Cornwall's contribution to the world of meat pastries is a simple hand pie filled with meat and root vegetables. Although the Cornish Pasty Association has strict rules regarding what exactly can go in an official Cornish pasty (beef, turnip, potato and onion), on this side of the pond it's safe to add a few extra ingredients other than the essentials. Traditionally, this pie is meant to eat standing on a lunch break, but add a pot of tea or some strong ale and light green salad and these humble pasties can be the cornerstone of an excellent brunch.
Pasties can be made a day before and simply warmed in a low oven before guests arrive. And if you happen to make a batch of these for one (or two) people, packing a leftover pasty as a lunch can help your week start off right. The vegetables that are included in this version of a pasty are based on what I keep in my kitchen, but if you happen to have turnips, rutabaga or even Brussels sprouts, give those a try in your pasty. Make sure to chop the ingredients in evenly sized pieces so that they all cook evenly.
- 1 recipe pie crust (use your favorite, or ours)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small leek, finely chopped
- 1/2 pound hanger steak, chopped
- 1 parsnip, finely chopped
- 1 potato, chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 2 sprigs thyme, chopped
- kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt butter in skillet and add onion and leek; cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. In a bowl combine steak, parsnip, potato, carrot, and thyme, and toss to combine. Once onion and leeks are cool, add to mixture and mix. Season with salt and pepper.
Roll out pastry into 1/4 inch-thick sheet. Cut into 4 circles about 5 inches across. If all circles cannot be cut out of initial sheet of pastry re-roll pastry and cut out remaining circles if necessary.
Spoon between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of filling mixture onto one half of pastry circle. Brush edges with beaten egg and fold other half over filling. Seal by pressing gently with a fork or your fingers. Place on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining pastry and filling (there may be filling left over). Brush all pasties with beaten egg.
Place in 400°F oven; when pastry begins to brown, turn oven down to 350°F and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve with strong ale.