After trying both venison and beef versions of Sarah’s Cornish Pasties at Splore a few weeks ago, I was hell bent on making some of my own.
For those that aren’t familiar with Cornish Pasties, they’re a submarine-shaped pie and traditional ingredients include beef or lamb, potatoes, swedes and onion. These parcels of goodness were originally baked for tin miners who worked underground and didn’t come up to air at lunch. They ate these pies and with their dirty, arsenic laden paws. They clutched the crust, ate the pastie and discarded the soiled crust at the end to avoid poisoning.
Cornish pasties are baked from raw ingredients and it surprised me that both the meat and the vegetables cooked perfectly in these parcels. Short crust pastry is traditional but after eating these, I may retry with puff pastry because I adore puff pastry. I find short crust to be a bit heavy. I used both lamb and beef (why pick one when you can have both), potato, swede and onion.
This recipe adapted from the NZ Woman’s Weekly recipe which can be found here.
4 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
100g butter (just under half a cup)
¾ cups milk
150 grams (1/3 pound) lamb steak
150 grams (1/3 pound) beef steak
1 cup diced potato
1 cup diced swede
1 onion, finely diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Milk or beaten egg to glaze
Making the pastry
- Sift the flour and baking power into a bowl. Add salt and cube the butter. Using your hands rub the butter into the mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add milk to the well. Mix until the mixture forms a firm but pliable dough. You might need to add a tablespoon more of milk if there are still some crumbs left. Only add a tiny amount of milk at a time.
- Divide the dough in half and then in half again. Flatten into discs and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bring out dough when ready to use as I found that cold dough tended to crack and warm dough becomes smooth easier to work with.
- Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F fan bake.
- Remove any fat or gristle from the meat, cube and transfer to a mixing bowl. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add all the other filling ingredients and combine.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to 4mm thick.Using a 20cm wide bowl as a template, cut a circle out of the dough. Reserve the offcuts. Transfer to a baking paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with other 3 pieces of dough. There should be enough dough for 1 more pastry circle using all the offcuts.
- Brush the edges of each circle of dough with water. Place a mound of filling into one half of each circle of dough. You want as much as possibly, but too much will mean you can’t seal these properly so seal one to get a feel of for how much filling you can use before continuing filling the rest. Carefully fold dough in half, sealing the edges. Turn over to standing positing and crimp edges using your fingers.
- Using a pastry brush, brush with milk or beaten egg and cut 2 slits in each side to let out steam while cooking.
- Once the oven is hot, bake for 10 minutes at 200°C/390°F until the edges and nicely browned and then reduce oven to 150°C for 30 minutes.
- Serve hot or cold with wedges, chips, salad, vegetables or soup or on its own. Eat the crust only if your hands are clean.