Sunday, November 14, 2010


If you're from an old mining community like me, you most likely know what a pastie is. If not, I'll give you a brief history. This savory pastry is said to have originated from Cornwall, United Kingdom.
It was a popular lunch item among miners because the filling of meat and potatoes was enclosed in a pastry that enabled miners to eat it with one hand and discard the part they held with their dirty hand. Although I live no where near the United Kingdom, pasties are popular in my community. Here in Pennsylvania, we are known for mining anthracite coal. While the coal industry isn't what it used to be, you can still get a pastie at any of the area churches' annual pastie sales.

Growing up, I disliked pasties. Most of the ones I had were dry and full of large, crunchy onions. I was reminded of pasties a few weeks ago in pastry class. We made up the dough and made a batch of the savory pastries. They were easy to make and after one bite, I was hooked. It was not the dry pastie I remembered from childhood. It was flavorful and delicious. It was so good that I whipped up a bunch at home. If you're looking for a portable (and satisfying) meal, try a pastie. 

Source: adapted from pastry class

2 pie crusts (homemade or store bought)
1 and 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 - 3 potatoes
1/2 white onion (I omitted since I hate onions.)
1 - 2 teaspoons minced garlic
salt, pepper, and garlic powder
1 egg
2 - 3 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Make pie crust and roll out to 1/4-inch thick. (Or open pie crust if using store bought.) Cut crusts into 4 half-circles.

Boil potatoes about 8 - 10 minutes, until slightly soft, but still firm. Drain, peel, and chop potatoes. Add potatoes to a bowl with ground beef, onion (if using), garlic, salt, and pepper.

Mix carefully with hands and form into 4 balls. Place each ball on one half of each of the half-circles of crust. Fold over sides to cover meat and crimp edges. Poke a few holes in the top to release steam.

Beat together egg and water. Brush top of pasties with egg wash. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. 

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