Saturday, February 23, 2008

Pasties (no, not that kind!)

Earlier this year, I had been hounded by family members for my Pasty recipe. Apparently, I am the only one that still makes these things on a regular basis. Because one of my favorite bloggers is down with some sort of nasty malaise, I have decided that now would be a good time to post the recipe.

Pasties are a traditional food of the Cornish/Welsh people. It is a very simple meat pie.
As the story was told to me through my grandmother, the women would get up, cut the lard into the flower,(try it some time), create a dough, cut the fillings, put it all together, and then bake it for about an hour and a half in time for the men to go off to the mine.

Right.

Considering how rough life was back then, I cannot imagine what it would be like to make these things... I figure that the women that had to make these pies must have gotten up at about 3AM to get them ready by 6AM. Back then, it was a necessity. Today, it is a treat. May you all eat well!

A PAIR OF PASTIES

You will need:

Pre made pie crusts… I prefer Pillsbury
About a pound to a pound and a quarter of beef
I generally prefer sirloin tip but whatever….

Some pork… I use Butterfly chops, use your discretion
One for each pasty
Some chopped onion.

For the side dish:
Rutabaga, (mandatory... doesn’t come in till the fall)
Potato (4 large)
Carrot (2-3))
Turnip (4-6

I will get back to the vegetables in a minute.
First, trim the fat from the beef and the pork and reserve
Cut the beef and the pork into small bite size pieces.
Lay out the pie crust and begin to layer out the filling.
(On one half of the crust. You will be folding the crust over to make the pasty.)
First put your veggies, (if you are going to use them here)
Second, layer on your beef
Third, layer on the pork,
Fourth layer on the fat that you have accumulated,
And finally add the onions.

Fold the crust over and pinch off the crust. From experience: don’t overload the pasty; remember that you have to flip the top half to the pie dough over and pinch off; so if you have a great mound of fixins, you will not be able to achieve closure (god, does that sound like psychobabble!) Slit the top in a couple of places. Try a 300 degree oven for about one hour and a half. Each oven is different, as is each new experience…. So start checking your creation at the hour point. If the pasties haven’t begun to boil out and the crust is beginning to brown excessively at the edges, slap some aluminum foil on the edges of the crust in order to keep them from burning.

Al-U-Mineeum foil…. Reynolds has this great stuff called “Release”. Buy it and use. The pasties, by nature will boil out a little and begin to burn around the edges. With normal foil, the pasties will stick, making them almost impossible to get off the pie pan without destroying them. With release, they just slide off…. This is truly great stuph!!! I usually use a pizza pan to bake the pasties.

OK, let’s talk about veggies... I never put anything but onion in my pasties. I create a side dish of rutabaga for my guests. Rutabaga is a dangerous vegetable to process because the fibers of the root are so hard to cut. To begin, peel the root with a common potato peeler type thingy. Carefully, using a knife, cleaver, pick axe, or whatever you have handy, slice down through the Rutabaga and split in half. Slice each half in one eighth to one quarter inch thick sections. Chop each section into small bits and throw them into a large pot with plenty of water. Rutabaga is a very tough fibrous root. It’s gonna take a while to cook; probably about an hour to an hour and a half. Use the knife test for doneness. When the root is through cooking, a knife will slide through it easily. About half way through the cooking process, add in the other vegetables. Drain the vegetables, return them to the original pot, and add at least one stick of butter. (Please use real butter, the cholesterol is much less harmful than the stuph in margarine) Mash coarsely and serve.

If you are going to incorporate the veggies into the pasty, you are on your own… I haven’t tried this yet. I would guess that you would at least partially cook the veggies and then mash them into a paste and then make that your first layer.

Allow me to Spam a little for a Michigan product. The absolute best beverage to go with these pasties is Bells Amber Ale. Unfortunately, you can only seem to get this stuff in Michigan. Soooo, any full bodied ale will have to do.

Enjoy!

Edit. I just realized that pork, ham, etc. is a no-no for some people. Substitute a fattier type of beef.

2 comments:

Aunt Robin said...

Hmm... are you certain you live "under the bridge"?

J. Goff said...

PASTIES!

I make mine with a cheesy tomato, spinach, and mushroom filling, but I are vegetarian.