cooking Ye Olde Cornish Pasty
April 09, 2012
I’m not actually sure I’m a pasty fan, but then, like with anything, if you make your own it’s usually good. Making the pastry is important, as that’s what 60% of it is. A protective armour to the soft root vegetables and spiced meat within. All I need is Phil off Time Team to come over for tea, a pint of ale and I have me a Cornish knees up.
It’s a traditional little number, but serve it with a radish salad, and it’s instantly hipper than something from a train station.
The good news is it’s easy to make. And here’s for why. The inside filling doesn’t need to be pre-cooked. It’s simply seasoned raw vegetables and beef.
The pastry is made with that rather redundant ingredient - LARD. Don’t run screaming, lard is clever, it makes brilliant savoury pastry.
For the pastry;
- 125g Lard
- 500g Plain Flour
- Chilled and diced butter
- Pinch of salt
If you have a food processor, simply put everything into it and whiz. If not, rub the butter and lard into the flour using your fingertips.
Then blend in 6 tbsp cold water to make a firm dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 20mins.
For the filling;
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced.
- 175g swede, peeled and diced.
- 350g beef skirt
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced.
- 1 large onion, finely chopped.
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 Juniper Berries
For the filling mix the chopped vegetables and meat together and in a pestle and morter, or is it morter and pestle?? anyway, grind your spices with the salt and pepper. Add to your filling mixture. The character of this pasty comes from the spicing, my advice is don’t be shy.
Crafting your pasties
I roll out my pastry to the thickness of a pound piece. Cut an oval shape, place about a tablespoon of filling in the middle. Brush the outside edges with beaten egg and pinch the outer edges together, so that they meet at the top (like a handbag) in a crimped fashion. I find that if you worry too much about the crimping, shit starts to go wrong, so enjoy making them slightly crudely if you have to. HEY, it’s how they should be. Rustic.
Heat the oven to 200. Brush the pasties with beaten egg and place on a baking tray with some parchment underneath.
Bake for 10 minutes. Then lower the oven to 180 and cook for 40-45 minutes, until golden. Serve warm, with a pint of ale and your best cornish accent.