Cornish Pasty

The Cornish Pasty originated as a cheap, tasty and sustaining meal for Cornish miners to take with them down into the pits where they worked deep underground and often far out under the sea. As Cornish mines have been operating since at least the early Bronze Age, the pasty has been around for quite a long time now, and the variations are almost endless. What follows is the most basic of recipes and can be varied in any number of ways: a bit of diced ham with or instead of the beef, perhaps, or diced mutton. Or chicken. Some Worcestershire sauce, perhaps? A sprinkle of curry powder? Some sultanas? Be adventurous.

1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and diced into 5 mm cubes.
150g lean tender beef [rump steak is good], trimmed and cut into small dice.
¼ chopped fresh garden herbs.
2 tblsps water.
Salt and pepper to taste.
1 ¼ cups plain flour
¼ tsp salt.
50g butter, diced.
¼ cup cold water.
1 egg, beaten.

Prepare the vegetables and the meat and mix together with the herbs, salt, pepper and water in a small bowl. Cover and leave in a cool place for a couple of hours.
Prepare the pastry. Mix the flour and salt together and add the butter. Work with your fingers until crumbly then add the water, mixing in with a spatula. Quickly knead it until an even texture is achieved; it should be springy but not sticky. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 220 °C. Divide the pastry into halves, form into two balls and flatten with a rolling pin on a floured board until you have two pastry discs approximately 20cm in diameter.
Place half the meat mixture on one side of one disc, brush with beaten egg around the edge and fold over to form a pasty. Crimp the edges tightly to seal and repeat the process with the other disc and the rest of the meat mixture. Brush the outside of the pasties with the remainder of the beaten egg, place them on a greased oven tray and bake for 45 minutes.
Serve hot with a little salad on the side, or eat cold later on.

Yields: 2 pasties.

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