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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Pasty


Pasties are a type of handheld pie from Cornwall, UK. It was developed for the tin miners in Cornwall. they are still popular in Devon, Cornwall, Wales, Ireland and Brittany. A pasty has a pastry casing with a meat and potato filling that is uncooked before you put it in the uncooked pastry. Then it is baked. Pasties, with traditional ingredients, are called Cornish Pasties. Traditionally, pasties have a semicircular shape, achieved by folding a circular pastry sheet over the filling. One edge is crimped to form a seal. They are not pot pies which are not portable and stay on the table. They are smaller, portable and hand held pies.

Pasty does NOT sound like "paste". It is pronounced like "past". Therefore "pass-tee".

In Cornwall, Tin miners, who were unable to return to the surface to eat, made their pasties to take underground with them. The story goes that, covered in dirt from head to foot (including some arsenic often found with tin), they could hold the pasty by the folded crust and eat the rest of the pasty without touching it, discarding the dirty pastry. The pastry they threw away was supposed to appease the knockers, capricious spirits in the mines who might otherwise lead miners into danger. The pasty's dense, folded pastry could stay warm for 8 to 10 hours and, when carried close to the body, helped the miner stay warm. In such pasties, meat and each vegetable would each have its own pastry "compartment," separated by a pastry partition. Traditional bakers in former mining towns will still bake pasties with fillings to order, marking the customer's initials with raised pastry. This practice was started because the miners used to eat part of their pasty for breakfast and leave the remaining half for lunch, meaning that a way to identify the pasties was needed. Some mines kept large ovens to keep the pasties warm until mealtime. It is said that a good pasty should be strong enough to endure being dropped down a mine shaft.

Immigrant miners to America who went to work in iron, coal, etc mines brought the pasties to America. Finnish immigrants also make a similar pie and pasties are often confused as being a Finnish invention. Some communities still have pasti shops and pasti dinners at their churches to raise money.


Pasty Crust:


4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup solid vegetable shortening or lard
1 1/3 cups chilled water
In a large bowl, sift together flour and salt. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut vegetable shortening into flour mixture until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in water, a little at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry dough almost cleans side of bowl. Form dough into a ball and cut dough into 6 sections. On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out each section into 6 x 8-inch rectangles.


-Or-
3 c. flour
1 1/2 sticks butter (cold and cut into bits)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. water

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter with pastry cutter. Blend ingredients until well combined and add water, one tablespoon at a time to form a dough. Toss mixture until it forms a ball. Kneed dough lightly against a smooth surface with heel of the hand to distribute fat evenly. Form into a ball, dust with flour, wrap in wax paper and chill for 30 minutes.


Pasty Fillings:


Cornish Pasties

1 lb. round steak, coarsely ground
1 lb. boneless pork loin, coarsely ground
5 carrots, chopped
2 lg. onions, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 c. rutabaga, chopped (substitute with turnip if desired)
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Divide the dough into 6 pieces, and roll one of the pieces into a 10-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Put 1 1/2 cups of filling on half of the round. Moisten the edges and fold the unfilled half over the filling to enclose it. Pinch the edges together to seal them and crimp them decoratively with a fork. Transfer pasty to lightly buttered baking sheet and cut several slits in the top. Roll out and fill the remaining dough in the same manner. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Put 1 tsp. butter through a slit in each pasty and continue baking for 30 minutes more. Remove from oven, cover with a damp tea towel, cool for 15 minutes. Source: Milwaukee Journal March 28, 1943 Welsh


Brown ½ lb cubed lamb or beef in 2 tbsp fat. Remove from heat add 2 cups diced, raw potatoes, 1 ½ cups dried raw carrots one cup diced celery and leaves, 1 tbsp salt ¼ tsp. pepper mix thoroughly. To make a meat and vegetable pasty, brown one-half pound cubed lamb or beef in two tablespoons fat. Remove from heat and add two cups diced raw potatoes, one and one-half cups dried raw carrots, one cup diced celery and leaves, one tablespoon salt and one-fourth teaspoon pepper and mix thoroughly. Make a rich dough by sifting together four cups enriched flour, four teaspoons baking powder and one and one-half teaspoons salt. Cut in three-fourths cup shortening. Add milk to make a soft dough-about one and three-fourths to two cups. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently one-half minute. Roll one-fourth inch thick. Cut into 8” rounds. On half of each round put one cup filling. Fold other half of round over filling, sealing edge firmly with finger tips or fork. Bake on an un-greased baking sheet in a 375 degree oven 50 to 60 minutes. This makes six large pasties. Source: The Pasty: Try it and you'll like it! Mar. 13, 1975


Cornish-Finnish-Michigan Pasties

5 1/2 cups thinly sliced potatoes
2 carrots, shredded
1 onion
1/2 cup diced rutabagas
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons monosodium glutamate
1 cube beef boullion
1/2 cup hot water

Combine all ingredients for the filling.


Apple Pasty
Peel apples, slice thinly, and lightly sprinkle with brown sugar. In Summer time, blackberries are usually mixed with the apple.

Broccoli Pasty
Boil broccoli until nearly cooked, but still quite firm, strain it and fill pasty in usual way, adding salt. Lambourne W.I.

Chicken Pasty
Chicken cut up in small pieces.

Date Pasty
Stone dates and fill in the usual way.

Eggy Pasty
Bacon cut in dice, parsley and one or tow eggs, according to size of pasty required.

Herby Pasty
Prepare pastry as for ordinary pasty. Well wash equal quantities of parsley bits, shallots (early), half quantity spinach, prepare some slices of bacon cut into small pieces and an egg well beaten. Pour boiling water over the parsley, bits, and spinach that have been cut into small portions, and let stand for half an hour, well squeeze all moisture out. Put on pastry with the shallots cut finely and the bacon, pinch up the edges of pasty allowing a small portion left open for the egg to be added, finish pinching and bake. Note: Bits is a common herb believed to be found only in Northern Cornwall. It is found in the hedges and on the cliffs. Gypsies pick it for medicinal purposes.


Parsley Pasty
Parsley and lamb or mutton.

Pork Pasty
Fresh pork, and potatoes, flavored with onion, sage or thyme.

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