Recipe Tester: Cornish Pasties

About two weeks ago, I tested a recipe for the one and only Hank Shaw. He put out the call on a Facebook page I’m a part of, and sent me the recipe to test via email. It may appear in his upcoming cookbook, Buck, Buck, Moose.

Since I live in Madison, he sent me a recipe for Cornish pasties modeled on the one and only Myles Teddywedgers. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan, as well as the parts of Northern Wisconsin bordering it, was settled in part by Cornish immigrants. They came here to do what they had done in Cornwall- mine. There’s a fair amount of iron ore in the Penokee Hills and Gogebic Range up there. And they took their pasties with them. To this day, many restaurants and bakeries there sell pasties.

In the interest of not spoiling the surprise of the cookbook, I won’t post the recipe here. It was only a draft after all, and I sent in a few corrections with my review and pictures. I do think I’d be OK in posting the pictures, though. They were mighty tasty, and the few errors in the recipe I caught early enough to avoid disaster.

As you can see, they featured pig lard. The request stipulated I follow the recipe exactly. Next time I make these, I have changes in mind. First would be to cut it in half- this made about 6 too many pasties for two people to eat. I froze the left overs. Second would be to try bear lard in place of pig lard- half and half with butter. Third would be to play with the filling. 3A being to use cubed stew meat in place of ground- I like the texture better. 3B being breakfast things or pizza filling. 3C would be to go full bear- using bear stew meat as well as bear lard in the crust. 4 would be to mess around with the root vegetables. It called for waxy potatoes (I used Yukon Gold) and rutabagas or turnips. I used rutabagas because my grocery store had them. Future iterations may contain carrots and potatoes instead.

Overall, it was a fun weekend project. And there was enough to feed a crowd.

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2 thoughts on “Recipe Tester: Cornish Pasties

    • Make sure you get a recipe for a pasty crust and not a pie crust. The crust used bread flour (more gluten for strength) and a lot more kneading to develop said gluten. With a crust strong enough to hold up in the hand, the filling could be just about anything.

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