Putting aside the geographical debate of the Cornish Pasty and the efforts of the Cornish Pasty Association for a moment, we thought we’d focus about more important things, like the great pasty recipe debate that meets similar challenge and change around the World. CPA deem that there are minimum characteristics that a pasty should meet if it is to be called a Cornish Pasty, refer to the Cornish Pasty Association definition here…
When we consider a proper Pasty Recipe we consider a recipe that has survived the test of time in it’s home land, a true Cornish Pasty through and through, whos recipe has been passed down through generations and still manages to draw a craving time and time again. The very best pasties evoke memories of Cornish holidays, palm trees, surfing and Cornish Ale! What memories do pasties muster up for you when you catch that unmistakeable aroma? With over 25 flavours of Proper Cornish Pasties on offer where do you start? Well, the traditional Cornish Steak Pasty is perhaps the Worlds best known variety which is associated with everything Cornish so here’s our very own version of the famous recipe, which is our best seller bar none:-
Steak Pasty Recipe (Authentic Cornish)
- The very best Chuck Steak (trimmed lean)
- Cornish Farmed Potates
- Cornish Farmed Swede
- Cornish Farmed Onion
- Pastry (either short crust or flaky to suit taste)
- Pepper (for seasoning)
- Egg Yolk (for basting, from Cornish Reared Hens!)
- Our additional secret seasoning!
The Cornish Recipe
Cut the chuck steak into small cubes and during the process trim any fat that may be apparent. Traditional Cornish Pasties contain steak chunks and not minced steak. Dice the potato and swede into 1/4 inch squares or slightly smaller, some recipes suggest that the potatoes and swede are sliced, in our opinion diced is the best and adds to the appetising experience.
Roll out the pastry to a thickness that suits your palete, normally we aim to achieve a pastry thickness in the region of 1/4 inch, this should be rolled over a marble or wooden baking board which is lightly dusted with flour. Once the desired pastry thickness is achieved then take a small round saucer (from a tradional English Tea service) and cut out a suitable amount of circles.
Again, to suit your taste, take a handful of mixed diced vegetables and layer into the centre of the pastry circle (remembering to allow enough grab to fold over the pastry and crimp, usually supporting the edge of the pastry with a rolling pin is a great guide) then take a similar measure of the diced steak and layer on top of the vegetables.
This hand layering is a traditional method of pasty creation, some cooks insist on mixing the ingredients together resulting in a mush of vegetables and steak…not to the original recipe! Part of the hand layering process is combined with seasoning and a pinch of salt mixed with a comfortable sprinkle of finely crushed pepper offers that unmistakeable Cornish Pasty flavouring that we all love and know!
Next the Crimping of the Pasty! There is an art to crimping a Cornish Pasty, some crimp on top like a stegasaurus dinosaur, whilst others crimp to the side. In true Cornish style and as seen in photograph accompanying this post the side crimp is preferred.
Then in keeping with Cornish tradition the crimping is finished off with a characteristic knot…this is rumoured to keep the devil away and is a part of the Cornish Pasty that is rarely consumed. The knot was created by the wives of the tin miners as a point to grip the pasty, in order to remove the risk of arsenic from the tin transferring to the pastry and thereafter to the poor miner.
Anyway, the crimp should be as uniform and as tight as possible in order to create a tight seal to contain the steam. Some refer to this as a small pressure cooker, as the moisture from the vegetables is released within the pastry case during the bake-off process.
Once the crimping is finished and the characteristic knot is tied in, a small prick to the surface of the pastry is made to provide an outlet for the steam during cooking.
A baste with egg mix should be applied to the strength of a very dilute orange squash colour, this will turn golden and glow in the oven as the process unfolds.
Place the pasties onto a baking tray and send to a pre-heated oven at 200 deg C for 40 minutes, removing ten minutes before the end to add a final glaze of baste to colour.
In general a pasty when cooked should weigh in at approximately 290 grammes as a general rule of thumb! Let us know what your favourite pasty recipe is or alternatively why not make a suggestion for other flavours or recipes for us to consider for Pasty of the Month, make a comment in the box below.
For more Pasty Recipes please take a look at these links below:-