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)
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?