400g plain flour
200g lard or vegetable fat, chilled and cubed
Milk or beaten egg, to glaze
For the filling
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
150g swede, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
450g chuck steak, cut into 1cm cubes
1 large onion, finely chopped
Freshly ground white pepper
Place flour and salt in a bowl, rub in the fat, until the mixture is so fine that it falls through the fingers. Tip mixture onto a lightly floured table top. With your index finger make a well in the centre of the mixture. Add water a little at a time until it forms a pliable but stiff dough. knead gently to bring together then wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
Divide the pastry into 4 equal pieces and roll each one out on a lightly floured work surface using short sharp strokes, always rolling in one direction. Give the pastry a quarter-turn, then roll it again to form a round of about 20cm in diameter and about ¼ inch thick. Cut into a circle using a plate as a guide.
Cut all the solid ingredients up into small pieces. The onion should be finely cut. They are not only easier to eat this way, but cook quicker too. Remember to get rid of any gristle or fat etc from the meat.
Mix the now chopped up potatoes, meat, water, onion and salt and pepper thoroughly (otherwise you may find that all the pepper seems to be concentrated into one spot!)
With the pastry laid out, use the ingredients to fill half of it in a bit of a pile – as it cooks it will flatten a bit, make sure though, that you leave about an inch clear pastry from the edge.
Dampen the exposed edge with water.
Carefully lift the empty half of the pastry over the top of the mixture. In effect, you are folding it in half.
Crimp the edges of a Cornish pasty.
- Press the edges of the pastry together to seal them as before.
- Now carefully turn the pasty so that the sealed edge is now along the top.
- Start at the left edge of the pasty, take hold between the left finger and thumb and turn it so it points along the line of the sealed edge.
- Now move your left finger and thumb over the bit you just turned. Place your right finger and thumb on the edge immediately adjacent to it and do what I would describe as a lift-turnover toward you.
- Repeat until you reach the end of the pasty. At this point turn the end inwards like you did previously.
Brush the whole thing with beaten egg/milk if you want a glaze, but you don't have to.
Place the pasty on a baking tray and cook in a hot oven (about 450F) until the pastry is pale brown at which point reduce the temperature to around 350-370F for about 40 minutes. It is important to get it right as crunchy and chewy ingredients just doesn't make for a good pasty!
Enjoy it and make sure you fly the flag for a genuine Cornish pasty!
Of course you could freeze the uncooked pasties on a tray and place in an airtight container in the freezer until required. Thaw completely and cook as above