Cornish Pasties

"Pastry rolled out like a plate

Piled with turmut, tates, and mate.

Doubled up, and baked like fate;

That's a Cornish pasty." . . . . Anon

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Makes 6 pasties . . .

Your favorite pastry - enough for 2 pie crusts

6 - 8 oz. extra-lean stewing steak, cut very small

Small onion (4-5oz) chopped

Small turnip, swede or rutabagas, chopped - OPTIONAL

Small potato (4-5oz) cubed the same size as the meat

Salt, pepper and thyme

1 egg, beaten with a little water

Preheat the oven to 400*

Make your favorite short crust pastry.  If you don't often make pastry, use a pastry mix or frozen pastry.  Make the pastry and put into the frig to chill, while baking the filling.

Chop the meat and vegetables into very small pieces and put into a bowl. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.

Divide the pastry into 6 equal pieces, rolled into balls. Roll out each ball into a round (doesn't have to be perfect!) about 6'-7' in diameter. Don't roll the pastry too thin or stretch it.

Spoon 1/6 of the filling into the middle of each pasty round.  Spread the filling so that it stretches almost completely across the diameter of each round.  Brush around the pastry edges with beaten egg.

Pull the edges of the pastry together (top to bottom) doubling it over at the top if necessary.  Press the edges together to make a tight seal. A tight seal makes juicy pasties. Twist the edges to give a rope effect, or crimp them with a knife. Brush the outside with egg.

Bake at 400* for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 350* for a further 40 minutes.

PASTY LORE

There's a lot of interesting background to Cornish pasties, which originated as a takealong lunch for Cornish tin miners and farmers.

In some cases, the inside of the pasty was a dual mixture - meat at one end and apple, or other fruit at the other.

Sometimes the crust was extended at each end, to allow miners to eat the pasty with dirty hands, and throw away the crust ends.

Cornish cooks were known to carve the initials of their miner into the crust to identify his pasty.

The Cornish have a great sense of humor.  It is said that some housewives would mark one end of the pasty "TM" for "tis meat" and the other end of the pasty "TM" for "tisn't meat."

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