Ever since arriving in South America, I have been constantly comparing their esteemed empanada to the British version that I am so familiar with: the Cornish pasty. So far, I have found the pasty easily victorious over the empanada, being in general much larger, filled with more meat, more expertly crimped as well as bronzed to perfection in an oven rather than deep fried or simply pale in appearance. But perhaps I’m just biased! The empanada does in fact have its origins in the pasty that was initially brought over to the continent by British miners. Developed specifically for this industry, the pasty originally contained jam at one end, acting as the desert to follow the miner’s meat. Unsurprisingly though, this tradition has not been continued!
Now sold all over the country, and even around the world, the Cornish pasty is a true delicacy of south-west England. So as a Cornish girl myself, I would proudly like to share with you the recipe for making this truly wonderful and traditional meal:
Ingredients (for four pasties)
• 450g plain flour
• 2tsp baking powder
• 1tsp salt
• 125g unsalted butter
• 2 egg yolks
• 125ml cold water
• 300g beef, finely chopped
• 450g potato, thinly sliced
• 150g swede, finely diced
• 150g onion, finely chopped
• 1tbsp plain flour
• 40g butter
• 1 egg, beaten
• Salt and pepper
For the pastry:
• Mix the following ingredients in a food processor until they reach a crumbly consistency: flour, baking powder, salt, butter and egg yolks.
• Add the water a bit at a time, until the pastry forms.
• Leave the pastry in the fridge for approximately an hour in some cling film.
For the filling:
• Preheat the oven to 180°C.
• Taking care, roll out the pastry and make 4 circles using the outside of a dinner plate to cut around.
• Mix the beef and flour in a bowl and season; don’t forget to season the vegetables as well.
• Leaving a gap around the outside of the pastry, add a portion of potatoes, swede, onions and beef onto half of the circle and mark with some butter.
• Using a brush dipped into the beaten egg mixture, circle the edge of the pastry, then fold and seal it over the filling.
• Next, beginning at one end, start crimping the edges (look at picture for guide) until entirely closed. Brush all over with beaten egg, then with a sharp knife, form a hole in the centre which will enable steam to escape during the cooking.
• Follow the same process for the remaining 3 pasties. Cook for 50 minutes in the oven making sure the filling is thoroughly cooked and the outside is crispy and golden. Leave for 5-10 mins before serving.
Would you like to try a Cornish pasty?