Many years ago, before we were married, Kim and I took a holiday in Cornwall, UK. We stayed at a lovely little town called Tintagel, which many told us, was the home of Arthurian legend and myth.
There is even a ruined castle high on a rocky peak that some thought may be the remains of Camelot, and below on the stony shore there is even what is said to be Merlin’s cave.
Anyway, what does this have to do with Kim’s Cornish Pasties?
Well quite a lot actually, for this village is where we tasted our very first genuine pasty, from a little shop on the high street. I believe it was called Pengenna Pasties, and it is still going strong. In fact, if you live in the UK, they will even send you some pasties in 1 dozen batches via the post. Yum.
We bought a single pasty each, and as it was raining cats and dogs, we retreated back to the car. Once safely inside, we scoffed down these massive hot pasties, steaming up the windows as we ate. It was a day we both have never forgotten.
So every now and then we get a hankering for a traditional pasty. Being the resourceful woman she is, Kim has perfected her recipe over the years and I reckon that she makes the best Cornish pasty this side of Camelot!
Sunday night was such a day. Here is how it all panned out.
Kim’s Cornish Pasties
makes 7 large pasties
Firstly peel about four large potatoes and the biggest swede (rutabaga) that you can find. Add cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 12 minutes until just soft.
Chop two brown onions
Saute on a medium heat with a generous splash of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.
The next ingredients are peas, about 2 cups
Biodynamic minced beef about 500 gm (1.1 lbs)
Once the onions are translucent, add the peas. Cook for about 2 minutes
Then add the minced beef and,
add two grated carrots.
and heat until the mince is brown and the carrots are soft.
Begin to season the mixture with some gravy mix. About two tablespoons.
Add about a teaspoon of ground rock salt.
Here is the secret ingredient. Lots and lots of freshly ground pepper. If you think you have added enough, add some more.
Once the spuds and swede are cooked, drain well.
Then add them to the meat mixture and mash thoroughly.
The filling will begin to look like this. It needs a little bit more mashing, but keep a few small chunks of spud and swede for texture.
If you don’t have time, like we us, then pre-made shortcrust pastry is an easy substitute for home made pastry. We have made it ourselves in the past. The only think I dislike is the plastic, which we recycled.
Make sure that you taste the mixture, and season again to taste. Add more pepper.
Use a dinner plate as the template and cut the pastry sheets into circles.
Using an egg wash, paint around the entire edge of the circle.
Then fold up the sides, make a fold along the entire edge.
Use a scalloped effect to make it look something like this.
Place on a well greased baking tray, and coat the entire top of the pasty with egg wash glace.
Bake in the oven at 180° C (350° F) for 30 minutes until golden brown top and on the bottom.
Then get stuck in to them. Delicious. Just like the ones we ate in the car-park behind the Tintagel post office!
Nothing quite like a home made Cornish Pasty and beats commercially made crap any day. Simple living at its best.