Genuine Cornish Pasties (rhymes with”Nasties”) are a meat pie filled with uncooked beef, potatoes, turnip or rutabaga (a.k.a. swede), and onion, seasoned with salt and pepper. Typically, the filing is encased in a shortbread type crust. These Cornish Pasties differ in that I use pork tenderloin in place of the beef and add carrots. I’ve made them before with beef but think that the pork is more flavorful and tender. My Cornish Pasties are a staple at our house, a favorite of the Master Taste Tester, and incredibly delicious.
Speaking of the Master Taste Tester – some time back, he told a story of a friend who worked in the kitchen lab of a major food producer. This friend had worked on developing the most economical Cornish Pasties for commercial production.
Potatoes were the cheapest ingredient and meat the most expensive. He had his mother taste one of his products, which looked beautiful on the outside, but was almost hollow on the inside. What filling was there, was mostly potato, with very little meat. The mother, not wanting to upset the son asked very politely if possibly a bit more meat could be added!
After hearing that story, I decided some years back that I would try my hand at making Cornish Pasties. I was a bit challenged since I had never eaten Cornish Pasties. I did manage to find a recipe, and have been making them ever since. Through the years, I’ve made improvements, so decided that the time had come for me to update the original post from July 30, 2013.
Ingredients for Cornish Pasties:
I used the following ingredients for Cornish Pasties: Pork tenderloin, onions, carrots, rutabaga (a.k.a. swede), potatoes, salt, pepper, butter, and pastry. For the pastry, I use Pepperidge Farm puff pastry shells. They are a perfect size, and produce a delicious crust.
Making the Filling for the Cornish Pasties:
When I first started making the Cornish Pasties, I took great pains to cut the meat and vegetables into very small pieces. Somewhere along the way, I decided that I would use the food processor to mince the meat, but still cut the vegetables into very small pieces. Finally, I came to my senses, and decided to use the food processor to finely mix all of the ingredients! This met with the Master Taste Tester’s (a.k.a. the Lazy Man) approval!
Therefore, I started by pulse processing the pork tenderloin in my food processor fitted with a steel blade 5 or 6 times. Then, I added the cut vegetables, salt, and pepper, and pulse processed the mixture 5 or 6 times. Using a spatula, a scraped the sides, and pulse processed an additional 4 or 5 times. That’s it!
Finishing the Cornish Pasties:
The most time-consuming part of making the Cornish Pasties is actually filling them in the pastry. A short-cut that I’ve used from day one is using Pepperidge Farm puff pastry shells for the pasty. As I previously indicated, the shells are the perfect size for the individual Cornish Pasties. First, I rolled out a puff pastry shell large enough to fit into my 6-inch dough press Then, after placing the rolled out dough on the dough press, I added about a teaspoon of unsalted butter. Next, I added about a 1/3 of a cup of the filling.
I moistened the edges of the pastry with a little water, and folded the press to enclose the ingredients and seal the pastry. Finally, I used a small knife to trim the edges of the pastry.
I repeated this with the remaining pastry and mixture. Generally, I end up with between 14 and 16 individual Cornish Pasties. I freeze and vacuum seal in pairs of two what we don’t have for dinner, producing a ready supply of amazing Cornish Pasties ready to pop into the oven.
For our dinner, I brushed the Cornish Pasties with egg wash, and baked them on non-stick aluminum foil lined baking sheet at 350° F for one hour. For tonight’s dinner, I served them with mushy peas, rutabaga and a nice Cabernet Sauvignon. Yum!
- 1 pound beef or pork tenderloin cut into 1-inch pieces (See Note 1)
- 1 1/2 cups potatoes peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cups rutabaga peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped (1 large onion) (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (3 medium)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste (try 1/4 teaspoon
- 14 to 16 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 14 to 16 Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry Shells thawed
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon water
- Pulse process beef or pork in food processor fitted with steel blade 5 or 6 times. Add remaining filling ingredient. Pulse process 5 or 6 times. Scrape sides with silicon spatula. Pulse process an additional 4 to 5 times, or until evenly mixed.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil. Set aside.
On a well-floured surface, roll each puff pastry shell into a 7 to 8-inch circle. As each circle is rolled out, place on a 6-inch dough press. Place 1 teaspoon of butter on half of pastry circle. Top with 1/3 packed cup of filling on one-half of circle. Dampen the edges with water and fold the dough over, pressing to seal, to form a half circle shape. Trim with knife. Place the pasties on the prepared cookie sheet. (See Note 2)
Brush the pasties with egg wash and bake at 350° F for 1 hour or until filling is done and pastry is golden brown. Yield: 14 to 16 Pasties.
- Note 1: I originally used beef for the Cornish Pasties. However, we greatly prefer the taste of pork.
- Note 2: I always make a large batch of Cornish Pasties and freeze them individually. Once they are frozen, I vacuum seal pairs of Cornish Pasties, and pop them in the freezer.