Not Quite Traditional Pasties

June  6, 2011
0 Ratings
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
  • 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
In This Recipe
  1. Crust
  2. 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.
  3. Heat your oven to 375º F with a rack in the top third and a rack in the bottom third of the oven.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  1. Filling
  2. 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.
  3. Peel and dice potato. Wash and dice radishes. Combine in a medium bowl with diced onion, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.