32 Grenville Street M4Y 1A3



Christopher Greaves

Cornish Pasties

At least, I think they are Cornish pasties; pasties at any rate. We bought them in the school cafeteria, but I much preferred the steak-and-kidney meat pies.

Still and all, you gotta start somewhere.

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Here is a ball of pastry ready to chill out in the fridge while I prepare the filling for the pasties.


2 cups all-purpose flour; 1 teaspoon white sugar; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1 teaspoon baking powder. I mix the dry ingredients in my mixing bowl – a 4-litre plastic tub available wherever they sell ice-cream.

1 cup lard; 1 egg; 1 teaspoon vinegar; 1/3 cup cold water.

I add the water last, to make the pastry into a rollable consistency.

There is an excellent podcast on pastry here:

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I took a baking potato, a large carrot, an onion, what’s left of a bag of frozen peas in a congealed clump. I have previously cooked and drained – and then re-minced – about a pound of ground beef.

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I dice the onion and drop it in my frying pan. Meanwhile back at the ranch …

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I dice the potato into cubes about 1 centimetre on a side, nothing fancy or accurate though …

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Ditto the carrots. I drop the peas into tap water and loosen them up; takes about ten seconds. Drain them.

All up I have two pounds of diced vegetables.

Yes, that’s the bottom of one of those awful water bottles that people lug home on the subway. Maybe they don’t have running water in Toronto households?

The vegetables are dropped into the frying pan sealing off the onion. Steam from the cooking cooks the vegetables for 15 minutes. Parboiled, I guess.

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Turns out I have a pound of ground beef, cooked and finely re-ground.

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The ground beef and veggies are tossed into my pastry mixing bowl; they loosen the residual flour, but I don’t care.

I toss the mixture back and forth three times to stir it all up.

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Here is a close up of the mixture. I have added no sauce or spices.

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I roll out the pastry and use the heavy glass lid of the saucepan to cut out a circle.

You can see that half the circumference has been wetted with tap water. Do the wetting before you add the filling; that way you don’t dislodge the filling.

Wetting the pastry helps it to form a seal.

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Here is a poor shot of the pastie with the empty half folded over and sealed.

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OK. Here’s a better shot.

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I got three large pasties out of my batch of pastry.

I had about half the filling left over, so that went into a plastic bag and into the freezer for next time.

I baked these three at 350° for 15 minutes, then got worried and cranked it up to 450° for another 15 minutes.

I let them cool as long as I could stand it before tasting the first one.



416-993-4953 CPRGreaves@gmail.com

Toronto, Friday, August 14, 2015 12:56 PM

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