Pasties are a great ‘meal in one’ on board a boat, simple to prepare and cook, and easy to eat either at the helm or around the table. The traditional Cornish Pasty was made for miners, and had the savoury section at one end and an apple section at the other end. In the pits miners would feel for the pastry cross at one end which denoted the sweet end. The pasty is served with a thick crust, this was held to eat the pasty and then discarded, in this recipe I am using minced meat, but you could use any beef as long as it is cut up very small.
Ingredients for 4 pasties
Cook for 45 minutes at 190c ( or, on hot until they are golden brown in a boat oven)
400g Plain Flour, 100g lard and 100g butter or margarine, salt and pepper, water to bind to a soft but not tacky consistency.
Place the flour in a bowl, crumble the lard and margarine, sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Work the fat and Margarine into ‘breadcrumbs’ throughout the flour, when it is truly mixed, from a cup of cold water, slowly add the water as you bine the pastry together. If you over add the water, don’t panic, just add some more plain flour to bring it back to a soft non sticky consistency.
Potato, swede, onions, water, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper and 400g of minced beef.
It is important to remember that the mix should be half swede and onion to the potato. I’m not going to give you weights. But for four pasties I would start with four medium potatoes, place the vegetables on the work surface and divide them up, into roughly half and two quarters. The quantity of the vegetables will determine the size of your pasty, the exact weight of the vegetables is not important. Now for the meat, I add about 75g- 100g per person, this keeps the pasty meaty and moist.
Peel and chop your vegetables and cut them into 1cm cubes or smaller, add three tablespoons of water to this mix. If you are using mince, add this to the vegetable mix and blend all together.
So now for assembling, I will take you through a pictorial guide to simplify the process.
You do not need pastry cutters, turn the ball of pastry out onto the work surface,roll into a ball and cut into the number of pasties you are making, here I have made seven pasties. Take one section and manipulate it back into a ball. sprinkle the work surface with flour and roll each section like this into a flat roughly circle shape. If you do not have a rolling pin on board, wrap a wine bottle in cling film and use this – I haven’t come across a boat yet that doesn’t have a bottle of some sort on board!
Give the pasty mix another stir and divide your mix up between the pasties, placing the mixture on one half of the pasty, assuring that you leave a gap right around the edge for sealing.
Now you need to seal the pasty, using a pastry brush or alternatively your finger if you don’t have one, wipe a little of the egg wash ( egg wash is simply an egg and a dash of milk combined and beaten), around one half of the pasty.
Make sure that you do not put too much egg wash around the edge of the pasty, otherwise the pastry becomes soggy and is difficult to crimp.
It is important that you lift the side of the pastry that does not have the filling over the side containing the filling, do not pull and stretch the pastry. Press very lightly around the edges of the pasty.
Crimping the edge of your pasty
Dont worry if you find crimping too difficult, when the pasty is folded, just gently place a fork at the edge of the pastry and seal the filling in by pressing lightly with the fork prongs right along the edge.
Remove from the oven when they are honey coloured, leave for five minutes before removing the pasties from the trays and serving.
Please leave a comment if you use my recipe, my pasties have been quite popular over the years, I’m sure you will enjoy making them, and more importantly eating them!
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