Cornish Pasties

Makes 2 huge and satisfying servings

1½ of recipes of puff pastry or enough dough for two 10-inch single crust pies (but see note below)
beaten egg for sealing

for the beef filling

½ lb chuck, cut into ¼ inch chunks
1 medium onion (about 4 oz), diced
1 large carrot (in lieu of a turnip), diced
4 ounces diced potato
salt, pepper, thyme

for the chicken filling

1 lb boneless chicken meat (breast preferred)
1 medium onion (about 4 oz), diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ of a green pepper, diced
1 medium tomato, roughly chopped
2 slices luncheon ham (optional)

for the Priddy Oggy filling

1 lb pork tenderloin, sliced into strips
2 rashers of bacon, chopped
3 oz grated Cheddar
1 sprig parsley
Tabasco sauce to taste

Special equipment

Baking sheet


Preheat oven to 400° Prepare any two of the above fillings, mix well, and store in bowls to the side.

Roll out the dough into two 11- or 12-inch circles. This is not an easy task for the unskilled, so you may want to try purchasing ready-made fresh or frozen unbaked pie shells, but you'll likely have problems with the shells breaking as you manipulate them. Nor are we fully satisfied with this use of the puff pastry. Sorry, there's no happy medium...yet. The pastry portion of this recipe may well change. Paint the outer ¼ inch with the beaten egg.

Mound the filling on one side of the circle, bring the other end over, and crimp the edges together with your finger. It should look like one very fat half-moon. Flip onto your ungreased baking sheet, and pierce the top with a small steam hole or two. Etch an initial into (but not through) the dough on one end. Originally this was done so a miner could set down his half-eaten pasty and be able to come back later and figure out which pasty was his. We etch an initial so we know which ones are filled with chicken and which with beef or pork. Bake for 20 minutes at 400°, turn down the oven to 350° and bake another 40 minutes. Serve hot, or cool to room temperature.


Say PAHS-tee not PAYS-tee and win points with the natives. There's no such thing as a standard pasty. It's meant to be hearty lunchtime grub, filling enough to satisfy a hungry miner (which is why we make ours so much bigger than the commercial variety). The size varies, as does the shape. In Lancashire, they're elongated rather than semicircular (hence the name Lancashire Foot. Rolled in pairs, the unfilled dough even looks like the sole of a shoe (gif, 4K)). In some areas, they're still called snaps, or snappins, carried in metal lunchboxes called snap-tins, and eaten at snap-time.

Handy and more easily transportable than our modern sandwich, you'll find similar dishes in many other cultures. Our chicken filling, for example, is based on a Spanish empañada stuffing. While the Priddy Oggy is sometimes passed off as ancient and traditional filling, Grigson shows us the recipe was invented by a market-savvy publican in Priddy, Somerset in 1968. Shades of Ploughman's Lunch.


Other traditional fillings: bacon, cheese, and onion (or leek); lamb and turnip; or, for the truly frugal, a tiddy oggy, that is, an oggy (West Country dialect for ‘pasty’) filled with nothing other than tiddies (potatoes). Need more ideas? Mr. Pasty® of Columbus, OH, markets fifty different kinds of pasties!

First served: not yet served
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Last modified: © June 1995