Monday, May 31, 2010

Upper Peninsula "Cornish" Pasties

I remember a long time ago, flipping through the pages of the cookbook of my Grandma Mary. I remember reading the titles out loud to my mom, and at some point she made a semi sarcastic comment to me about how my Grandma most likely didn't make ALL the recipies in the cookbook because she wasn't much of a cook, especially for things that took a long time. I was a little insulted at the time thinking OF COURSE she made every recipe... otherwise why would they be in her cookbook?


well years later, I know different. After filling 2 cookbooks myself with unmade recipes, and of course age, I've learned better. I'd still love to believe (for my childhood self) that she of course made every recipe that made it into the cookbook... but in the instance of the Pasties. I'd like to call b.s. on this theory. There is no way. NO, NO, NO way, (especially without the convenience of a kitchen aid) that my Grandma made these. And with that being said. I'm a little sad she didn't because I think she would have enjoyed them.

I have liked Pastie for a long time. Back in Highschool I dated a guy whose mom made them, based on a recipe she got from her Mother In Law. I'm guessing her crust was premade pie crust, since she wasn't exactly betty crocker... but again maybe I'm wrong. I don't remember her's tasting like this.

First a note about Suet: if you don't know what suet is, it's beef fat. Its the full slab of fat that is cut away from the underside of the beef. it's big. it's ugly, and if I can figure out ever how to post more then one photo per blog, I would show you, since I took a photo of all 6 pounds of the stuff that I had, before I had to grind it. I stuck it all in the kitchen aid food processor and it was done in less time then I thought, although the grease factor was less then pleasing when cleaning up. If you can get the suet ground from the butcher, by all means do. Also, call your butchers when you start this project. It's not as easy to find as I would have thought. Oliver's does carry it, and will stock extra if you call ahead. they may even be nice enough to grind it for you.

and with that I give you "Upper Peninsula "Cornish" Pasties.


2 cups finely ground suet

3/4 cup lard

4 cups flour

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder


With fingertips, work suet into dry ingredients until well-blended. Add lard and blend again, as for pie crust. Cut in enough water so dough is right for rolling. Divide dough into six equal parts.

Ok, so if you have never made pie crust from scratch, this step is a little daunting. You need to make sure that you make the dough moist and crumbly, but not too moist, because it won't roll. Also, cheat and use your kitchen aid with the dough hook.


2 1/2 pounds flank steak, cut into small cubes

6 medium potatoes, sliced or cubed

2 medium onions, chopped

1 small rutabaga, sliced or cubed

salt and pepper to taste


Combine ingredients, mixing well. Divide into 6 equal parts. Roll out each portion of dough to the size of a dinner plate. On half of each circle, place one portion of filling. Dot with butter the size of a walnut. Cover filling by folding over the other half of the dough and seal edges by crimping. Prick top of pastie with fork to make air holes. Place pasties on an ungreased baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Makes 6 servings.

The article came out of the Saint Paul Press Dispatch prolly 30 or so years ago, and it was from Gerry Loverich from South Saint Paul.

Ok.. so besides the major pain in the butt of dealing with the suet, and then having to roll out the dough, neither of which were my favorite, the flavor of the crust and the flakieness are worth the bit of labor. If I was making the crust by hand I'd say the difficulty was Hard, so that is what I'm sticking with.

The chief commentator's review: If you have only had pot pie, you never lived. He loved the rutabega in it, and would have lessened the quantity of potatoe and upped the quantity of the rutabega. It had the perfect texture and it was so good.

It also reheated really well. We put the back in the over at 350 for about 30 mins today, and served them to the commentator's kids and all loved them.

I have about 10 cups of suet frozen (ground) so I will be making this again. Also, I bought the big container of lard (as I forsee more of my grandma's recipes calling for the 'real deal') so I'm well stocked in the staples.

We ate it the first time with a bottle of Marrietta Bin 51 Red Wine Blend.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that sounds daunting. I've never cooked with suet, but I bet it gives the crust great flavor. Do you think that if we made a ton of these uncooked and then froze them, if they would cook up as well straight from the freezer?