Cornish pasties

This great recipe is courtesy of Fergus at the E5 Bakehouse, from his blog Hand to Mouth.

For the filling
450g chuck steak
1 medium carrot
1 medium potato
1 small swede
1 medium onion
olive oil
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
white pepper

For the pastry
500g strong bread flour
250 butter (or you could go half and half with lard if you have it)
5g salt
100ml cold water
egg wash to finish

You want to make your pastry at least an hour before you’re going to get busy constructing your pasties, so sift flour and salt into the food processor, cube up your butter (making sure its cold), add to the flour, and pulse in a blender until you have a breadcrumby consistency (you can obviously also do this by hand or with a mixer). Add cold water and continue to process until the dough forms a ball. Pat together any scraps, then wrap it clingfilm to rest in the fridge.

Whilst the dough is resting, prep the veg. Peel the potato, swede and carrot and slice them up. In general you want all the pieces to be roughly the same size which is a couple of millimetres thick and about the size of an old postage stamp. Then chop up your onion relatively finely, and put everything in a large bowl. Tear the leaves off your sprigs of thyme (really as much as you fancy), and then add salt and a very generous quantity of white pepper. Again this depends on taste, but the pasties I know and love from Cornwall have a good peppery punch, so I reckon around 7 or 8 grams for this quantity. Add a good glug of olive oil, and then get your hands in there and give everything a good mix around. Taste the veg, and then either adjust the seasoning, or set aside.

Now to the meat. Take your chuck, and cut it into dice sized cubes, trimming off anything that looks or feels sinewy, and then place in a separate bowl and give the meat a little sprinkle with salt.

After the pastry has had a chance to relax, take it out of the fridge and divide into four equal quantities. Flour your work surface, and then carefully roll each piece out, as round as you can, until it’s about 25cm wide by 3–4mm thick. Trim the edges using something like a side plate if you want neater results.

Next place a good quantity of the veg mix on one half of your pastry, and then top this with some of the meat. You roughly want two or three times as much veg as you have meat. Then using a brush (or your fingers) moisten the circumference of the pastry with egg wash. This helps seal the edges when you get to the next stage: crimping. Using your fingers, a fork or however you roll, seal the edge of your pasty as neatly as you can.

Finally give each one a good egg-washing all over and pierce with a knife so the steam can escape, before popping in a preheated oven to bake at 190ºc for 50 minutes until they are lovely and golden brown. And that’s it. You’re ready to eat… well almost. A small word of warning. The insides of these fellas are going to be as hot as Hades, so let them cool off for a few minutes before you get stuck in.

Go back to the E5 Bakehouse.