Thursday, 9 July 2015

Cornish Pasties

The Cornish Pasty is a very old, savoury recipe.  Originally thought to have been made by the wives of the Cornish tin miners, for them to take to work.  The pastry would protect the meat and vegetable filling as the men took it down the mines with them.  It also had a crust around the edge, thought to have been for the miners to hold, with their dirty hands,  so they could eat the pasty and discard the crust.  These days the recipe is basically the same, meat, potato, swede(rutabaga) and onions.  Some people vary the recipe but they are really the traditional ingredients.

For my attempt at making them I used a recipe found on youtube, from Steves Kitchen .  Fairly simply to follow my only comment is that the pastry had to be rolled quite thin, to make it stretch far enough to make 3 pasties.  So I had to do a bit of patching, where the pastry broke or cracked.  Not ideal, but it doesn't affect the taste.

I also had some of each ingredient left over, so either I didn't fill them enough or that is how it is meant to be.  The left overs will do very nicely for a nice lunch tomorrow.

Meanwhile I am most pleased with the results, a peppery, lovely savoury dish just as I remember from my childhood.

I must confess that I am not good at this pastry crimping malarkey so didn't bother too much with that.  The important thing is to make sure the pastry is sealed.  Some recipes have an air hole, to let out steam but I dont think that should be necessary, unless they have added some moisture rich ingredients.  I sealed one around the edge and two along the middle.  Each way can be used satisfactorily.


Cornish Pasties
Ingredients:
The Pastry:
  • 195g  of Plain Flour
  • 60g Butter
  • 60g Lard
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 3 -- 4 Tablespoons of ice cold water
  • beaten egg for sealing and washing the top.
The Filling:
  • 1 Potato Diced Into Small Cube
  • 1 Brown Onion Diced Into Small Cube
  • 1 Small Swede Diced Into Small Cube
  • 400g Stewing/Skirt Beef Diced Into Small Cube
  • Salt and Pepper
Method:
Start by dicing the vegetable into about one quarter inch cubes. 
Do the same with the meat
Preheat the oven to 180c/160c Fan
Place the flour, salt, lard and butter into a mixing bowl and rub through the fingers until you have a fairly course crumb.
Gradually add the water, and cut in to the flour with a knife, until it forms a dough.  Make sure not to use too much water.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill, for 30 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into three equal pieces.
Roll each piece into about a ten inch circle.
Layer potato, swede and onion on one half the the dough circle, leaving at least an inch around the edge.
Pepper and salt the vegetables.  You can be quite liberal with the pepper.
Cover the vegetable with the some of the diced beef.
Brush egg around the edge of half of the pasty and fold the other half over the top of the mixture and seal against the egg washed pastry.
Once sealed you can crimp the edge to improve the look and the seal.  A fork is adequate for this too.
Repeat the process to make two further pasties.  
Brush the pasties liberally with egg so that they will have a nice shine on them when baked.
Place in the oven, on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before eating.  These are also ideal eaten cold.

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