Cornish Pasties

Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
30 min
30 min
20 min

6 Cornish meat pasties, serving 6 as a light lunch

  • For the Short-crust Pastry:
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 ounces lard or vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 6 tablespoons cold water
  • For the Filling:
  • 10 ounces chuck steak, trimmed and cut into scant 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 small Idaho potato, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • For the pastry:
For the pastry:

Sift the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl and add the butter and lard. Using your fingers, 2 knives, or a pastry blender, cut the butter and lard into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles fine crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk and water together and add to the flour mixture. Mix quickly, but thoroughly, until mixture just comes together to form a dough. Knead briefly until pastry is smooth with no cracks; the trick to making this delicate pastry easy to work with is kneading it just enough so that it can be rolled out and manipulated without breaking but yet retains its lovely crumbly texture. Press into a flattened disk shape and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight before proceeding.

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and unwrap. Allow to soften slightly, then place on a lightly floured work surface and roll the pastry to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Using a small plate or saucer as a guide, cut out 6 (6-inch) rounds. (Scraps may be combined and reformed if you cannot get 6 rounds out of the first batch.) Stack the pastry rounds onto pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper (with pieces between each round to keep them from sticking together) and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

For the filling:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the pastry circles from the refrigerator. In a mixing bowl, combine the meat, onion, carrot, potato, salt and pepper and mix until thoroughly combined. Place the pastry circles on a clean work surface and place about 1/2 cup of the filling in the center of 1 side of the pastry. Using the beaten egg, brush the edges of the pastry and then bring the unfilled side over the filled side so that edges meet. Press edges together to seal and then crimp using your fingers or a fork. Repeat with the remaining turnovers and then transfer to a baking sheet. Brush the tops of the turnovers with the remaining egg and then cut several slits into the top of each pastry. Bake for 20 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown around the edges. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue to bake until the pasties are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

*Chef's Note: If you find that the pastry breaks when you try to roll it out, simply gather it together and add a bit more water and knead lightly so that it comes together in a smooth ball. Allow to rest briefly then try again. This pastry is delicate but worth the extra effort.

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    Sorry, this is an Irish Pasty. Cornish Pasties have rutabaga instead of carrots.
    This is an excellent take on a pasty. No, it is not traditional; but, seeing as I detest rutabagas this is much nicer for me.  
    Just FYI for anyone trying this recipe I would suggest adding some bacon.
    The crust is excellent. The filling is dry but ketchup solved that problem. I made 3 (1/2 recipe for two and it wasn't enough (It is so good! Everyone wanted more. I will make the entire amount next time. I plan to experiment with chicken, pork or lamb fillings. I may try fruit fillings but I would cut the salt by at least half. I baked the crust scraps coated in cinnamon and sugar. The salt is too much in the cinnamon scraps but not in the meat pasty.
    I really like these Cornish. I made some changes, I cooked the filling first before I bake the crust. Also I replaced the potato with celery and I baked the pie in 400 degrees F oven for 20 min. 
    Defiantly I will make this again.
    I've made this recipe several times for my husband and also served it to guests. My filling turns out just fine, not dry at all (though I am using chuck as the recipe says and I get my meat from a very high quality butcher. The crust is tender and flaky, which some have taken issue with. I just figure I'm not going to put the pie in my pocket and take it into a mine so it doesn't matter if it's as substantial as a traditional pastie crust. It's a delicious meal whatever you want to call it.
    Hubby says this one is a keeper!!! The crust was so tender and flaky. The filling was great, I did however substitute sirloin for the chuck and beef boullion granules for the salt. The filling was a tad dry as others have said but it's still a keeper.
    I got raves on the crust but the filling wasn't quite as moist as my family likes. It could have been because I used ground beef instead of chuck steak. I also added mushrooms. There were only crums left.
    The filling is quite good but the crust is a thing of BEAUTY!
    What is confectioners sugar doing in a pastry recipe for a savoury dish like a pasty? This is NOT a Cornish Pasty description! Maybe a pasty or turnover! Believe me! I've lived in Cornwall (and now Michigan and the traditional pasties had no sugar, no carrot (some might, perhaps, but it's not common and some parsley with the (skirt beef, onions and potatoes. In some cases, one end might be apples or other seasonal fruit. The picture isn't correct either. The crust should be crimped around the side, not over the top (because you don't know how to to give a 'handle' for the miner to hold with their dirty hands! That was given to the mine ghosts or 'knockers'... 
    Let's not lose sight of the correct meal here, just because Emeril has his name on it!
    Calm down. No one ever claimed this was a traditional recipe, this is Emeril's version after all not everyone likes the traditional filling. Personally I enjoy the crust, it doesn't need to have the "handle" as I personally will not be going down a mine. If you're really looking for a "traditional" recipe I would suggest going out and finding a nice old Cornish cookbook.
    I'm craving these pasties, and the recipe sounds so good. I will make them and report my findings. Thanks Emeryl..!
    Delicious recipe!!! Just as I remember. I made them and baked them on our Big Green Egg, came out perfect and flaky!! 
    For all the people whining that pasties came from Cornwall, not MI. Look into your history. The UP of Michigan is full of Cornish immigrants, who made pasties for their families mining in the copper mines.  
    As for the true ingredients, pasties were filled with whatever meats and fruits were available, so if you do not want carrots or want to use rudabegas then do it. And keep you negativity to yourself.  
    Okay, I'm from Michigan and have been making pasties all my life with my family. My Dad got his recipe from a pasty restaurant in the UP and that recipe called for carrots in it. So who says carrots can't be in a pasty? Every recipe varies slightly in ingredients. In family we don't put rutabaga in it and we serve it with cheese. Can't be too rigid on recipes.
    I agree that Michigan is not where Cornish Pasties are from, they are from Cornwall. I lived in Cornwall for nearly 2 years and I ate more than my share of pasties. While you can all try to be pasty purists, the reality is cornish pasties were made with what was available, not some traditional recipe based on priciple. I had pasties with carrots in Cornwall. If it tastes good, make it that way. Maybe the women who made these each morning for their husbands goiing to work in the mines are rolling over in their graves at the way they are being made in Michigan. And if you are ever in Cornwall, my favorite (or favourite pasties were from "The Horse and Jockey" on High Street in Helston, England.
    Firstly let me say that I love America and American cooking. However, carrots in a pasty? It's an outrage of international proportions! If it doesn't have rutabaga, potato, and a little thyme in's just not a pasty. It may still be delicious but it's a meat pie, not a cornish pasty. Carrots...I shudder to think.
    I am actually going to give this 4 stars. I have made these several times for people who are from England and they LOVED Them. the crust was correct, the texture was correct and they stood up hot or cold. very well thought out recipes. While I agree that carrots are not not traditional, it works well with ingredients that people here are used to and available.
    What do you expect from "Elvis Slings Hash"! Robert Irvine's "recipe", this is not remotely correct. There are NO carrots in a Cornish Pasty...and this recipe lacks the integral ingredients of Turnips and Thyme!

    Save your time and effort....go to your local Albertson's and pick up a box of Hot Pockets!
    Cornwall England is where pasties are from ,not Michigan. What next, writing that you know all about athentic Mexican food bacause you eat it in Bakersfield?
    I totally agree with the previous poster re: the rutebega! Although I'm from Indiana, I've vacationed in the U.P. for the last 30 years. I believe that a lot of the Pasty shops have changed their recipies to accomodate the "FUDGIES". Years ago, they all contained rutebega, but now, it's hard to find one. Carrots totally change the taste. I was fortunate years ago to find an authentic recipe that included the rutebega, and my family Love them. I only wish I could make 6 at a time. I have to make at least two dozen to make sure there are leftovers.
    I thought this was a very good Pasty. I reduced the sugar in the pastry by half but other than that, followed it to a "T". To Jean, I researched over 18 different Pasty recipes and all but one called for Carrots. Perhaps your Grandmother didn't like to include them in her pasties but according to almost every recipe I found on line and in cookbooks, carrots are part of the recipe.
    As a native from Michigan's Upper Peninsula I grew up eating my mom's traditional Cornish pasties (and as a note, the "a" in "pasty" is pronounced like in the word "cat"). I enjoy Emeril, but I could not believe he attempted to make these. Although there are variations on this traditional food (due to many pasty shops around), the general filling and crust should remain the same. I would be more than happy to send anyone a more authentic pasty recipe so everyone could experience this great food with a great history, at
    While I often enjoy Emeril and his shows, this pasty recipe is way off base. My feisty UP Michigan grandmother is smacking him with her rolling pin from her grave.
    1. Get a grip, Emeril, on ?pasty? pronunciation: it is not the tawdry word you used.
    2. True Cornish pasties do not use carrots (see my grandmother reference); it is rutabaga, not those tacky carrots
    3. You can select your beef of choice as long as it is not ground
    4. And you must add pork to the mix
    5. Suet, if available, is a plus
    6. Salt: never! Coal miners did not need that in their pasties. Same with the wimpy egg wash.

    Emeril: I am not a Yooper (those proud Upper Peninsula folks); I suggest you visit that gorgeous region and correct your Cornish Pasty recipe. I live in NY but my Marquette, MI sister?s name is ?.
    Very good. The pastery was very easy to work with, and rolled out nicely. I did have trouble making 6 6in 1/4 in think circles. I ended up, after much trying, with 5 6 in circles that were a bit thinner then 1/4 in. But good over all.
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    Cornish Pasties

    Recipe courtesy of Robert Irvine