Pasties were traditionally baked for miners or field workers, or for children to take to school. A pasty should always be firm and full, never too juicy to eat with the hands, but never dry. Always chop or slice the meat – never mince it.
Prep 15 min Rest 1 hr Cook 1 hr Makes 2
For the pastry 300g plain flour ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder 150g lard, diced 75ml ice-cold water
For the glaze 1 egg, beaten For the filling 500g lean skirt or chuck steak, chopped 1 medium onion, chopped
90g turnip, chopped 250g potato, thinly sliced
Salt and black pepper 1 pinch dried thyme
To make the pastry, sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Rub the lard through the dry ingredients. Add the water and knead into a smooth dough. Wrap in clingfilm and leave in a cool place for an hour to rest.
Mix the meat with the vegetables, the salt and pepper and thyme. Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas 6.
Roll out the pastry and cut it into two dinner plate-sized Do not be tempted to use butter or any other kind of fat, because lard gives the right flavour and texture to the crust discs. Divide the steak mixture in the middle of each disc, brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg, and fold over the pastry to make a semi-circle. Or, bring up the two sides of the pastry to meet over the top of the filling and pinch them together (some Cornish people insist on one method; others disagree). Make two holes on top, so the steam can escape.
Put the pasties on a baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Bake for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 180C/350F/gas 4, for a further 40 minutes. Serve hot or cold.