Pasties. I would guess a large number of you have never heard of these. I didn’t even know how to pronounce them until I was well into my teenage years (PAST-EE), and we have stores in my home town devoted to making ONLY these little pockets of awesomeness. Nothing else. Growing up, local churches had sales to raise money using these. They were well loved, and traditionally made for the iron-ore miners by their wives so they would have a utensil-free meal to eat during their long days of mining. Even growing up on the edge of the Iron Range in Northern Minnesota, I didn’t have any miners in my immediate family. That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good pasty filled with traditional meat, potatoes, and rutabaga filling.
I found the general method and proportions for these on a couple of different sites. The first being The Cooking Channel’s recipe for Michigan Pasty and the second being a recipe posted on Just a Pinch by Barbara Oseland. This is a mixture of the two recipes.
The essential starting point for these is a really good, really simple pie crust. If pie crusts freak you out, don’t let them. You can ONLY get better with practice, and once you get a feel for it you will never go back to the store-bought variety.
Chunk up your cold butter and shortening. I always buy the shortening sticks because they are easier to measure and chunk up for pie crusts. My favorite crust recipe is always a mix of salted butter and butter flavored shortening. If you don’t like the “butter flavored” portion of that, feel free to use regular shortening, or even all butter.
Add the flour and using your hands, squish the flour into the butter chunks, breaking the chunks up and flattening them out a bit, until they are small pea-sized chunks coated in flour.
Add in most of your ice cold water and mix together with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a ball. It should be slightly crumbly, but able to stick together. For the dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place that in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 1-2 hours is better, but if you are in a time crunch, 30 minutes will do.
While the dough is chilling, cut up your veggies. Before tackling this recipe, I had never actually cooked with rutabega. It was a little intimidating at first, but after diving in, it is really just like any other root vegetable. A little tougher than potato, but similar. I cut a chunk off, peeled it with my vegetable peeler, and chopped it up into a small, 1/4 inch dice. Then I did the same with the potatoes, carrots, and onions.
Chop up some fresh flat leaf parsley while you are at it too. I really need an indoor herb garden. I have been spending a small fortune in fresh herbs lately. LOVE them.
Now remove the chilled dough from the fridge and cut it into 6 equal parts.
Roll out each portion of dough into a circle somewhere between 1/8-1/4 inch thick.
Chunk up equal amounts of ground pork and ground beef and place it on half of the dough. And yes, you are seeing this right. It goes into the dough raw. I was surprised when I learned that is how it is done too, but it really turns out great this way, so trust the method!
They key to a really good pastie is seasoning well each layer of ingredients, so give that meat a good dose of salt and pepper before topping it with the veggies. Then go ahead and salt and pepper those veggies too.
Fold the top half of the dough over the filling, lightly wet the edge with wet fingertips, and press to seal. Next you crimp the edge by folding it up and over slightly. This part is kind of hard to describe for me. I think next time I make these I will do a short video demo because its easier to do than say! Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
Brush the pasties with an egg wash, and poke a couple of small holes in the top for steam to vent out of.
Bake at 350 for about an hour, or until they are golden brown.
I served these with a quick pan gravy, because that’s how we do it in Minnesota. I’ve been told here in Michigan these are served with ketchup, which I also tried with the left overs and was pretty happy with.
These were a hit with even the pickiest of my kids, which kind of shocked me because OMGosh!!! Vegetables!!!! Even ONION!!! AHHHHHHH!!!! Guess the flaky pie crust won them over.