left on a
school bench, for example, and reclaimed by its owner after a fight
or a game. And so that each individual in a family can have the
variation of filling that he or she likes best."
(recipe and quote from THE OBSERVER GUIDE TO BRITISH COOKERY, Jane
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