Pasty Recipe – Proper Pasty Ingredients

March 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Nutritional Information

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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…

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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:-

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Steak Pasty Recipe (Authentic Cornish)

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  1. The very best Chuck Steak (trimmed lean)
  2. Cornish Farmed Potates
  3. Cornish Farmed Swede
  4. Cornish Farmed Onion
  5. Pastry (either short crust or flaky to suit taste)
  6. Salt
  7. Pepper  (for seasoning)
  8. Egg Yolk (for basting, from Cornish Reared Hens!)
  9. Our additional secret seasoning!
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The Cornish Recipe

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:-

Waitrose Pasty Recipe
Connies Pasty Recipe
Cook UK Pasty Recipe
BBC Pasty Recipe
Delias Pasty Recipe
Pasty Recipe

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18 Comments on "Pasty Recipe – Proper Pasty Ingredients"

  1. Tim brown on Wed, 12th Aug 2009 1:28 pm 

    I grew up on a market garden in Calstock Cornwall( just )
    we grew tomatoes – so guess what was in our pastys – forget the turnip ( I could stand turnip so they were left out )

  2. angela on Tue, 13th Oct 2009 7:36 am 

    Greetings from the north coast of Cornwall. Here’s another genuine Cornish Pasty Recipe to add to your recipe link list

    This is a great lens, very informative, you’ve put a lot of effort in to make people very hungry!

    All the best.

  3. jacob davies on Wed, 25th Nov 2009 3:53 pm 

    A traditional cornish pasty shouldn’t be made with lean meat. You need the fat in the pasty to make the gravy when you cook it. The best cut of meat for pasties is beef skirt. The pasty should’t have any carrot in it and should also not have any herbs or spices apart from salt and pepper seasoning. The filling of the pasty should be sliced, this is the traditional way of doing it and it also means that the filling holds itself inside the pasty instead of just falling apart as it does when its diced. And wwhat proper pasty eater has ever heard of weighing their pasties, the correct way to measure a pasty is by putting it on the largest plate you have and making sure the ends of the pasties hang over the edge of the plate. Dont put any lea and perrins or any other rubbish inside it. Its supposed to be a traditional cornish pasty which means that it must be made by a cornish man or women and the thing about some pasties being sweet and savory is a complete load of rubbish this isn’t a traditional thing this is just a myth and something which came about once pasties atarted being made in factories. thats another thing a pasty shouldn’t be called a pasty if its made in a factory it also should not have the word cornish in front of it if it has been factory made. This recipe is mainly good but the meat isn’t the correct stuff to use and there should not be any secret ingredients in the pasty.

  4. shan on Thu, 11th Feb 2010 9:10 am 

    I agree with Jacob except for the fact that cornish pasties were made with a dividing internal triangle of pastry so that apples could be placed in the other, smaller end, making it a “complete” meal; starting at the savoury end and eating to the sweet, apple end. Make sure the triangle of pastry is well sealed so that juices dont “seep” into the wrong end.

  5. shan on Thu, 11th Feb 2010 9:10 am 

    I agree with Jacob except for the fact that cornish pasties were made with a dividing internal triangle of pastry so that apples could be placed in the other, smaller end, making it a “complete” meal; starting at the savoury end and eating to the sweet, apple end. Make sure the triangle of pastry is well sealed so that juices dont “seep” into the wrong end.

  6. Isabella Edwards on Tue, 11th May 2010 6:50 pm 

    Beef steak has always been my all time favorite dish and i am always looking for some new recipes that has steak as the main ingredient.,*”

  7. Wendy on Tue, 12th Oct 2010 4:06 pm 

    Liked Angela`s pasty. Not best chuck steak, something that takes longer to cook and has fat/juice in it.

  8. Jane on Sun, 17th Oct 2010 4:20 pm 

    I would like to know if I have to cook my Pasty meat first.
    The layering sounds good. I am trying this out tomorrow.

  9. Jane on Sun, 17th Oct 2010 4:23 pm 

    I think the layering of the meat and veg sounds great. I am making it tomorrow. Just one thing – do I cook the meat first?

  10. Davids Bergquist on Sun, 28th Nov 2010 4:45 am 

    For my pasties, which I learned to make from my grandma who learned from the miner wives on the Iron Range in Minnesota.
    Mostly consists of a pastry dough, CUT beef, shaved frozen suet–this is important to keep the pasties moist.

    Use potatoes, rutebega, onion, carrots if you like, finely diced. Mix together with the beef and roll into the crust.
    Bake @350 for about an hour. Eat. Enjoy.

    I like mine dotted with butter when they are done.

  11. Scott Keeble on Tue, 28th Dec 2010 7:04 pm 

    Help. I keep looking for the nutritional information ie calorific value etc but keep returning to this page??

  12. Mark Kestle on Fri, 14th Jan 2011 7:28 pm 

    Get on folks . I am born and bred in Wadebridge , but due to the lack of work some years ago . I now live in Hampshire .
    You try gettin a bleddy decent Oggy up here !! Impossible .
    Thank goodness for my Family in Bridge , who occaisioally bring some up .Or I stock up when down that way .
    Dear wife is hamshire bred , has not quite got the knack .
    So end up doing them myself when supplies have run out .
    Hopefully after reading and seeing this site , she will be inspired to have another go .
    Cheers .

  13. Claire on Thu, 9th Jun 2011 12:30 pm 

    I agree that skirt is the traditional prefered meet and that the potatoes should be sliced. Its very northern having diced potatoes in a pasty! My family recepie is over 100 years old and we use dinner plates to make the mens pasty and smaller serving plates for the ladies and side plates for the childrens!

  14. Claire on Thu, 9th Jun 2011 12:33 pm 

    Oh and to answer some questions you don’t cook the meat first. and a traditional cornish pasty would never contain peas or carrotts

  15. Grant of Australia on Wed, 29th Jun 2011 6:52 am 

    My grandmother used to make these and I recall she used lard, not margarine, which was not available in Australia at the time (this was about 45 years ago). It was a manual, time-consuming process to come up with the real thing. She was born in Cornwall. My ancestors were Cornish coal miners so I am not interested in flaky puff pastry or carrot or mixed herbs. I realise that using these things may produce some tasty results but I just want traditional.

  16. Claire on Fri, 5th Aug 2011 10:36 am 

    My family use a similar recipe, which has been handed down from mum to daughter for generations, but we add a sprinkle of flour after the layering process which helps to make the gravy.
    Also, we bake in a hot oven 220 degrees for about 20 mins then turn the temperature to 160 degrees for another 40 mins. Smaller pasties would need less time, as ours are made using a dinner plate sized pastry.
    Thank goodness my mum taught me to make these, as over here in Spain, the English butchers and bakers cant seem to do a decent pasty!!

  17. lee hodge on Sun, 23rd Oct 2011 11:39 am 

    right as a true cornish man born and bred in portreath!
    pasties are awesome !! but please people if you wanna try one of these true cornish delights keep it simple
    beef skirt
    salt and pepper
    egg to glaze
    shortcrust pastry simple !!!!!
    no cooking meat first no curry powder no peas or carrots just as above layer the ingredients as follows
    ‘andful potato
    ‘andful swede
    ‘andful onion
    ‘andful beef
    salt & pepper
    bake on 190oc for 45 mins then turn off the oveb but leave your oggy in there this will get the juices flowin practice ur crimpin and oggy’s for everyone :)

  18. kerri on Fri, 4th Nov 2011 11:35 am 

    How many calories are in a small traditional pasty? It doesn’t say anywhere on the website – it keeps redirecting to the recipe.

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