Cornish Pasties – absolutely scrummy!

3 Nov

DSCI0414I have always loved meat in pastry, be it pies, puddings or pasties. I know it is not the healthiest of food but it is comfort food at its best. It also brings back fond memories of my childhood as my Grandma was a great pie maker, both sweet and savoury, and I would always make sure I had a place at her table when I knew she was making one.

I have tried making Cornish Pasties before but have not had a lot of success. This recipe is really easy though with a few shortcuts, like using ready-made pastry.

Originally the Cornish Pasty was a sort of fast food for miners, fishermen, farmers and children to take to work and school. The pastry would keep the filling warm until lunchtime. the filling would depend on the wealth of the family. The less wealthy families might omit the meat and just use the swede, potato and onion as filling.  Others might use the left over meats such as boiled ham.

Cornish Pasties seem to be making a comeback in popularity. There is a chain of bakeries all over the UK now that sell them, hot and inviting. The fillings may be far from traditional on occasion but there is no doubt that they are exceedingly good. We recently had one during our visit to Cambridge and my husband thought it was the best he had tasted until he tried these.

The recipe makes four medium-sized Pasties. I am sure they could be frozen before cooking if you want but don’t bank on freezing any after cooking as the smell and the taste will make them disappear like magic.

Cornish Pasties                             Makes 6

  • 200g turnip (or swede) peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 500g rump steak, all fat and sinews removed and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 250 ml beef stock made from 1/2 a good-quality stock cube
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 500g chilled ready-made shortcrust pastry.
  • 1 egg beaten with a little milk to make the egg wash
  1. Heat half the oil in a large, heavy based frying pan and cook the onions for 5 minutes over a low to medium heat until softened but not coloured. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining oil and add the meat. Cook over a high heat for 3 – 4 minutes until browned all over. Add to the onions.
  3. Add the stock and Worcestershire sauce and boil rapidly until it reduces to about 2-3 tablespoons. Return the meat and onion to the pan and coat in the gravy. Simmer until there is no excess gravy visible.
  4. In the meantime, cook the potatoes and swede in two separate pans of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain and add to the meat. Allow to cool.
  5. Roll out the pastry until it is about the width of a pound coin.  Using a tea plate as a template, cut out 6 circles.  Spoon the mixture into the middle of each. Egg wash the edges and bring them together.  Crimp to seal. Chill for 30 minutes.
  6. Make two or three slashes in the top of each pasty to allow the air to escape. Brush with egg wash then bake for 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 200C/190C fan/gas 6 then turn down the oven to 180C/170C fan/gas 4 and bake for a further 20 minutes.
  7. Eat hot or cold.


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