If you're looking for a savy way to use up some leftovers then by gosh, I think we've got it. Cornish Pasties have been making the rounds in the British Isles since before Charles Dickins was a twinkle in his daddy's eye and they're really the ultimate way of recycling a stew.
Now, for those of you who know me best you'd know that in the past I haven't been into the leftover scene. Usually when something remained from dinner, if it didn't make it to a lunch menu, it hit the garbage can with a resounding thunk. However in this economy with food prices rising to ridiculous levels, it makes sense to find delicious ways to make what's old new again so I'll be adding another category to the index you see on your right under "Leftovers".
Normally made from raw diced meat, potato, onion and turnip or rutabaga, I took the liberty of using some of the leftover pork and apple cider stew that hit the freezer last week. I chopped the meat up along with the potato and added some finely diced raw parsnip, carrot and onion then mixed the whole thing together with a bit of the leftover stew gravy. It was the perfect moist, meaty and flavorful filling for these yummy little pies.
The crust, an Emeril recipe, is a pastry made from butter and shortening along with a little touch of confectioners sugar for sweetness. As you can see, you can make them flat or stand the pies up on the baking sheet - whatever you want. While extremely tender, flaky and delicious, in my opinion it would have made a better pie than a hand pie because it wasn't quite the sturdy pastry I remember belonging to a pasty, having noshed a few during my travels in Britain. It means we'll just have to do this again so I can show you a new and improved version. Such a pity isn't it?
Cornish Pasties (inspired by Emeril Lagasse, Food Network)
1-1/2 cups diced cooked meat (I used leftover cooked pork stew)
3/4 cup diced cooked potatoes
1/2 cup raw onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup raw carrots, quarter inch dice
1/2 cup raw parsnip, quarter inch dice
1/2 cup gravy from leftover stew
Coarse ground black pepper
Toss ingredients together and set aside.
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 ounces cold butter cut into pieces
4 ounces cold vegetable shortening cut into pieces
6 tablespoons ice cold water or more as needed
Egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon water
Place flour, sugar and salt into a medium sized bowl and whisk together to combine. Using a pastry blender cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Using a fork, mix in water a tablespoon at a time, tossing liquid into flour mixture just until mixture holds together. Remove dough to a board and knead slightly just until it holds together. Flatten to a disc and wrap well in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.
To complete pasties, roll cold pastry out on a well-floured surface until approximately a quarter inch in thickness. Using a plate as a guide, cut pastry into 6 or 7 inch circles and brush edges of pastry with egg yolk, water mixture. Place approximately a half cup of filling onto middle of pastry and fold over, pressing edges together to seal. Crimp as desired. Place pasties on parchment lined sheet pan and cut slits in tops to vent steam. Brush with remaining yolk/water mixture. Bake for 20 minutes in preheated 400 oven. Reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for additional 25 to 30 minutes, until pastries are golden brown and cooked through. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Makes 6 large pasties. Download Cornish Pasties
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