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 and made in Cornwall. Typically, the filing is encased in a shortbread type crust. These Cornish Style Pasties differ in that I use pork tenderloin in place of the beef and add carrots and they’re not made in Cornwall. I’ve made them before with beef but think that the pork is more flavorful and tender. My Cornish Style 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 Style 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.
I used the following ingredients for Cornish Style 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:
When I first started making the Cornish Style 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 type Pasties:
The most time-consuming part of making the Cornish Style 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 Style 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 ⅓ 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 Style 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 Style 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!
Cornish Style Pasties (rhymes with"Nasties")
- 1 pound beef or pork tenderloin cut into 1-inch pieces (See Note 1)
- 1 ½ cups potatoes peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 1 ½ cups rutabaga peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 1 ½ cups onion, chopped (1 large onion) (1 ½ cups)
- 1 ½ cups carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes (3 medium)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste (try ¼ 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 ⅓ 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.
Chula's Expert Tips
- I originally used beef for the Cornish Style Pasties. However, we greatly prefer the taste of pork.
- I always make a large batch of Cornish Style Pasties and freeze them individually. Once they are frozen, I vacuum seal pairs of Cornish Style Pasties, and pop them in the freezer.
I’m still laughing….. If a Cornish man or woman caught you calling this recipe ” Cornish” you’d have your *#@~% kicked for sure!!!!
I’m sorry to be rude but coming from the Isles of Scilly I’ve learnt the hard way…. A Cornish pasty is BEEF, spuds, turnip and onion with salt and pepper cooked in short crust pastry…. Anything else is not “Cornish pasty ” …. Yours would be a pork pastry , pie or pasty if you like but certainly not ” Cornish” still laughing
You’re totally right! My husband is English so I know that I was “stepping on some toes”!
EMILY FLINT says
I hate using rutabaga. The last time was close to a disaster just trying to cut the darn thing up. I’m thinking that I could throw in some sweet potatoes with the regukar potatoes?
Chula King says
I’m not a fan of rutabaga either, but my husband loves them. I agree about peeling and cutting them up.
When my husband was little (he’s from the UK where they call rutabagas swedes) he and his friends used to carve the rutabagas like we carve pumpkins. I still shake my head thinking about how he and his friends were able to do that!
Anyway, I suspect that sweet potatoes would work fine in this recipe. You could also use turnip roots.
Margaret Matkey says
do you freeze pasties before or after cooking. then how do you cook or reheat frozen pasties?
Chula King says
I freeze the pasties before cooking them. I cook the frozen pasties, straight from the freezer, at 350°F for an hour (basically the same temperature and amount of time as I cook the unfrozen pasties).
Hope this helps.