Not Quite Traditional Pasties

By • June 6, 2011 • 31 Comments

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Author Notes: Pasties (Pass + tees) are traditional hand pies that originated in England, and were eaten as lunch by miners. They made their way around the world with Cornish miners, and one of the places they ended up was in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Both of my parents were raised in the U.P. so I grew up eating pasties. The traditional upper Michigan pasty contains beef, potatoes, rutabaga, and onion. Carrots would sometimes be included in addition to or in place of the rutabaga.

When I make pasties I use my mom's crust recipe (which she got from her mom.) The only alteration I've made is to use butter instead of margarine. The crust is almost a cross between pie dough and bread dough with a little bit of choux thrown in the mix. It is easy to work with, and makes a perfect containment system for the filling.

Mom would fill hers with a combination of beef and pork plus the traditional veggies, usually combining both carrots and rutabagas. Over the years I have made very traditional and very non-traditional fillings depending on my mood and what was in my fridge or pantry. This filling steps away from tradition, but not too dramatically. I think even a dyed-in-the wool "Yooper" would enjoy it!
hardlikearmour

Makes 4 pasties

Crust

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  1. In small saucepan bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add butter. While butter is melting whisk dry ingredients together to blend. Once butter is melted stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until well blended. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Heat your oven to 375º F with a rack in the top third and a rack in the bottom third of the oven.
  3. Turn refrigerated dough out onto lightly floured counter top. Some of the butter will have separated, knead the dough several times to break down any large chunks of butter. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into an 8- to 9-inch round. (I generally roll them out a bit, let them rest a bit, and roll again. This helps the gluten relax so they roll out easier.)
  4. Divide filling into 4 equal portions. Place a portion of filling on each dough round in the lower half, leaving an empty rim of dough. Fold the top half of the dough over, and gently press the filling into a half circle shape. Press the dough rim together, then roll the bottom portion of dough over the top portion. Crimp to seal. Dock the tops with a fork in 2 or 3 places to allow steam to escape.
  5. Place pasties on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake on the lower oven rack for 25 minutes, rotate pan 180º and move to the top rack. Bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until light golden brown. Allow to cool on pan 10 minutes then serve. It is traditional to serve pasties with ketchup.

Filling

  • ½ pound chicken thighs (err slightly high if needed)
  • 2 slices thick-cut smoked bacon
  • 1 med-large russet potato (about ½ lb)
  • 1 bunch radishes (about 7 med-large ones)
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon table salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  1. Cut each chicken thigh into 4 or 5 equal sized pieces. Cut bacon strips crosswise into 8ths. Place chicken and bacon into freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to partially freeze.
  2. Peel and dice potato. Wash and dice radishes. Combine in a medium bowl with diced onion, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  3. Place partially frozen chicken & bacon into bowl of food processor with blade attachment. Pulse until ground, and starting to form a ball (about 8 to 10 pulses.) Spread chicken mixture evenly in food processor, then add Dijon, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pulse several times to blend.
  4. Add chicken mixture to the medium bowl with potato mixture. Mix together until homogenous. This is easiest to do with a clean pair of hands. Use to fill pasties.
Jump to Comments (31)

Tags: Easy, freezes well, pastries, savory, travels well

Comments (31) Questions (0)

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Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I forgot to mention, I like to reheat them in a 350º F oven for about 30 to 35 minutes. They can also be microwaved, but it will affect the texture of the crust.

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over 3 years ago jollygreenani

Looks great. I'm a true midwesterner myself(North Dakota), and my mother made something like this...she was never specific with a name though. She also did a breakfast version (eggs, cheese, sausage/bacon)..have you tried this combo? Or would you recommend it? Also, I'm thinking of making a large batch and freezing some of them, do they freeze well?
Thank you, and I look forward to enjoying these!!

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

The breakfast version sounds great! They do freeze well, I typically bake them all off then allow the ones I'm freezing to cool to room temp before freezing them on a parchment lined baking tray. Once frozen I transfer them to a freezer bag for longer storage.

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

over 3 years ago lapadia

Love pasties...thanks for sharing your recipe!

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, lapadia!

Img_1958

over 3 years ago gingerroot

This sounds delicious! I love your filling and look forward to trying.

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, gingerroot!

036

over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

LOVE this! I too am intrigued by the crust - one of the things I was toying with is a cajun meat hand pie but I couldn't sort ot the crust - I think this is it! Love your filling too - of course!

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I've had my cajun friend's Natchitoches meat pie. Very much like a pasty, but fried instead of baked. I'll have to ask him how he makes the crust.

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

Yum! Love how you've tweaked the traditional filling.

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Midge!

Dscn3274

over 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Love the filling! My in-laws were from the U.P and my mother-in-law made traditional pasties often.

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, ipk. My mom grew up in Wakefield & my dad grew up in Manistique.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

This looks awesome! We had neighbors growing up who obsessed over pasties and would travel around trying them at all sorts of little cafes, trying to find the best. And, it took me forever to figure out why they always laughed so hard when I pronounced it Pay-stees instead of pass-tees... :)

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

LOL, 5&S! My husband still calls them pay-stees half the time, and we've been married almost 16 years!

Lorigoldsby

over 3 years ago lorigoldsby

Another great recipe HLA, but I'm curious about the radishes...I've not had them baked before.

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, lg. I love roasted radishes so I figured they'd work. I went with them because they are more spring/summer than rutabagas.

Me

over 3 years ago wssmom

I love the story behind this as much as the recipe!

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, wssmom! Pasties are a big family tradition for me.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Big yum! That crust sounds very intriguing. Thanks for another great recipe, hla!

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, mrslarkin! My mom doesn't know where her mom got it from. It's definitely an interesting crust - it's got some stretch to it while you're working it, once it's cooked it's like a toothsome, but still flakyish pie crust.

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, boulangere! I was originally going to enter a pastie recipe into the cheap eats contest, but my kitchen was in disarray (the oven was wrapped in plastic sitting on the back porch) so I couldn't tinker with my filling idea.

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I meant pasty!

3-bizcard

over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love pasties, have always wanted a good recipe for them. This is fantastic and I agree the filling sounds wonderful.

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, sdebrango! There is a very traditional recipe on the site as well (MyCommunalTable's recipe for Gramma Schuler's Pasties.) I've never seen a recipe for crust like my mom's, though.

Hib_kitchen

over 3 years ago MyCommunalTable

Your crust does sound really different. It looks super delicious in the pic. Have you used the crust in any other dish? Love your filling. Sounds great.

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, MCT! I've not used it for other applications, though I bet you could make a fruit handpie with it if you decreased the salt and added a bit of sugar. Hmmmm.....maybe I need to do some more tinkering!

Hib_kitchen

over 3 years ago MyCommunalTable

I think fruit hand pie sounds great. When I first read it, I thought that it is almost like samosa dough.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Pasties are generic to Butte, MT also, and though not a native Montanan, I grew up on them also. They have that wonderful primitive tradition of cheap eats. And no one could stretch a penny farther than my mother could. I love your filling combination.

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Seriously cheap eats - literally 3 medium-ish chicken thighs & 2 pieces of bacon are the "spendy" ingredients. Makes a super filling and hearty meal, so you don't even realize how little meat there actually is!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh seriously. A large part of their satisfaction is the wonderful pastry wrapper. Great submission!