Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cooking Challenge Week 25 - Regional - Pasties

They're huge, and they're delicious.  I'd never had one before, but who could turn down a giant butter pie crust filled with meat, potato, and onion?

I browsed through quite a few traditional recipes, both "originals" from Cornwall and the UP versions (that's Upper Peninsula to you non-Michiganders), and--surprise, surprise--none of them agreed on what was the true pasty.

So having absorbed all this pasty knowledge, I winged it based on what I like.

Avrienne's Pasties from the Thumb
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • half of a large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 pie crusts (I recommend this recipe, it's my favorite)
  • milk
Make your pie crusts.  Most recipes call for the dough to chill before rolling out--that would be the time to chop the veggies and make the filling.

Also, preheat your oven to 400 F.

Crumble the ground beef into a large bowl, then add the onion and potatoes.  Season well with salt and pepper, then mix thoroughly with your hands.  Pat the mixture down firmly in the bowl, and divide in half with a knife.  (This will make sense in a minute here, I promise.)

(Wash your beefy hands!)

Roll out one of the pie crusts in a circle.  You're shooting for about 1/4" thick and hopefully at least 10" in diameter.  Take half of the beef mixture (which should mostly come out in one piece if you packed it well!) and place it on one side of the pie crust.  Fold the other side over to cover and seal well around the edge.  Transfer to a lightly-greased baking sheet.

Repeat with the other crust and the rest of the beef mixture.  Slash a few vents in the top of each, then brush the tops with a little milk.  Bake for 45 minutes, until the crusts are golden brown and the filling cooked through.  Cut in half to serve, unless you're actually a coal miner and need a whole one to yourself!

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