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Pastry-topped pies are a classic winter warmer served on a cold evening, but you can’t beat a hearty pasty for an equally comforting lunch in the chilly weather. While they are best enjoyed straight from a paper bag in the fresh air, Rick Stein’s authentic Cornish pasty is easy to make from the comfort of your own home. Stuffed with a mixture of root vegetables and meaty steak, you need just a handful of cheap ingredients to replicate the Cornwall-loving chef’s recipe.
The Cornish pasty is a fitting dish for Cornwall with its roots dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries when it was served as a potable lunch for tin miners, fishermen and farmers to take to work.
Traditionally made as a turnover-shaped shortcrust pastry casing and stuffed with beef and vegetables, this British dish is open to interpretation when it comes to experimenting with different flavours.
But if you’re looking for an authentic recipe you can make at home, Rick Stein has shared the “proper” way to bake them in series two of his hit programme, Rick Stein’s Cornwall.
In the show, he said: “I love Cornish pasties, particularly for lunch. I think it’s just a very well-balanced meal and very convenient – in a bag just right.”
To make four pasties, you will need enough ingredients to make the filling and the pastry from scratch.
For the filling:
- 150g peeled swede
- 250g peeled floury potatoes
- 100g onion, chopped
- 400g Skirt steak, cut into 1cm pieces
- One egg, beaten
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pastry:
- 500g plain flour
- One teaspoon of salt
- 250g cold butter
- 150ml cold water
Always start by making the pastry to give it time to rest before rolling it out into your classic pasty shapes.
Begin by sifting the flour and salt into a large bowl and add half of the butter. Rub it in with your fingers to form fine breadcrumbs with no lumps.
Stir in the rest of the butter and water to bring it together and form a soft dough. At this point, you can start kneading the mixture to smooth it out.
Once combined into one large ball of dough, roll it out into a rough rectangle on a clean, flat kitchen surface. To form the turnover shape, fold up the bottom third of the dough and then fold down the top third.
Wrap in cling film and chill in your fridge for around 30 minutes. After this, unwrap the dough and roll it out again into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
Fold up the bottom third and then fold down the top one-third and roll out once more. Repeat this process until all the pieces of fat have disappeared. Fold up the dough once more, wrap it in cling film and chill for another half hour.
While you wait, cut the swede and potatoes into 1cm thick slices, then each slice lengthways into 1cm thick “chips”. Rick noted that you should cut these across into 5mm thick pieces before mixing them all together in a bowl along with the steak and onions. Add one teaspoon of salt and three-quarters of a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
Roll out the dough once more on a floured surface until it measures 3mm thick and cut out four 20cm discs. Spoon equal amounts of the filling mixture into the centre of each pastry disc and lightly brush the edge of one-half of the pastry shape with water.
Bring the edges together over the top of the filling and press together well to form the pasty, then, working from left to right, fold in the corner with 2.5cm of the edge pointing inwards.
Fold over the next 2.5cm and continue like this along the edge, to create a rope-like design which will seal the pasty. Place the pasties on a greased baking sheet and brush them with beaten egg. Chill for one hour before baking in a preheated oven at 180C/350F/Gas four for one hour, turning them around after 30 minutes so they all brown evenly.
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