This Cornish pasty recipe will allow you to recreate the famous pasty that coal miners used to take to lunch back in the early days. In those days, coal miners had to travel a long distance to and from their workplace. They chose Cornish pasties for their lunch and dinner as it was easy to eat in one hand and small enough to be transported in a pocket.
Cornish pasties are still tasty and convenient. Many would argue they are the best pasty to make for a friend. If your new to the world of pasties, you can try quality pasties by Cornwall & Hamper are sturdy and do not crumble easily. This will give you a good idea of how you want your homemade pasties to turn out.
Cornish Pasty Recipe Guide
Usually, the wives of the coal miners would use cheaper cuts of beef, for example, skirt steak. The skirt is the meat below the diaphragm of the cow. If you want to use more expensive meat, you can choose a rump or ground wagyu. Calves’ liver is also used in the filling. The skirt will be tender when it is cooked slowly.
The beef can be swapped for lamb or chicken, and the traditional vegetables can be swapped for peas and leeks. However, you need to always keep potatoes in the mixture.
You can also use sweet fruits like apples and dried fruits for the filling. The fillings have to be seasoned with ground black pepper. You can taste the seasoned fillings to make sure they taste right before sealing them. The fillings must be evenly chopped and minced before including them in the pasty.
Swede (also known as rutabaga) is an important ingredient that you should never exclude from the pasty. It may be hard to find swede in your country. In this case, you can replace them with carrots. The swede needs to be boiled until tender before it is mashed with the potato, butter, and chives. The swede is the main vegetable ingredient that makes the dish sweet.
As the Cornish Pasty Association has pointed out, the potato that is used to make the Cornish pasty must be waxy. You don’t have to precook the potato. You just need to make sure that the potato is cut into equal sizes. The potato will be cooked thoroughly in the oven and caramelized with sauteed onions. The authentic Cornish pasty has a hint of the onion flavor.
What If the Recipe is Too Dry?
The meat and vegetables in the pasty will cook in their juices. However, sometimes, the recipe can end up dry. To fix the problem, you can add a drop of water (up to 3 tbsp) to the filling.
It is recommended that you reduce the temperature as soon as you observe a healthy glow in the pasty. Before eating, you should wait for it to cool down otherwise it might burn your tongue.
How to Crimp the Pasty
Before crimping a Cornish pasty, be sure to brush the edges with water lightly. Next, you fold the other half of the pasty over and squeeze the edges until they are sealed firmly together.
The correct way to crimp the pasty is to crimp from the top of the D shape. Using your index finger and thumb, you can knead the edge of the pasty into crimps. You should keep repeating the process until around 18 – 20 crimps have been formed.
How to Make Cornish Pasty
In a mixing bowl, you add flour, salt, suet, and fat. You need to rub two types of fats on the flour. The fats can be vegetable shortening, butter, or lard. You can slow down the development of the gluten and prevent it from becoming hard when you apply butter to the flour.
You need to add some water to the mixture and knead the pasty until it has become elastic. The pasty must be elastic and robust to hold the filling in a good shape.
After that, you can wrap a greaseproof paper over the pasty and leave it in the fridge for 3 hours. It is difficult to roll the pasty when it is still fresh. However, after 3 hours, you can use a rolling pin to lightly roll out the pastry into circles.
One end of the dough is to be folded over the other and the process is to be repeated. Doing so will cause the air to be trapped in the pasty so that it has a flaky finish. The circle is to be at least 20 cm in diameter and 2 cm thick.
The vegetables and meat can be layered on top of the pasty. Then, you can season it with plenty of salt and ground black pepper to give it a savory flavor. Now, you can crimp the pasty on the edges.
The last step is to glaze it with an egg and milk mixture and bake it at about 340 degrees F for 50 minutes. When it’s finished, you can carve the initials of the intended owners on the crust.
You don’t necessarily have to use meat in the recipe. If you can’t afford meat, you can just use vegetables for the ingredients. In old times, people would use more steak when the economy was good and all vegetables when their funds were tight.
What Makes a Good Cornish Pasty?
A good Cornish pasty will be robust and able to tumble. In other words, it will not break and spill the contents if it accidentally falls. The shell should not be too tough, though, otherwise it will be difficult to chew. It should be just strong enough to protect the filling from oven heat and the impacts from itinerary trips.
If you are traveling with your Cornish pasties or just packing them for a picnic, you can wrap them individually in baking parchment. It will help to keep them warm for a few hours.