The traditional Cornish meat pies known as pasties started out as an economical one-handed meal for Cornish miners to take to eat at work. Thrifty Cornish housewives minced beef and turnips from Sunday dinner into filling for the flaky pastries. Cornish miners who migrated to the United States brought pasties with them. In the United States, pasties are associated with Michigan's upper peninsula. Pasty recipes vary, but most call for minced beef or pork and rutabagas, a kind of turnip. You can add other ingredients as you like.
Combine 2 cups flour and 1 tsp. salt in a bowl. Cut in 2/3 cup vegetable shortening or butter with a knife or pastry cutter. Gradually add 2 tbsp. of very cold water. Mix with a fork until the dough begins to stick together. Form into a ball with your hands. Refrigerator the dough while you prepare the filling.
Peel and dice two carrots. Mince ½ onion. Add ½ cup rutabaga or turnip, diced. Peel and dice one medium potato and add to vegetables in a bowl.
Dice 2 cups leftover roast beef. Add to vegetables and pour on ½ cup leftover gravy or ½ cup beef broth. Stir to moisten. Season with salt and pepper
Turn oven to 425 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets.
Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick. Use a large saucer as a guide to cut out circles of dough 5 or 6 inches across.
Place ½ cup filling on one half on the circle. Brush the edges of the circle with beaten egg and fold dough over the filling. Crimp the edge of the dough to seal in the filling. Cut two to three slits in the top of the pasty to release steam as it cooks. Brush the tops of the pasties with the rest of the beaten egg.
Bake pasties in 425 degree oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot or cold.
- You can substitute ground beef, pork, turkey or almost any other meat for your pasty filling, or leave out the meat and make a vegetarian pasty.
Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.
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