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Pasty


DanCole42
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So I've given myself the challenge of making a semi-traditional yet amazingly delicious pasty for an English friend of mine.

Does anyone have any tips, suggestions, or recipes (based on experience, not based on what I can find on my own with Google)?

I'd also love to find a place around here that serves them, since I've never had one before.

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So I've given myself the challenge of making a semi-traditional yet amazingly delicious pasty for an English friend of mine.

Does anyone have any tips, suggestions, or recipes (based on experience, not based on what I can find on my own with Google)?

I'd also love to find a place around here that serves them, since I've never had one before.

Make an empanada. Leave out the cumin. Call it a pasty. Your English friend will be happy.

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I've never made them (or had them) but I do believe that you are supposed to use real suet in the dough-so a butcher would be a great place to start for the ingredients. Steve Gatward, at Let''s Meat on the Avenue, comes here via Great Britain and I believe carries suet for customers who request it.

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There's a recipe in the March issue of Bon Appetit: Beef Pasties with Caramelized Onions and Stilton Cheese (page 93).

In the crust, it calls for equal parts of butter and solid vegetable shortening, but you could always substitute lard for the shortening.

The issue of Bon Appetit is called "Comfort Food Now" and there's a really nice-looking shepherd's pie on the cover.

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My great-grandmother used suet in the crust but all pasty-makers in the family since have gotten by with shortening. On the other end of the scale, my uncle makes his with storebought pie crust. (Not much of a baker, my uncle.)

I can only tell you what's traditional in my family's corner of Cornwall. Pasties are like pizza, the argument over "authenticity" is wide-ranging and fierce. I for one would refuse to eat a pasty made with ground beef or carrots. Or one made in a bowl, for that matter.

Traditional Rickard pasty-making tips:

- half beef and half pork in cubes, 1/2" or so

- chip the potatoes, don't slice them, and make sure they're small or they'll poke through the dough

- a fair amount of rutabaga (also cut smallish) but NO CARROTS

- mix all that with some chopped onion and S&P

Lay out your dough in large circles, drop the filling on, place a pat of butter over the filling and fold/crimp the dough to form a half-circle. Cut a few slits in the top for steam. Bake.

Serve with piccalilli and chow-chow. Or if you're nontraditional, sriracha.

(Or wrap in newspaper as lunch for your favorite copper miner.)

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Take a scallion--or to be more British, maybe a baby leek--flatten it and then shred it really, really thin, but starting about 1/4 of an inch from the end, so all the fine, narrow strips remain connected.

Stick a little nob of dough on top of your pasties and returning your allium to a circular form, insert it in the nob to add a festive tassle to your pasty.

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or do as wiki does:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasty

The Cornish Pasty is a great Tweaked family tradition. Ma Tweaked uses the time honored beef, swede, potato, onion, salt and pepper method. The several times I have made them I have switched out the beef for some lamb and a little rosemary...my Plymouth based relatives would be aghast, but it makes a might tasty pasty.

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My Dad is from Upper Michigan where pasties are a tradition. We use round steak cut in cubes, diced potatoes, carrots and finely chopped onions. You can make your own crust or buy it if too busy. They make them in individual semi-circles or large pie versions and serve them with pickles and ketchup.

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On my first visit to the UK, during the height of the mad cow disease scare, I broke my "avoid beef" rule exactly once, in order to enjoy a pasty. Forget the Jamaican patty angle, it no more resembles a pasty than most of the other hundreds of baked-meat-in-dough combinations found throughout the world. Jael's description is about as perfect as one could want, although I'll note that in the east of England (i.e. far from Cornwall) they seem to be more relaxed about the occasional use of ground beef.

NYC's Myers of Keswick bakes a tasty pasty and ships all over the US, although theirs is a bit flakier (and less sturdy) than I remember having in England, and rather smaller overall.

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