Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Super Savory Meat Pasty

Raise your hand if you like pie. How do you feel about savory pies? Savory pies cover a broad range of tasty goodness. There’re pot pies, quiches, and ...a hand-held wonder commonly called Cornish Pasties. Pasties (pronounced with a short ‘a’; rhymes with nasty) are distant cousins with those yummy Indian Samosas and delicious Mexican Empanadas. I’ve enjoyed eating Samosas and Empanadas, but I’ve never sampled or made a Pasty. Tonight that status changed as I made my first Super Savory Meat Pasty.

The origins of the Pasty are largely unknown, although they are commonly associated with the miners from Cornwall, United Kingdom. Years ago, miners’ wives prepared these baked envelopes of yumminess for their husbands’ lunches. The pasties were filled with meat and maybe a root vegetable, and sometimes were even divided into two sections ... one side savory and one side sweet. The miners tucked the warm pastries in their shirts to keep both themselves and their lunch warm, and the crusts edges served as handles for the miners to hold onto with their soiled hands. Legend tells us that the miners would toss the dirty, fingerprinted crusts deep into the recesses of the mines in fulfillment of superstitions about appeasing the mine spirits.

The only ones that I try to appease are the spirits of my kids and hubbyman. I was taking a risk making these as the food groups touch in this recipe, and that's usually a no-go for my older kids. Hubbyman, at first unsure whether or not to use a fork, ate his with gusto and ate all of his crust. I mean the man was picking up the crumbs to get every last possible bite. The two older beasts weren’t interested at all, but my wee one -- who could only eat the filling due to the wheat crust -- loved it. I thought the pasties, which were about the size of my hand, were gorgeous to the eye, and pretty darn tasty. See below for my suggested changes for next time. Also, before I begin, let me share that I used Pillsbury pie dough from the refrigerated case at the store and it performed beautifully. By all means, if you enjoy making your own dough, absolutely do so!

Here we go:

1 pkg of Pillsbury crust, unrolled and at room temperature
1 lb ground beef
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Butter
3 potatoes – diced
½ onion – diced
1 carrot – diced
Kernels from one cooked cob of corn (Note: Next time I’d use more)
Season salt
Black Pepper
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Couple dashes Worcestershire sauce
4 small pats of butter
1 egg – beaten- for egg wash

In a large dutch oven, heat the oil and butter together. Add the potatoes, onion, and carrot and sauté until the potatoes are almost tender and are starting to show some color. Stir in the corn. Add the seasonings and the ground beef to the pot, and quickly break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook until the pink is gone. Stir in Worcestershire sauce. Set aside to cool.

Place the crusts out on the counter (there are two circles per box), and cut each circle in half. You now have 4 half circles in front of you. Generously spoon a “mound” of meat mixture onto ½ of each of the four pieces of dough, keeping the edges clear.Place a small butter pat on top of the mound. Brush the edges with the egg wash, and fold the dough over the filling, pressing the air out as you seal up the edges.See how the pastry hugs the filling ... no air gaps. Crimp the edges to seal completely. Brush the egg wash over the entire surface. Cut a slit in the top to let out the steam. Place on a heavy weight non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 18 minutes at 400 F.See how they look going into the oven?Look at what emerges after 18 toasty minutes!Suggested changes for next time: Everything I read about pasties indicates that they are dry, both the filling and the outside. I think next time I’d serve it with a sauce or gravy. Also, I’d add more corn. I was really surprised at how much flavor and oomph it brought to the filling. You could also make mini versions of these for school lunches or appetizers. I think I’ll try different types of filling such as chicken/artichoke/cream cheese. Of course, that wouldn’t be authentic, but it’d be gooooood! YUM! What kind of fillings do you think would be good?


Katherine Aucoin said...

I've got my hand raised. Wow Paula does that look so yummy and savory. My eyes are bigger than my stomach and my eyes say 2 please!

Cheryl said...

Wow what a great idea, they are almost too beautiful to eat!

Anonymous said...

I do this with leftovers for my filling. Snazzes them up a bit.

Jeena said...

Wow look at how golden they are! I love pies and pasties especially with a dash of worcestershire sauce mmmmmm.

Grace said... like meat in your pies, and i like blueberries and sugar. meh, i'd take either (but preferably both). :)

Pam said...

They look so tasty. I think you are right, a side of gravy for dipping would be perfect.

Pam said...

I love anything with a crust. I even love those old Swanson pot pies.

Marjie said...

You are lucky that the Council of Touching Foods Investigators didn't show up. At the age of your twins, I guarantee I'd have cut mine open and separated the ingredients. Ah, well, as we grow up, we mellow (or maybe just get lazier)! These do look pretty. For a different filling, I'd try beef or sausage and broccoli, maybe tomatoes for fun.

Bridgett said...

Oh yes, I definitely love these little babies! I made one with spicy sausage, onions and provolone and was in heaven. Yours looks fantastic with that gorgeous golden color.

Lo said...

You can pass me one of those pasties, Paula. I totally wouldn't complain!

The chicken/artichoke/cream cheese is calling my name... maybe add some roasted cherry tomatoes for good measure!

Peter M said...

You do not have to twist my arm to accept an offer of your Pasties.

noble pig said...

What is it about touching food! So funny. And Paula these made me stand up and shout. Just beautiful and very lovely overall.

Mediterranean kiwi said...

this looks excellent paula - i really wish i were at your place! i love pasties of any sort, and these look so filling

Proud Italian Cook said...

Paula, I haven't had pasty's in years! My girlfriends MIL use to make them when I was first married. I remember how good they were. Thanks for the savory memories!

Paula said...

Hi Everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

Katherine: They were good and very filling, too! I'd be fun to make different fillings and have one of each!

Cheryl: I was pleasantly surprised at how pretty they looked. They smelled fantastic, too!

Prairierunner: Hi Linda! Using leftovers is genius! Hmmm ... I bet even breakfast leftovers would be good here, like corned beef hash or sausage and potatoes. YUM!

Jeena: The worcestershire really adds a nice zip to the filling. I need to try one of your gluten free pastries to see if it would work!

Grace: My hubby would take both in a second. I should be a nice wifey and make him a hand held sweet pie!

Pam: I really think a dipping sauce would be great with these. Hubbyman would like bbq, but I could think of multiple ones to try out!

Pam: Hey, I've had those Swanson pot pies! The chicken one was my favorite when I was younger! I wonder if they still make those! :-)

Marjie: Hey there! I love your "Council of Touching Food Investigators"! Ha! I agree that broccoli would be great here, and love the idea of using tomato. The tomato especially would have been great in this one.

Bridgett: Oh yum! Sausage, onions, and provolone sounds great. I bet my son would eat one with sausage and provolone (the kid won't touch an onion)!

Lo: I'd be happy to pass one your way! I'm really digging the addition of tomato. That's a must for me next time.

Peter: Come on over and let's make pasties. Perhaps there is a Greek filling combo that would light up our taste buds! :-)

Noble Pig: My older kids are funny about their food groups touching. They are getting better as they get older, but sometimes their eyes get that deer in headlights look and I know they aren't grooving on their dinner that night!

Mediterranean Kiwi: Come on over, Maria, and we can have a great pasty lunch together and share stories! Fun!

Proud Italian: I just love food memories! How sweet that you have a pasty memory! Don't you love how happy times and food memories tend to go hand in hand?!

The Blonde Duck said...

Sweet wounded wuffles! You know I love meat pies!

Cathy said...

Love the idea of a savory pie. I'm all for recipes that can be made ahead and baked just before a meal.

A pasty with a little salad is a great meal.

Aggie said...

I would so love one of these! My hand is raised HIGH!!

I have an award for you on my blog! Have a great weekend Paula!

Jan said...

I love Cornish Pasties and yours sound like a great substitute. I'll be giving these a try, with Pillsbury dough, I don't do pastry either.

BTW. the coal mine spirits are called "Knockers."

Kevin said...

Those meat pastries look tasty!

Gloria said...

I love this Paula, look awesome and tatsy! xGloria

Anonymous said...

The first time I had a Pasty was about 6-7 yrs ago when our son and DIL were living Michigan. He was in the Coast Guard, stationed in Cheboygan, MI and while we were visting I found a recipe for meat pasties. They were soooo good. I think I'll make them again. Thanks for sharing! Anne

Deborah said...

I'm all for a savory pie! Delicious!

Bellini Valli said...

I like pie and I like pasties...can you see me waving my hand madly:D I have something for you over at my blog when you have the chance:D

James Walsh said...

That very much resembles a Cornish Pastie from the south of England. Great dish.