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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cornish Pasties

Printable Recipe

For the pastry:
3 3/4 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
sea salt
8 oz. cold unsalted butter
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup water

For the filling:
12 oz skirt steak
1 onion, peeled
1 potato, peeled
1 small carrot, peeled
1 or two small root vegetables of your choice, peeled
olive oil
2 T cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Pour the flour into a bowl, season it with a pinch of salt, then use your thumbs and forefingers to rub in the butter.  Add 3/4 cup water and use your hands to quickly mix it up.  As it comes together, squeeze, hug and pat it together crudely and imperfectly as Jamie says.  Add a splash more water here if need be, but please don't overwork it or it won't be flaky.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the steak and vegetables into 1/3 inch dice, then put into a bowl.  Season as you wish.  I have a favorite bbq seasoning that I use on meat, but you can use anything you want for any flavor you want: southwestern, cajun, simple salt and pepper, whatever you desire.  Mix the cornstarch and water together and pour over the filling mixture, mixing it together so it will form a bit of gravy, but not be soupy.

Cut the pastry into 6 equal pieces and roll each one into a ball.  Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour, then pat and roll each piece of pastry out to the thickness of a quarter, dusting and turning as you go. Repeat until you have 6 rounds of roughly 8 inches in diameter.  Get a little filling, compact it into your hand, and place it in the middle of one of the pastry rounds, leaving a border around the edge.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, then brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg and fold the pastry over the filling mixture to make a semicircle.   Place pasties on a greased baking tray.  Pasties don't need to be smooth and perfect. Personally, I prefer the rustic look!

Brush the pasties all over with the beaten egg and bake in the oven for around 30-35 minutes or until golden.

Serves 6.

Holly's Note:
This is my version of Jamie Oliver's original Early Autumn Cornish Pasties recipe in Jamie Oliver's Great Britain. The nice thing about a recipe like this is that you can change the vegetables and flavors to suit your own tastes or season.  The original recipe called for butternut squash and zucchini, which I didn't have on hand, but might put in, if I did.  My husband loves parsnips and I despise them, but I would add parsnips to a couple of these pasties for him.  If I had a sweet potato on hand, I would put that in.  Asparagus or peas would be nice in the spring or summer.

These are also good if you have a leftover stew or meat dish.  Wrap it up in a pastry and voila, a new yummy dinner.

The original pasties were a bit dry, and so I added the water and cornstarch mixture to thicken up the natural juices and make a bit of gravy.  It's also important to dice the vegetables and meat fairly small, to make it all blend together well.

I actually prefer to make pasties with my own pie crust, rather than this version.  Since I always have pie crusts in the freezer, it's really easy to put together pasties when we have leftovers.

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