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Meat Pies

Starry Gazey Pie
             A History of the Stargazey Pie
             More History of the Starry-gazey Pie - Alexandria
             Cornish Fish Recipe Method
             Prime Pilchards in Pastry - Alice Gomez
             Recipe for Stargazey Pie from the Great British Cookbook
John Arthur on British Pies
Pie and Mash - David Charnick
Mark Twain's Recipe for New English Pie - Larry Finch
Ray Martin's Seasonal Pie
Barry Wainwright Remembers
David Charnick on Crusts
Graham Perry's Crust Experience
John Meyn's Pie "Test"
Sara Waterson on British Pies
American Pot Pies - Bruce Trinque
Pot Pie Crust Recipe - Elizabeth McCullough
Cornish Pasty History
             From "The Cornish Pasty"
             Welcome to Pasty Central, UP Style - Keith Peterson
Pasty Lore
             Christian Anible
             Phil Johnson
             Martin Watts
             Ian Watkins
             Martin Watts
Pasty Recipes
             British Food - Cornish Pasties: Traditional English Recipe
             Cornish Pasty - Allrecipes

Stargazey Pie
A History of the Stargazey Pie
Star Gazey Pie is a dish unique to Mousehole (a fishing village in West Cornwall with a most beautiful harbour). Prepared in the Ship Inn, ate on 23rd December- Tom Bawcock's Eve. Long ago Winter storms had prevented the fishing boats putting to sea. In a lull in the bad weather one of their number Tom Bawcock managed to catch enough fish to prevent the village from starving. A pie of many fishes was made from the catch - Star Gazey Pie.
Nowadays the village is famous for its Christmas Lights A spectacular and dazzling Display of Illuminations from Dancing Reindeer to Santa Claus, to Christmas Pudding complete with sprigs of holly. A church with music playing. A cross with two angels. And not forgetting a Star Gazey Pie in lights.

More History of the Starry-gazey Pie - Alexandria
Starry-gazey pie is eaten traditionally at midnight on December 23rd, Tom Bawcock's Eve, a very important day in Mousehole, when the pie is available free at the Ship Inn. Traditionally it contains seven different kinds of fish, and there is a song telling you what they are but I forget, except the ones who do the stargazing are indeed Pilchards, known locally as fair maids. It was supposedly first made out of a catch of fish which saved the locals from starvation, but tradition does not tell us when this was. It is now cooked by a chef from eastern europe (!) and includes bechamel sauce. It sounds very like a standard fish pie except for the heads and tails.

Cornish Fish Recipe Method
One 8" (200mm) shallow pie dish.
6 to 8 pilchard. 2 eggs. 3 rashers bacon. 1 lemon.
One medium sized onion.
Salt and pepper to season, (sea salt for greater authenticity).
Parsley and tarragon for flavouring and garnish.
Gut, clean and bone the fish, leaving on the heads and tails. (You may find the flesh is so fresh you can pull the backbone free just using your fingertips without needing a knife.) Take the onion. Finely chop. Chop into squares the bacon. Cut the lemon in half; set two slices from to one side for decoration. Squeeze and save the juice. Finely grind the rind. Boil until soft, not hard two free-range eggs. Cut into small dices.
Either mix and roll enough ingredients to make approx. 500g of shortcrust or flaky pasty. (We suggest if you don't have the patience buy some ready prepared frozen pasty from the your local supermarket. Cut the thawed pasty mixture into two halves.) Roll one half down to thickness sufficient to cover the base of your pie dish. Cut off the overlapped edges. Coat the edge with either milk or water to ensure the pasty lid will stick.
Either then: Carefully your pilchards, into the bottom of the dish arranging them, like the spokes of a wheel, around the edge of your dish. Place the mixed chopped onion, eggs and bacon in the gaps between the fish. Some recipes suggest stuffing the with half the finely chopped mixture, but given the small gut of the pilchard is it worth trying to do so? Add the lemon juice and cover with your pasty lid pressing down around the fish to seal the pie, trim the edges of overlapping pasty and crimping the edges in true Cornish style.
Or (and we find this more authentic) place all your chopped ingredients, including seasoning into the dish. Cover with pasty lid, trim the edges of overlapping pasty, crimp as above, then carefully cut slits into the pasty, hold open with blade of a knife, and gently push the whole fish into the slots, leaving just the heads or tails showing. Add the lemon juice and then seal the slits. Coat the now completed pie with a beaten egg.
Cooking your Pie
Place in the middle of a pre-hearted oven gas mark 6, 200 c for around 30 minutes, until golden brown. For larger pies more time might be needed before it is cooked.
Serve piping hot with sprig of parsley garnish and Cornish new potatoes.

Prime Pilchards in Pastry - Alice Gomez
I just finished a book called The Wreckers by Iain Lawrence (billed as 'juvenile fiction,' but good enough for this adult), about wreckers on the coast of Cornwall - those people who have from time immemorial salvaged what they could from wrecked ships on its rocky coastline. The twist in the book - no spoiler, you come to know this early on - is that in one town, lights mislead storm-tossed ships on to the rocks, instead of away from them.
One of the characters makes a Starry Gazey Pie, which Google tells me is a favorite of Mousehole, Cornwall - and involves placing small fish or eels in a fish pie so that their little heads are sticking up out of the pie pastry around the edges, their dead eyes looking up to the stars. Now, this sounds truly ghastly to me, but I was wondering if anyone had ever had it. It's also called Star Gazey Pie.
Here's a recipe supplied by Felicity Sylvester, Appledore Festival:
Prime Pilchards in Pastry
Shortcrust pastry made with 10 oz plain flour
8 pilchards, sardines or small herrings
Salt, pepper
1 large chopped onion
Approx. 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 hard-bailed eggs
3 rashers streaky bacon
beaten egg to glaze
Roll out pasty far double-crust plate pie. Cover the plate.
Brush the rim with water and roll out another piece for the lid. Keep it aside.
Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200C (400F)
Clean and bone the fish, leaving their heads in place. Season inside and stuff with finely chopped onion and parsley.
Fold back into shape.
Lay the fish an the pasty like the spokes of a wheel with their heads on the rim so that they can gaze upwards.
Fill the gaps in between with chopped bacon and hard boiled eggs.
Put the pastry lid in place, pressing dawn between the fish heads so that it meets the pasty of the lower rim, making a wavy effect. Brush with beaten egg.
Bake for 30 minutes, though if the fish are on the large side be prepared to give them 15 minutes more at the reduced heat of gas 4, 180C (350F). Serve hot.

Recipe for Stargazey Pie from the Great British Cookbook
This Cornish Pie is probably so called because the fishes' heads are left outside the pastry, gazing upwards. Originally they were arranged like this because the oil drained back into the pie, so nothing was wasted and the pie was moistened.
In some parts of Cornwall a mashed potato crust is used instead of pastry. Pilchards were once so plentiful in Cornwall that they were hung on lines to dry. Stargazey pie was a fun dish, made for special occasions, or to amuse children.
Serves: 4-6
6 Tablespoon Fresh white breadcrumbs
150 ml Milk (5 fl oz)
2 Tablespoon Fresh parsley, chopped
3 Tablespoon Lemon juice, plus the zest
1 Medium Onion, chopped
6 Pilchards, filtered with heads left on
2 Hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 Rashers Bacon, rinded and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
150 ml Dry cider (5 fl oz)
225 Gram Puff pastry, or shortcrust or flaky pastry (8 oz)
Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk and leave to swell a little. Add the parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest and onion and mix well.
Divide this stuffing between the fish, spreading it over the flat fillets. Fold them over, then put them into a round ovenproof dish, tails downwards and with the heads on the edge.
Put the chopped eggs, bacon, seasoning and cider all around and in between the fish.
Roll out the pastry to fit the dish. Press on, leaving the fish heads exposed on the rim.
Bake at 220C / 425F/ Gas 7 for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven to 190C / 375F / Gas 5 and cook for a further 25 minutes.
You can use herrings or mackerel in place of the pilchards.

John Arthur on British Pies
The recent postings about Stargazy Pie (the only way to spell it) suggests that perhaps there could be a general ignorance within the Gunroom's non-British members about the British Pie. The list of pies is regional and almost endless, and Jack and his crew certainly would have made and enjoyed them.
When I served during WW2 as a rating in a Royal Navy corvette (doing my sea-time, as it were) we prepared our own meals, and took them up to the galley to be cooked. Pastry was known as 'clacker' and a messmate who could produce good clacker was very popular. Each day at 0800 two cooks for each mess would fall out, while the rest of the ships company would carry on with care and maintenance. Not much had changed since Nelson's day. We had a daily mess allowance per head, which could be used to buy essentials from the pusser, or spent ashore on food as we chose. If the money allocated was not spent, we had mess savings to be allocated to each member of that mess. Otherwise the mess would have to pay the balance. It worked very well. Some of the dishes went back 200 years. Sailors are very conservative about these things. But we lived to the standard we chose as a mess.
The British pie also has a long tradition. Originally produced to satisfy the needs of farm labourers working in the field, more elaborate versions were produced at the hunting lodge for the shooting parties. Here's a list of some of them:
Bedfordshire Clanger. A long steamed suet pudding with meat at one end and fruit at the other.
Cornish Pasty. Plate sized pastry folded in half with beef, potatoes, swedes and onion filling.
Small Mutton Pies. Shortcrust pastry cases with lean mutton flavoured with herbs and nutmeg. An old Scottish speciality. Fit for a King (George V used to serve them at Sandringham).
Melton Mowbray Pie. The original pork pie. Delicious.
Steak and Kidney Pie. Shortcrust pastry, originally with oysters instead of kidney. Variations all over the country. Derbyshire has a version called Pickwick Pie.
Steak and Kidney Pudding. This is made with suet pastry and steamed. Can argue a long time Pie v. Pud.
Fidget Pie from Shropshire. Made from layers of potato, gammon, onion and apple, with a crust.and many more . . . . . .
And now for the definitive recipe for Stargazy Pie:
Traditionally Pilchards are used. After WW1 the vast shoals of pilchards all but disappeared from Cornwall, but once again they are available. The pilchards are cleaned and boned, and then filled with an onion/herb mix. Line a baking dish with shortcrust pastry and cover with rest of stuffing mix. Lay the pilchards out around the dish with a rasher of streaky bacon between each one. Cut a circle of pastry the size of the dish and place it on top, allowing the heads of the pilchards to protrude. Pinch the pastry layers together. Cook. Enjoy.
(Of course you can always take the easy option: Collect a Big Mac or some Kentucky Fried Turkey).
I shall be in Cornwall over Christmas and the New Year, enjoying local produce, only a few miles from Mousehole. I shall be revisiting a favourite pub where for 400 years they have been brewing their own beer. Not telling you where, though. I don't want to be responsible for some transatlantic Lissun turning up on a Harley-Davidson to loudly complain that their beer is warm, and that he can't find a Mcdonald's.

Pie and Mash - David Charnick
Which I have a contribution, being the London version of pie and mash. This delicacy involves minced beef pies (or ground beef, if you're over the water) and mashed potatoes served with 'liquor', a thin parsley sauce. Traditionally seasoned with salt, pepper and malt vinegar (especially malt vinegar with chillis in the bottle) and eaten with a spoon and fork.

Mark Twain's Recipe for New English Pie - Larry Finch
To make this excellent breakfast dish, proceed as follows:
Take a sufficiency of water and a sufficiency of flour, and construct a bullet-proof dough. Work this into the form of a disk, with the edges turned up some three-fourths of an inch. Toughen and kiln-dry in a couple days in a mild but unvarying temperature. Construct a cover for this redoubt in the same way and of the same material. Fill with stewed dried apples; aggravate with cloves, lemon-peel, and slabs of citron; add two portions of New Orleans sugars, then solder on the lid and set in a safe place till it petrifies. Serve cold at breakfast and invite your enemy.

Ray Martin's Seasonal Pie
Pies is all well and good. But at this time of year a cove need a steak and kidney pudding.
None of your Frenchified puff pastry here. Nor none of your pies without hulls and bottoms. This here's a suet-bottomed craft, that'd feed a regiment.

Barry Wainwright Remembers
Ahhh, steak and kidney pudding, chips and gravy - with a few rounds of bread and butter. A meal fit to match Jack's Soused Hog's Face!
A real Lancashire pie supper would be 'tater pie' with mushy peas and gravy.

David Charnick on Crusts
Which there might be some scrubs as might skimp on the pastry in the privacy of their own billet, but the sounder of us would be mortal offended to be presented with a top-only pie. Would you serve such a thing to the wardroom, for all love?
A real pie has to have sides and a bottom just like a barky, don't it? Leave the rest to the Portsmouth Brutes with their crop tops and baggy trews.

Graham Perry's Crust Experience
Pah, Our Cooks in the Canteen at work have the effrontery to cook the meat and the pie tops separate (no bottoms or sides) and then put them together for the first time on your plate in front of your eyes, the rogues.
Carpenters mate Perry holds out his tray, chef takes a big scoop from 5 gallon pan and ladles sloppy meat onto his plate, then his assistant (partner in crime more like it) then takes the puffy top off of another tray and plops it on top.
That ain't no pie, no sir, but they dare call it that...........

John Meyn's Pie "Test"
The way to tell the difference between a biscuit and a cake is that a cake goes hard when stale, a biscuit goes soft.
I propose the same sort of test for pies.
A meat pie, when cold, should be capable of being eaten one-handed, leaving the other hand free for the pint.

Sara Waterson on British Pies
A British pie would be a small pie, probably an individual steak and kidney pie, which are sold as 'take away' snacks all over the UK, but especially oop North. They can go up to gargantuan in size, of course. In fact oop North there's a tradition of competition to bake the biggest meat pie imaginable. Not sure what the current record is - it will be in the Guinness Book of Records. There was a whole comic strip - Desperate Dan - about meat pies, when I were a nipper... The trick with Northern pies [and they have shops up there which sell nothing but meat pies] is to bake the pie 'dry' then pour the gravy in through the steam-hole at the top, using a funnel. 'Steak and Kidney' pie is one of the glories of classic British cooking - you must try it sometime! Variations are Beef and Oyster, Beef and Ale [or Guinness] and Beef and Mushroom.
For the 9nth time: in the UK, if it has a lid, whether it's sweet or savoury, it's a PIE; and if it doesn't have a lid, ie is an open pastry case with a sweet filling, it's a TART.
And if it's an open pastry case with a savoury filling, it's probably a quiche, the creature - a Frog invention.

American Pot Pies - Bruce Trinque
Although it is my experience that most American "pot pies" (usually made with chicken or turkey as the meat ingredient, but I have seen them done with beef, too) have only a top crust, sealed along the edges with the "pot".

Pot Pie Crust Recipe - Elizabeth McCullough
From the kitchen of me:
Put 1.5-2 cups flour in a bowl. Add a teaspoon of baking powder and half a teaspoon of salt. Do not bother to measure accurately. This isn't a cooking show, you know. Mix lightly. Cut up 6 tablespoons butter into the dry mixture and then decide, what the heck, let's use the whole thing.
Mix flour and butter with a pastry blender until it resembles yada yada yada -- you know the routine. Add some milk and toss with a fork until it starts to stick together but is not sticky. If you've done it before, you know the difference. If this is your first time, add more flour.
Gather dough into a ball with fingers and transfer to rolling-out surface. Pat it into a roundish mound. Wash hands, but before washing hands pull off sticky bits of dough and eat. Begin rolling out dough. Eat the parts the fall off. Try to roll our the dough in a round shape. Eat angles and dangly bits. Eat anything that sticks to surface.
Transfer the round to potpie or whatever. Eat the bits that lap over the sides of the pan. Go back to rolling surface. See if there are any bits left to eat. Eat them.
Makes one serving plus a potpie for the rest of the family.

Pasty History
From The Cornish Pasty
It was once said that the Devil would never dare to cross the River Tamar into Cornwall for fear of ending up as a filling in a Cornish Pasty. For centuries the Cornish have been filling their famous pasties with almost any ingredients that you would care to think of. The traditional filling is, of course, beef and potato, usually with slices of onion and swede mixed in as well, but the humble pasty can also be found in a number of other guises. Popular fillings down the years have included Egg and Bacon, Rabbit, Apples, Figs, Jam, and Egg and Currants. There is virtually no limit to what tasty filling you might find when you take a first bite into that delicious crunchy pastry! Surprisingly, however, in a region where the sea plays such an important role in everyday life, fish has never been regarded as an appropriate pasty filling. In fact, the more superstitious among Cornish fishermen will refuse to take a pasty on board their boat when they set out to sea, in the belief that it will bring them bad luck.
The pasty originally evolved to meet the needs of tin mining, that other great, but now sadly declined, Cornish industry. A hearty meal wrapped in a pastry casing made for a very practical lunch (or "croust" , as they used to call it ) down in the dark and damp tunnels of the mine. Some mines even built huge ovens on the surface to keep the miner's pasties hot until it was time to eat.
Tradition has it that the original pasties contained meat and vegetables in one end and jam or fruit in the other end, in order to give the hard-working men 'two courses'. Cornish housewives also marked their husband's initials on the left-hand side of the pastry casing, in order to avoid confusion at lunchtime. This was particularly useful when a miner wished to save a 'corner' of his pasty until later, or if he wanted to leave a corner for one of the 'Knockers'. The Knockers were the mischievous 'little people' of the mines, who were believed by the miners to cause all manner of misfortune, unless they were placated with a small amount of food, after which they could prove to be a source of good luck.
Today there is still a great deal of debate among pasty-makers about exactly how a genuine pasty should be made. Many will tell you that a pasty can only be made with short pastry, while others will advocate rough puff as the ideal pastry. Some will claim that the ingredients must be mixed up inside the pastry, while others will swear that the fillings should be laid out in a particular order before the pasty is sealed. The issue that invites the most controversy involves the famous 'crimp', the wavy seam that holds the whole pasty together. Should the pasty be sealed across the top, or at the side? History suggests that the crimp should be formed at the side, because the pasty has always been eaten by hand, and the side crimp is the most convenient way of holding onto your lunch while you take a big bite. Others may beg to differ! There are, fortunately, some facts that can be agreed upon by all pasty-makers. The meat should be chopped, the vegetables should always be sliced, and the ingredients must never be cooked before they are wrapped in the pastry. Each pasty must be baked completely from raw. It is this fact that makes the Cornish Pasty unique amongst similar foods from around the world.
Nobody knows for certain the true origins of the pasty, although it can be traced at least as far back as the middle ages. It is believed that Henry VIII's Queen, Jane Seymour, enjoyed a tasty pasty on several occasions. Over the years the pasty has spread across the country and around the world. Variations can be found in counties such as Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Cumberland, although it has been suggested that Cornish miners introduced the pasty to these places when they left Cornwall and moved up-country in search of work. Cornish emigrants also introduced the pasty onto the American continent. They are popular in parts of the United States, as well as in Argentina and Mexico.
Depending on where you go, pasties come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Until recently, a group of Young Farmers in Cornwall held the record for making the largest pasty known to man. The pasty, which was baked in 1985, took seven hours to make, and measured over 32 feet in length! Amazingly, their record was believed to be beaten in May 1999, when bakers in Falmouth made their own giant pasty during the town's first ever Pasty Festival.
The pasty is, and always shall be associated with Cornwall. It holds a special place in Cornish culture and in the hearts of the Cornish people. For many people the pasty is the greatest symbol of Cornwall. When the Cornish Rugby team plays an important match, a giant Cornish pasty is symbolically hoisted over the bar before the start of the game. It is a tradition that dates back to 1908, and the original giant pasty is still used to this day.
While many inhabitants of Cornwall still like to bake their own, the pasty has risen to become big business in shops and supermarkets throughout the country. Nowadays, you can even dial-a-pasty straight to your door! Any Cornish man or woman will tell you, however, that a true Cornish pasty can only be homebaked in the traditional way, and you will only experience the mouth-watering taste of a true Cornish pasty if you pay a visit to the county where it was created.
By Christopher Lean

Welcome to Pasty Central, UP Style - Keith Peterson
I just returned from the Copper Country of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, of which Calumet is, though a small town, probably the center. My mom lives in an even smaller town, Kearsarge, just down U.S. 41 about a couple miles. is her internet provider, and is also a retirement home and also a pasty bakery. I can't really explain this - it just is. Their web site is a sort of gateway to the UP, and those interested can find links to the music of the infamous Da Yoopers [performers of Da Second Week of Deer Camp, I Was Just A Lonely Yooper Till She Grabbed Me By The Rump, and other tunes] and to Eagle Lodge, Lakeside, where we always stay. And every other place up there.
I've gone up there almost every summer of my life, and always looked forward to the pasties. My mom would occasionally make them in Chicago, but having one up there meant Summer, meant being on vacation. Anyway, it was only after I was out of college that it dawned on me that Cornish pasties were not a Finnish dish - all the Finns eat them and make them, and the Cornish all moved on years ago when the mines closed down. Whoever saw a Cornish? Why would they be called Cornish pasties if they were a Finnish invention? - I might have asked myself. Well, the Finns are an odd bunch. Why is the Argentinean tango the biggest pop music craze in Finland? Who can say? Anyway, having just eaten several pasties recently, and having passed through Calumet back and forth a number to times, I thought I'd put in a good word for - they ship pasties anywhere.

Pasty Lore
In Madison, Wisconsin, the Pasties were as big as half a pie, ie, like a pie folded in half, full of meat and potatoes. And there were pie-like indentations around the edge, in the crust.
All inspired by the miners from Wales who emigrated there to.....mine lead in the southern part of the state. It was said that they burrowed in caves like Badgers in the early 19th C, giving Wisconsin its nickname, The Badger State.

Recently I saw some TV show, possibly GlobeTrekker, which asserted that the pasties were made with the heavily crimped crust on the edge so the miners, with their coal-blackened hands, had a place to hold the pasties, thereby keeping the rest of the pastie clean to eat.
I'm not sure if it's true, but it makes a good story.

Christian Anible
Lois: This sounds exactly like what I'm used to in Upper Michigan. Sometimes they're smaller, but I always feel a little cheated if they don't take up a full dinner plate. There used to be a shop on State Street in Madison just before the capitol where they sold what were certainly pasties even though they called them something different ... tommyknockers, maybe? Do you recall?
Rowen: I've never heard the story about miners holding on to these with their dirty fingers ... I can't imagine anyone letting a little dirt keep them from enjoying that wonderful crust. Sounds to me like a story the locals made up to tell the idiots from GlobeTrekker.
One of the key ingredients in Upper Michigan pasties -- besides the meat, potatoes and onions -- is rutabagas. I can tell immediately if the rutabagas have been left out, and the joy is gone ...

Phil Johnson
The Cornish were tin miners, not coal miners, so their hands would be grubby, but not coal-blackened.
The shape of the top-crimped (Cornish) pasty is so that, when the miner forgot to take it with him of a morning, his wife could take it to the mine and it would fall straight and true when she dropped it down the shaft to him.
The crust if the true pasty is a shortcrust pastry made with lard, and is hard enough to break teeth (I know!).
There is another explanation for the two pasty shapes, but it is too disgusting to inflict upon such civilized souls.

Martin Watts
They don't mine coal in Cornwall, but some of the things they do, or did, mine are far worse when eaten. Arsenic for example.
I would not care to make this assertion in certain circles, nor the one about being able to drop a pasty down a mine shaft without losing the filling. Recreational pasties are far lighter and more delicate than industrial pasties.

Ian Watkins
Pasties were our main sustenance when I used to go seriously yacht racing [at one stage we were ranked fourth in Australia in the half tunners!] The skipper's wife made these magnificent pasties by the dozen. We shipped them aboard by the beer box full. They were normally eaten cold at approximately meal time [or any other time you were hungry - especially in the early watches]. They were easy to hold whilst at the helm. One hand for the boat and one hand for the pasty! If there was time we warmed them up in the spirit oven.
This experience must have been significant as now-days I prefer my pasties cold and pies piping hot.

Martin Watts
I once had a summer job at British Aerospace. A great many engineering drawings were held on microfilm. Not fiche but 'aperture cards' - 80 column cards with a window cut out to hold a 35mm microfilm. To print from these we had an enormous projection photocopier, for want of a better term, with a 3kw heater to fuse the toner.
Many of the engineers would bring their lunchtime pies and pasties and keep them on top of the printer. Usually they warmed up enough by lunchtime without leaking into the works...

Pasty Recipes
British Food - Cornish Pasties: Traditional English Recipe
Unlike a sandwich,a pasty doesn't have to be handled with care in case it gets squashed before you get back to the office, nor is there any chance of its tasty filling dropping out. Encased in a firmly sealed pastry 'pocket' it will stay intact until you are ready to eat it. It's shape has not changed in centuries.
Cornish Pasty - History
The Cornish pasty has been around a very long time. It evolved to meet the needs of the men who worked in the tin mines, Cornwall's main industry for hundreds of years. Tin mining in Cornwall was falling into decline by the 18th-century and today it is non-existent. The Cornish Pasty, however, not only lives on but is found in other countries around the world, to which miners emigrated after the demise of the industry and the loss of their jobs.
Cornish Pasty - Traditional Ingredients
The traditional filling of meat, potatoes, onion and turnip provided a nutritious lunch for the hard-working miners in the damp and gloomy tunnels. So firmly was the filling encased in the pastry, the pasties were still warm when lunch time came around. It was also extremely practical as it was easy to carry in one hand and was not only nourishing but tasty.
Cornish Pasty - Miners Marked their Pasties
Often the pasties would have their owner's initials marked with strips of pastry at one end of the pasty as the miners traditionally would eat half for their breakfast and the other half for lunch - a good way for them to identify their pasty from the others. The had to make sure they started to eat at the opposite end of the pasty to where there initials were, otherwise they might just lose half of the pasty to another hungry miner.
Cornish Pasty - How to Bake Them
One thing that makes the Cornish pasty different to similar foods around the world is that the ingredients must not be cooked before they are placed in the pastry and sealed. They must be baked completely from raw. Don't worry that because the meat is cooked from raw it will not be cooked. Just make sure you dice the meat small - around the size recommended in the recipe below.
Recipe for Cornish Pasties
Makes 4 - 6 depending on size.
Shortcrust pastry
12 oz. (350g) flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 oz. (175g) vegetable shortening or margarine
Water for mixing
12 oz.(225g) lean beef steak cut into 1 cm.cubes (just under 1/4 inch)
4 oz. (110g) chopped onion
3 oz (75g) turnip diced
8 oz. (225g) potato - diced
Salt and pepper to season
Small pinch of thyme
Mix all filling ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
Beaten egg

1. Mix salt into flour
2. Rub fat into flour until it resembles breadcrumbs
3. Add water slowly until you have a stiff dough.
4. Divide into 4-6 pieces and roll each piece into a circle shape. Place an 6 (15cm) or 8 inch (20cm) plate on the pastry and cut around it with a knife.
5. Divide the uncooked meat mixture into the number of pastry 'circles' you have, placing the filling in the middle of each pastry round.
6. Brush the rim of the pastry with beaten egg and bring the two sides of the pastry together to meet over the top of the filling,.
7. Pinch the edges together into a sort of scalloped crest . You will now have a half-moon shaped pasty.
8. Make a small slit on each side of the pasty to let the steam escape and brush with the beaten egg.
9. Bake at 220C (425F ) for 20 minutes until slightly browned, then lower heat to 170C (325F), for a further 40 minutes. Can be eaten hot or cold.

Cornish Pasty - Allrecipes
From Cornish Pasty - Allrecipes
2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter, diced
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 pounds rump roast, cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 small carrots
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons milk
Directions 1. In a small saucepan, cover carrots with water. Bring water to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool and slice. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. Add butter, and rub to the consistency of coarse crumbs. Mix in water. If dough is sticky, add more flour.
2. Roll dough out until about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out six circles, each about 5 inches round. Do not stretch the dough.
3. Mix meat and vegetables together, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover half of each pasty base with the filling. Moisten pastry edges, fold pastry over the filling. Press edges together with a fork. Transfer raw pasties to a baking sheet, brush tops with milk, and make a small slit in each top to allow steam out.
4. Bake at 450 degrees F ( 230 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and bake for 35 minutes.