Don’t get too excited – the word is pronounced past-eez, not pay-steez. A pasty is a meat pie in individual-serving size. They differ from single-serving pot pies in that there’s no container but the crust, they usually do not include any kind of gravy, and the meat is not cooked before putting it in the crust. They are an essential element in one of my favorite meals: the ploughman’s platter (a pasty, salad, pickled vegetables, dinner roll, fruit, and a slab of cheese all served cold and preferably with a pint of cider). They are also quite versatile because you can fill them with all sorts of leftover meats and veggies. Make more than you need – they pack well in lunches and freeze, too.
Pasties are generally served in pubs with brown sauce as the condiment (sort of like a steak sauce spiked with malt vinegar). In the US the easiest kind of brown sauce to find is HP (you may recognize it from fish and chip shops) but Matt prefers the Irish kind called Chef and I prefer Branston’s small chunk pickle (same sauce but with teensy little crunchy bits of veggies pickled in it). You can find HP at some of the larger or fancier grocery stores, but for Chef or ploughman’s pickle (manufactured by several companies, chiefly Branston’s and the European arm of Heinz and sometimes simply called “pickle”) you may have to go online or find an local import shop. We drive about 30 miles to get this stuff.
This recipe was inspired by one for Cornish Pasties in The Racine Journal-Times and Sunday Bulletin Cook of the Week Recipes from 1957. It called for two kinds of red meat, a whole pound in all, and made two pasties of gigantic proportions such as I have never witnessed in real life. Cornish pasties lay on their side like ravioli; because the crimp is on the top I believe that my pasties are of the Lancashire persuasion.
Serve with: everything you need for a ploughman’s platter (see above), or just a big bowl of cream of vegetable soup
Serves four with side dishes, but only two if you’re greedy little bastards like us. Eight if you are serving your pasties as part of a ploughman’s for lunch.
Crust (Martha Stewart’s pâté brisée): Filling: — Amanda
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup ice water
1/4 pound ground beef, pork , pork, lamb, bulk sausage, or cooked le puy lentils
1/4 finely chopped onion, shallot, or leek
1 large carrot, chopped into 3/8” chunks
1 to 2 small-medium potatoes, cut into 3/8” chunks
1 small parsnip, cut into 3/8” chunks
1 teaspoon butter or shortening, divided
1 egg, beaten
Crust (Martha Stewart’s pâté brisée):