While I’ve been building houses, canoeing, fishing and in general recreating in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, some of you have been salivating like Pavlov’s dogs over the through of Cornish Pasties. You can buy these pasties all over up there, but I first experienced them in Nevada. It seems that wherever the Cornish went, they left behind the recipe for pasties. These “meat pies” are ideal for a miner’s pail and can be eaten without folks by holding onto the crust. However, most pasties in the UP are served with gravy over them, necessitating a plate, folk and napkin. Interestingly, too, there weren't too many miners from Cornwall in the Eastern UP, they were more in the western UP, up around Marquette, Houghton and Copper Harbor and into Wisconsin where mining was big in the 19th Century. In the east, it was mostly logging and, if my history is correct, settled mostly by Finns, Swedes and Germans.
Yes, I ate a pasty while in the UP, but I preferred our camp dinners of fried brook trout with potatoes and onions and strong Honduran coffee. I’ll try to get another post about my travels by Saturday. Until then, fix yourself some pasties and eat them under the table, without washing up beforehand, imaging that you're taking a break in the bowels of the earth while in search of highgrade ore.
Crust: 1 cup of flour
1/3 cup of shortening
Dash of salt (not very much)
A little cold water
Cut shortening into flour and salt mixture, drop water on the mixture and mix in with a fork, divide into 3 parts, refrigerate
Mix: ½ pound top round steak up into cubes (I’ve substituted lamb)
3 peeled medium potatoes, diced
1 good sized onion, chopped (you can never have too little onion, in my humble opinion)
1 chopped carrot
1 chopped rutabaga
Roll out the crust into a circle approximately 9”. On ½ of the dough, place 1/3 of the mix along with salt and pepper and a pat of butte. Fold the dough over the other half and seal firmly by pressing down on the edges with a fork. Make a small hole in the top for steam and brush with a beaten egg. Place on floured cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 300 degrees F and continue baking for 90 minutes.
For a slightly different recipe (from where I borrowed the picture of pasties), check out this link for the World Wide Gourmet. If you don’t want to make them, you can even order them from Lawry’s Pasty Shop.