I've been in love with Cornish pasties since eating my first one in Dover, England 30 years ago when I was 18. It was not only delicious, but I loved the convenience. I could walk down the road-side with a pasty in one hand and my thumb out for a ride on the other. For a picnic you need to make them the day before and refrigerate, but just place them in your basket in the morning and by lunch time they'll be at perfect eating temperature. Serve with cheese, hard cider, fruit, and pickles. - Kevin —Kevin
Test Kitchen Notes
Kevin's recipe for Cornish Pasties is comfort food to go. Flaky pastry crust, meat and potato -- what more can you ask for. I had never tried using vodka in pastry dough before and I have to say it did make a difference in the handling of the dough it rolled out beautifully and was so easy to shape into the pasties. I used lard and butter for the pastry and that alone makes a stand out pastry crust. The addition of sage in both the filling and crust gave this an incredible depth of flavor. This is a recipe I will make over and over again, the possibilities for variations are endless. Well done! - sdebrango —sdebrango
In a food processor, mix 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sage - 3 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds. Scrape sides of processor bowl with spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed - 4 to 6 quick pulses.
Empty mixture into a medium bowl and Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Form dough into a ball and flatten each into 4- by 7-inch rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes. Can be made 2 days in advance.
*Note 1: Shortening works fine, but lard adds even more savor.
**Note 2: The addition of vodka is based on a Cooks Illustrated recipe. It allows you to produce a dough that's easier to handle, but is still flaky.
Put diced potatoes and 1/4 inch of water in a covered microwave dish and cook in microwave until potatoes are just tender - 4 to 5 minutes. Drain potatoes and dump into a large bowl. Mash coarsely with a fork.
Cut chuck into 1/2-inch pieces trimmed of obvious fat then place in food processor and pulse until meat is coarsely ground (err on the side of under-processing.) Add ground beef, broth, thyme, sage, vinegar, and mustard to the potatoes and mix thoroughly.
Remove pastry from refrigerator and roll out into a rectangle that's about 10-inches by 25-inches on a lightly floured board. Using a five inch round plate as a template, cut as many circles as you can. The scraps can be combined and rolled out one more time. You should have 11 rounds.
Divide filling evenly between pastry rounds. Moisten half the edge of a pastry round and fold the round over the filling and press the edges to seal. Crimp with a fork. Arrange pasties on a pair of parchment covered baking sheets.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix egg yolk and milk together and brush glaze over pasties. Cut two one inch slits in the top of each pasty and bake for 30 minutes or until golden.