At the request of Mr M. this post is to teach you how to make an authentic Cornish pasty. This is how the Cornish still do it today and although pasties can be made in many ways, this is the one you can confidently call a Cornish Pasty.
I will start with the pastry:
You can use short crust or puff pastry. The easiest is frozen, shop bought puff pastry. I can get 4 pasties from one block, but you can split it into 3 or 2 if you prefer.
Flour the worktop, cut the block into 4 and roll out each section into an elongated diamond shape. I start with a square and then when it is wide enough (between 6 and 8 inches) start rolling one way to get the shape around 10 inches long.
Beef Skirt You can get this from any butchers. You need skirt as it has the fat marbled through the meat and this is what makes your pasty juicy. If you can only get lean meat then you need to add some blobs of butter to help keep it moist. Do not precook the meat. Cut it into smallish chunks.
Swede The Cornish seem to call everything that is not a potato TURNIP. The veg for a proper pasty is a swede.
Potato The onion, swede and potato all need to be cut into small pieces but do not dice them. They should be small slices or chips of vegetable, as shown in the photo.
Salt and Pepper add to taste just before you seal up the pasties.
To assemble the pasty add meat first and then some of each of the veg to the centre on the pastry.The main trick here is not to over fill the pasty! Add seasoning then fold over and seal the edge. This does not have to be pretty, just press the pastry together to from a good seal. If you have managed to do all this without any little rips in the top of the pastry then make a small slit with a knife to let a little steam escape when cooking. If you have a rip or two then there is no need for this.
Place on to a baking sheet and glaze if you like with milk and bake for around an hour (or up to 90 mins) in the oven at Gas mark 4 (180 c/ 350 f)
I have deliberately not given any quantities for this recipe as it really doesn’t matter. You use what you have got, in whatever ratio you like. If you have any meat leftover then you can use it up in a stew or freeze for the next pasties.
Just remember to keep it Cornish, never precook the meat. Stick to beef skirt, swede, potato and onion and never commit the sin of adding carrots.
Variations: Just don’t call them Cornish!
Once you have made these you can add or change the ingredients…
Try swapping the meat for a tasty cheddar cheese.
Crumble some Stilton cheese into the filling for a beef and stilton pasty.
I like to leave out the potato altogether as I love swede.