Pasties, likely originating in England, were traditionally fed to laborers, particularly miners, because they could hold the crust, eat the filling without touch it and discard the dirty crust once they had finished eating. Butte, Montana has a strong tradition of pasties due to it being a mining town with Irish heritage. I like making pasties because they are such a perfect meal, work with many different fillings and can easily be taken to go or frozen for later. Soups such as mustard green or roasted squash and salads such as caesar or beet make great starters for pasties.
Other ground meats may be substituted for lamb such as beef or bison. Other combinations or proportions of vegetables will work as well. Most fresh herbs will work in the crust including rosemary, thyme, mint or parsley.
2 ¼ c flour
1 c chilled butter, cubed
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp fresh herbs, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
1 medium red potato, finely cubed
1 stalk celery, trimmed and finely diced
1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 carrot, trimmed and finely diced
½ c peas
½ c spinach, roughly chopped
5 button mushrooms, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
¼ lb ground lamb*
1 tbsp butter, melted
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 egg, beaten
*lamb may be added or omitted depending upon preference
1. To make crust: thoroughly combine flour, butter, baking powder, herbs, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl or food processor. Slowly add ice water, 1 tbsp at a time, to flour mixture and gently combine until dough begins to form. Being careful not to add too much water or over work dough. Form dough into two balls and place in the refrigerator.
2. To make filling: combine all vegetables, butter, seasoning and lamb if desired in a large mixing bowl. There may be remaining filling depending upon desired size of pasties.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator, each ball between two squares of parchment paper and roll each into a 12" diameter circle. Place 1 ½ -2 c filling on ½ of each circle, leaving a 2" border of dough. Fold the other ½ of the dough over the filling. Pinch border closed, cut a 1" slit into the top of the pastie and place pastie on a baking sheet. Repeat process with second circle. Brush pasties with beaten egg.
4. Place pasties in oven and bake until golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Remove pasties from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve pasties warm.
Makes 2 pasties