Gramma Schuler's Pasties (A Montana Pasty Recipe)

September 15, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

My family has deep roots in Northern Michigan and its rich mining tradition. The Pasty was a traditional savory meat pie that was cooked in the morning, wrapped up and placed in a tin, so that lunch would be warm for the miners.The initials that were placed in the pies crust were to tell the difference among the different mens pasties and the thick crust edges were so the miners dirty hands had a place to grab without getting their lunch covered with soot. I have always had it served with ketchup, but in Quebec they serve it covered with brown gravy.The blend of beef and pork with sweetness of the rutabega really make this perfect rich fall dish. This is my kind of comfort food.I often make it in classic pie form with two crusts.Today I made it in traditional form, but I have made them the size of a twinkie as well. The possibilities are endless. It is great to take for a potluck or tailgating. I usually serve a green salad with a tart vinaigrette to compliment this savory meat pie. - MyCommunalTable —MyCommunalTable

Test Kitchen Notes

What a special treat! There are a few pasty recipes floating around but this one is as authentic as you will ever find. I followed Gramma Schuler’s filling to a “T” and tripled the crust ingredients to make four 9-inches round individual pies. The filling doesn’t precook, it is quick and easy to prepare and has the perfect blend of flavors, a flakey crust with a moist meat and vegetable filling. An individual size pasty is a meal in itself and pairs nicely with ketchup and a simple green salad. Rave reviews from my husband, who grew up with Montana-style pasties. I can see why MyCommunalTable calls this her kind of comfort food -- it is easily on my list too. This recipe is awesome! - Lapadia —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Gramma Schuler's Pasties
  • 1/2 pound small diced sirloin
  • 1/2 pound small diced pork steak
  • 1 cup russet potato, peeled and small diced
  • 1 cup rutabega, peeled and small diced
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste, be generous
  • Gramma's Pie Crust
  • 1/3 cup lard
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup ice cold water
  1. Gramma Schuler's Pasties
  2. Preheat oven to 400F.
  3. Prepare Gramma's Pie Crust in the quality you desire. Cover and let rest. Note: see crust recipe to see the correct quantity. Depending if you make your pasty in individual pies or in traditional pie form.
  4. Mix all the ingredients in mixing bowl.
  5. Roll out crust. Fill with meat mixture. Dab mixture with butter. Fold over top crust. Vent.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
  1. Gramma's Pie Crust
  2. These ingredients make one nine-inch pie shell. If you are making a traditional pie, double the ingredients. If you are making four individual pies, triple the ingredients.
  3. Sift the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut the lard and butter into the flour using a fork or cutter until the fat pieces are the size of peas.
  4. Add water gradually, gently mixing with your hands until dough hold together. Do not overmix or the crust will be tough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill before using.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lapadia
  • hardlikearmour
  • Jennifer Ann
    Jennifer Ann
  • Hilarybee
  • marynn

50 Reviews

Poblano March 3, 2013
I used to live in Northern Wisconsin. Every now and then, we would grab the old Coleman cooler and go on a pasty run to Ironwood, MI. We would buy dozens of those delicious little meat pies, which froze beautifully. I'm making this recipe tonight in honor of my mother.
lapadia November 10, 2011
Hi MCT! Just sending you a quick note...made your recipe, again, was my husband's birthday dinner request...yum :)
hardlikearmour June 6, 2011
Perfect classic pasty filling! The pork really helps keep it moister than just beef alone in my experience.
MyCommunalTable June 6, 2011
I agree. Thanks!
kbess October 2, 2010
A taste of home! So happy you shared!
Jennifer A. September 27, 2010
Love the headnote. These do definitely fit in the comfort category, cannot wait to try your recipe.
lapadia September 25, 2010
PS - not sure if you knew what I was talking about, so, let me rephrase, I posted a picture here on this page...it is picture #4 above. Also something to do with my computer op system communicating with Food52's, but I cannot reply to a reply (was tested on both ends) so...this explains why I have to post a new comment box. Have a nice evening!
MyCommunalTable September 27, 2010
Love the pic! Looks like you had a great dinner. The tradition lives on...
lapadia September 25, 2010
We love this recipe! FYI - I just sent my “rave” review to the Editors and left you a picture…click above to view. Do you mind if I write up your recipe with the pictures I took on my food website? http://lapadia.wordpress.com/ OH & btw - You should enter these in the Brown Bag Lunch contest if you haven’t already!
MyCommunalTable September 25, 2010
Wow. Thanx. I can not wait to see pic and, of course, please use it on your site. You are the third person to tell me to enter it in this weeks contest, so I think I will. Thanx again.
lapadia September 24, 2010
Hi there...I am looking forward to making these; in fact the first thing I thought after seeing them was that if they were picked as Editors' Candidate...I was going to call "dibs"!
Hilarybee September 22, 2010
I grew up in the Northwest part of the mitten. There was a small bakery, near Interlochen school, that I would take a rest from all the practicing!!! and get pasties. The bakery only had pasties, and they would have one or two kinds a day. (Beef & Vegetable, Chicken or Pork). I was perpetually starving in those days- I remember eating 2-3 at a time!

They somehow always seemed to make the torture better.
MyCommunalTable September 22, 2010
Interlochen, huh? Well you have to earn your place there. What instrument did you play? No wonder you were hungry all the time. I have had a lot of fun with different fillings, but seem always to go back to the simple ones. Love those food memories!
Hilarybee September 22, 2010
I played (then and now) viola and piano. I went to Interlochen summer camps (it's about 12 weeks). I'd sneak out. I'm a bit of a rebel I guess...
MyCommunalTable September 22, 2010
Bravo, kept up the music and food.
marynn September 19, 2010
A love letter straight to my heart. My dear, dear grandmother would make these for us--my mother, for her own reasons (embarrassment?), refused to--having made them for real for her Cornwall-born husband. And every fall, she made a batch. Forget substituting chicken or anything else. And shun not the rutabega! Peppery goodness! (Try for a fresh, non-waxed one from a farmers' market, if you can.)
MyCommunalTable September 19, 2010
Hey, thanks. Love those food memories!
mrslarkin September 17, 2010
These look and sound fabulous! The perfect portable meal.
MyCommunalTable September 19, 2010
Thanks! The orginial take your lunch to work meal.
testkitchenette September 17, 2010
I love this! The first time I had pasties was in Denmark where I was visiting the former host family with my now ex-boyfriend in 1995. Amy, their new exchange student (from Michigan) had just arrived and we cooked American style food for them. Amy made beef pasties and I cobbled together a recipe as I watched/helped her make them. Thanks for bringing back some special memories for me. Can't wait to try your version!
MyCommunalTable September 17, 2010
I love, love, love to travel and I love your story. It is in unlikely places we learn about each other and our cultures. Fun and thanks for sharing.
gingerroot September 17, 2010
Wow, these look fantastic. I also like the idea of making them twinkie size, perfect for small hands (I think my son would love these too).
MyCommunalTable September 17, 2010
You have so many great veggies available to you in Hawaii... I can just imagine where you could go with this recipe. Very kid friendly. Thanks.
TiggyBee September 16, 2010
These look amazing! I'll have to give 'em a whirl!!
MyCommunalTable September 16, 2010
Hey, thanks
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2010
Love this one! Saved!
MyCommunalTable September 16, 2010
FrozenFoodie September 16, 2010
We spend our summers in the eastern UP, and enjoy trying different versions of pasties. Can't wait to try these at home to see how they compare - they sound great! I'll be 'road testing' them at a cocktail party, so thanks for the tip about making different sizes.
MyCommunalTable September 16, 2010
Making them different sizes have been a huge hit. Actually making them twinkie size is my favorite for a party. Have fun.
Sagegreen September 16, 2010
Love our story and so appreciate the straightforward elegant of your recipe! Marking it with a 'G' is such a great connection to the past. Thanks. We never ate our hand pies with ketchup, but instead with vinegar and a brown spicy sauce.
Sagegreen September 16, 2010
meant to type "your" not "our."
MyCommunalTable September 16, 2010
I actually marked it with "G" for my son Gabriel. He loves seeing his mark on crust. I really think that he eats better when he sees it. Afterwards, I thought of the connection. My gramma would of like it. Vinegar and brown spicy sauce sounds great. Thanks for your kind words.
thirschfeld September 16, 2010
I keep thinking about these. I guess I am going to have to make them
MyCommunalTable September 16, 2010
My son deleted my first round of pics on my camera, so I made up some more and took pics. Have had way too many of them this last week, but the neighbors were super happy when I came a knocking with these in tow. Let me know how they turned out.
lastnightsdinner September 16, 2010
Love this - one of the biggest Michigan treats I miss since moving away! Great story and great recipe.
MyCommunalTable September 16, 2010
Thanks, fellow Michigander! Do you point out to everyone on the East Coast where you lived in Michigan by holding up your hand?
adamnsvetcooking September 16, 2010
I like recipes that have stories and family history to them. I am trying to get my grandmother to help me write her recipes, but she jokes around “there is no recipe; it’s just peppers, onions and garlic …” Adam’s grandmother on the other hand wrote everything down, but her recipes are in German and I can’t read German. Sometimes I sit with his dad and him and we try to translate her recipes… We recently translated one for an onion pie, and I will be making it soon.
MyCommunalTable September 16, 2010
Onion pie sounds great. I could not agree with you more about loving to learn the history about the recipes. It is a window into the lives of our family long ago.