Beef Pasty Recipe with Butter Shortcrust - Inspired by Cornish Pasties (2024)

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Inspired by Cornish Pasties, this savory herbed beef pasty recipe features meat and vegetables in a flaky, buttery crust. It's the perfect hand-held portable meal, and is surprisingly easy to make!

Beef Pasty Recipe with Butter Shortcrust - Inspired by Cornish Pasties (1)

There are some TV shows that I just don’t expect to get into.

Gotham was like that for me (Batman really isn’t my thing, but oddly enough I felt compelled to not miss an episode), and Downton Abbey was as well.

A couple years ago, a friend first recommended Downton Abbey to me. She summed it up as a glimpse into the life of people living and working on an estate in the English countryside in the first half of the 1900’s. She laughed as she assured me that it was a lot more interesting than it sounds.

And she was completely right.

It’s hard to put into words what it is about Downton Abbey, but that show is seriously addictive. Maybe it’s the costumes that were à la mode back in the day. Or maybe it’s the setting. (Who wouldn’t want the chance to snoop around a huge manor and visually take in the breathtaking English countryside?) Or it could be the fancy accents, the complex character development, or even the food. (Mrs. Patmore looks to be one heck of a cook!)

Whatever it is, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be hooked by the end of the first episode you watch. With the 5th season airing on Sunday, I had to make some British fare to celebrate!

Beef Pasty Recipe with Butter Shortcrust - Inspired by Cornish Pasties (2)

In This Article

What is a Cornish Pasty?

Cornish Pasties are basically hand-held meat pies.

The typical meat and vegetable filling usually contains beef, potato, swede (aka rutabaga), and onion. It's seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked in a shortcrust pastry. The raw filling (yes, raw meat!) is placed in the center of a raw pastry circle. The dough is folded over, wrapping the filling, and the edge is crimped to seal the pasty.

As the story goes, they were a hearty, portable, and cheap lunch for mine workers in Cornwall, England. Pasties were eaten by the poor working class, so they’re something you’d find in the servants’ hall downstairs rather than the family’s dining room on Downton Abbey. But they are absolutely delicious and pretty perfect for munching on while watching TV. (You can read more about pasties on Wikipedia.)

The European Union awarded the Cornish Pasty “protected geographical indication” status. Meaning, only pasties prepared in Cornwall using the traditional recipe can be called Cornish Pasties. Read more about authentic Cornish Pasties here.

That's why I don't call this beef pasty recipe Cornish Pasties. But perhaps one day I'll day to Cornwall and make this pasty recipe there!

Traditional Cornish Pasties and a Few Non-Traditional Pasty Fillings

The first time I had pasties was in London, so I was lucky to get to enjoy authentic Cornish Pasties.

I sampled a traditional pasty with beef, potato, and onion simply seasoned with salt and pepper in a gorgeously golden pastry.

I also tried a couple modern flavors: a Chicken Tikka Masala Pasty, as well as a bite of my friend’s Philly Cheesesteak Pasty, and a bite of another friend's Potato Leek Pasty.

As you can imagine, no matter the filling, pasties are wonderful comfort food.

What Type of Pastry Are Pasties Traditionally Made From?

According to the Cornish Pasty Association, traditional Cornish Pasties have a shortcrust pastry that's made with a combination of lard and butter.

For this pasty pastry recipe, we use all-butter for rich flavor.

Beef Pasty Recipe with Butter Shortcrust - Inspired by Cornish Pasties (3)

The Simple Beef Pasty Recipe You Will Want to Make on Repeat

I'm not saying that this beef pasty recipe is authentic. For starters, we aren't making our pasties in Cornwall! But it sure is delicious, and easier to make than you might think.

I don't eat pork products, so I skipped the lard in the shortcrust and made an all-butter pastry crust. The flaky golden butter shortcrust encompassing the savory filling is absolute perfection!

For the filling in this beef pasty recipe, in addition to beef and onion, I added carrot, parsnip, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and Worcestershire sauce for seasoning. (I love the flavor of Worcestershire in beef pasties!)

As long as you keep the amounts the same, you can swap out the carrot and parsnip for any veggies you like, such as turnip or potato. I find that root vegetables work particularly well here.

Ingredients in Meat Pasties

All-Butter Shortcrust Pasty Dough Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour - this flour is the perfect base for pasty pastry dough
  • Salt - to season the shortcrust dough
  • Unsalted butter - adds rich flavor and flaky texture to pastry dough
  • Ice water - the water needs to be very cold so it doesn't melt the bits of butter; the small pieces of cold butter create steam when the pasties are baked, and the steam creates flaky layers in the crust

Ingredients in Vegetable Beef Pasty Filling:

  • Raw beef steak - I like to use a tender steak that doesn't need a low and slow cooking process, and I find that sirloin works well; trim off the fat and cut the steak into ¼-inch cubes because that's the perfect size for meat pasty filling
  • Carrot and parsnip - these root vegetables work well as a filling for savory pasties; you can swap out the same amount for potato and/or rutabaga if you prefer
  • Onion - don't skip the onion here, it adds great savory flavor and aroma
  • Fresh rosemary and thyme - fresh herbs elevate the flavors of this rich savory meat pie
  • Worcestershire sauce - for complexity and depth of flavor
  • Salt and black pepper - to season the pasties
  • Egg beaten with water - this creates an eggwash to brush on top of the pastries, which helps make them a gorgeous golden color

How to Make Pasties with Beef

Step 1: Make the Pasty Dough:

Pulse together the flour and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until it looks like coarse meal (the pieces of butter should be about the size of small peas). Alternatively, you can make the dough without a food processor. To do so, whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl, then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or a fork until it looks like coarse meal.

Transfer the dough from the food processor to a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water at a time, working the dough together with your fingertips just until it comes together, and only adding enough water so the dough comes together when you squeeze it.

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and place them in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Step 2: Make the Filling:

While the pastry dough chills, stir together all filling ingredients in a large bowl; set aside.

Note that the beef steak is raw!

Step 3: Assemble the Pasties:

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.

Working with 1 ball of dough at a time, roll it out on a floured surface to a circle about 8 inches in diameter. Use a plate as a guide to trim the edges so you have a perfect circle.

Spoon about ½ cup of filling into the center of the dough; lightly brush the edge of the dough with eggwash. Fold both sides of dough up over the filling and crimp the edges together in the center of to form a tight seal.

Assemble 8 pasties this way. If you have leftover filling, re-roll the dough scraps and continue making pasties until you run out of filling or dough. (I usually get 9 pasties out of this recipe.)

Arrange the pasties onto the prepared baking sheets and lightly brush each with eggwash.

Step 4: Bake the Pasties:

Bake the savory pasties at 400F for 15 minutes, rotating the trays once halfway through.

Reduce the heat to 350F and bake until the crusts are golden brown, about 30 minutes more, rotating the trays once halfway through.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy a culinary trip to Cornwall, England with each bite of these delicious pasties!

What to Serve with Beef Pasties

Well, technically a pasty is a portable full meal in itself! However, if you want to serve something with them, here are a few ideas:

  • Beer and Cheese Cauliflower Soup
  • Cream of Celery Soup
  • Simple Spinach Salad
  • Creamy Coleslaw with Tart Cherries, Blue Cheese, and Toasted Walnuts
  • Apple Walnut Rainbow Swiss Chard Salad
Beef Pasty Recipe with Butter Shortcrust - Inspired by Cornish Pasties (5)

Let's Connect

Beef Pasty Recipe with Butter Shortcrust - Inspired by Cornish Pasties (6)

Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media.

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Beef Pasty Recipe with Butter Shortcrust - Inspired by Cornish Pasties (7)

Beef Pasty Recipe

By: Faith Gorsky

Inspired by Cornish Pasties, this savory herbed beef pasty recipe features meat and vegetables in a flaky, buttery crust. It's the perfect hand-held portable meal, and is surprisingly easy to make!

5 from 1 vote

Prep Time 1 hour hr

Cook Time 45 minutes mins

Course Main Course

Cuisine British

Servings 9 servings

Calories 388 kcal

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter chilled and diced
  • 5-7 tablespoons ice-cold water

Filling:

  • ¾ pound raw beef steak I used sirloin, trimmed of fat and diced into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 cup carrot diced into ¼-inch cubes (about 2 medium or 1 very large carrot)
  • 1 cup parsnip diced into ¼-inch cubes (about 2 medium or 1 very large parsnip)
  • 1 small onion diced small
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Other:

  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water (for eggwash)

Instructions

Dough:

  • Pulse together the flour and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until it looks like coarse meal (the pieces of butter should be about the size of small peas). (Alternatively, this can be done by hand; whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl, then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or a fork until it looks like coarse meal.)

  • Transfer the dough from the food processor to a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water at a time, working the dough together with your fingertips just until it comes together, and only adding enough water so the dough comes together when you squeeze it.

  • Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and place them in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Filling:

  • While the pastry dough chills, stir together all filling ingredients in a large bowl; set aside.

To Assemble the Pasties:

  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.

  • Working with 1 ball of dough at a time, roll it out on a floured surface to a circle about 8 inches in diameter. Use a plate as a guide to trim the edges so you have a perfect circle.

  • Spoon about ½ cup of filling into the center of the dough; lightly brush the edge of the dough with eggwash. Fold both sides of dough up over the filling and crimp the edges together in the center of to form a tight seal.

  • Continue this way until 8 pasties are assembled, then if there is filling leftover, re-roll the dough scraps and continue making pasties until you run out of filling or dough (I usually get 9 pasties out of this recipe).

  • Arrange the pasties onto the prepared baking sheets and lightly brush each with eggwash.

To Bake the Pasties:

  • Bake at 400F for 15 minutes, rotating the trays once halfway through.

  • Reduce the heat to 350F and bake until the crusts are golden brown, about 30 minutes more, rotating the trays once halfway through.

  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Faith's Tips

  • Serving Tip: You can serve pasties warm or at room temperature.
  • Storage and Reheating: Store leftover pasties covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, place them on a baking tray and heat in a 350F oven until warm throughout, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Beef Pasty Recipe

Amount Per Serving (1 pasty)

Calories 388Calories from Fat 207

% Daily Value*

Fat 23g35%

Saturated Fat 14g88%

Cholesterol 95mg32%

Sodium 496mg22%

Potassium 303mg9%

Carbohydrates 32g11%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 2g2%

Protein 13g26%

Vitamin A 3076IU62%

Vitamin C 6mg7%

Calcium 41mg4%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Keyword Beef Pasties, Beef Pasties Recipe, Beef Pasty, Beef Pasty Recipe, Meat Pasties, Meat Pasty, Pasties

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Beef Pasty Recipe with Butter Shortcrust - Inspired by Cornish Pasties (8)

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on January 1, 2015. It was updated with more information on March 19, 2023.

Beef Pasty Recipe with Butter Shortcrust - Inspired by Cornish Pasties (2024)

FAQs

What is the secret of the Cornish pasty? ›

The humble pasty, to be the genuine article, has to contain 12.5% meat and 25% vegetables. The meat is beef, and the veg should be potato, onion and swede (turnip). These ingredients are uncooked when added to the pastry and are baked slowly for succulence.

What is the difference between a pasty and a Cornish pasty? ›

There will always be great debate about the origin of the pasty, but one easy way to detect the Devon pasty from the Cornish is that the Devon pasty has a top-crimp and is oval in shape, whereas the Cornish pasty is semi-circular and side-crimped along the curve.

What was the original filling of a Cornish pasty? ›

The traditional recipe for the pasty filling is beef with potato, onion and swede, which when cooked together forms a rich gravy, all sealed in its own packet! As meat was much more expensive in the 17th and 18th centuries, its presence was scarce and so pasties traditionally contained much more vegetable than today.

Is it illegal to call a Cornish pasty? ›

Since 2011, the Cornish Pasty has enjoyed protected status under Protected Food Names legislation; so only a pasty made to a specific recipe in Cornwall can be called a “Cornish Pasty”. Fake products can no longer devalue the great reputation of genuine Cornish pasties.

What is a Cornish pasty called in America? ›

This made for a hearty yet portable meal for the miners. They're still very popular there, and you'll find them in every local bakery and community cookbook! American pasties are the American equivalent to Cornish pasties.

Does a real Cornish pasty have carrots? ›

It must only contain: Roughly diced (or minced) beef, sliced or diced potato, swede (or as some call it, turnip), onion, seasoning to taste (mainly salt & pepper – we're not telling your our secret seasoning!). Yes – you read that right... No carrots!

Why does a Cornish pasty have 20 crimps? ›

Given that most miners had hands like coal shovels, the "knob" of the pasty wouldn't have been anywhere large enough for them to hold it by surely? They could spread their fingers along the crimp making the pasty far easier to hold on to.

What are the 5 types of pasty? ›

There are five main types of pastry dough for creating pastries: flaky, shortcrust, puff, choux and filo. All of them are made primarily from flour, water and fat. However, these five types of pastry dough each have slightly different core ingredients, different ratios of ingredients and, ultimately, different uses.

What are the main ingredients of Cornish pasty? ›

These Cornish Pasties are filled with a mixture of well-seasoned steak, onions, potatoes and swede (or rutabaga/yellow turnip if you're in the US). The meat and vegetables are placed in the pastry raw, with a really good pinch of salt and pepper and a few dots of butter, then sealed and cooked in the pastry.

What is another name for a Cornish pasty? ›

In Cornwall, a pasty is often called an “Oggie”, and while it is unclear as to where the word originated, some people have suggested that it is derived from hoggan, a kind of bag in which the miners carried their croust (croust is the Cornish term for lunch).

What do you eat with Cornish pasty? ›

Top tips: Serve with mashed potato and vegetables, or salad and baked beans.

What is a pasty for a girl? ›

Pasties are sometimes worn instead of a bra under clothes or under swimsuits to prevent the nipples from being seen through the fabric. Certain cultures have more concern than others about concealing the nipples in this way.

Do Americans have Cornish pasties? ›

But most Americans do not regularly eat sausage rolls or Cornish pasties. I am of British heritage so visit British shops frequently. Pasties are a popular traditional food in Butte, Montana. They were introduced by Cornishmen who came to dig the copper in the late 1800s.

Why is a pasty called an Oggy? ›

In the Cornish language, a Cornish pasty is known as an “Oggy”. When the Cornish pasties were finished cooking and ready to be eaten, the wives would go to the mineshaft and shout down: “Oggy, oggy, oggy!”, and the men would shout back “Oi, oi, oi!” to let them know the pasties were on their way.

What makes a pasty unique? ›

According to the Cornish Pasty Association, a genuine one should contain roughly diced or minced beef, sliced or diced potato, swede, onion and seasoning to taste. The CPA is pretty strict on that and adds: 'No meat other than beef, and no vegetables apart from those listed can be used in the filling.

Why are Cornish pasties shaped the way they are? ›

It is thought that the miners gave the pasty its distinctive D shape too – the crust became a handle, which was discarded to prevent contaminating the food with grubby, possibly arsenic-ridden hands.

References

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