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Of Meat Pies and Lingerie—Bringing the Heat

There are two kinds of Pasties.  One is the self-adhesive variety that dancers wear on stage.  Not classically trained dancers. The other kind.  They may be purchased in the same establishments that sell 6 inch platform heels and miniscule under-garments. This kind is pronounced paste-ee, which rhymes with tasty, although I am pretty sure they aren’t.

The other kind of Pastie is a meat pie and is pronounced passed-e, which rhymes with fast-ee. It is a very simple meat and vegetable filling, wrapped in a pastry crust and baked.  Most cultures have one or more varieties of the meat pie. In Latin countries, it is called the Empanada.  In Canada and Belgium it is called a Tortiere  In the United States we call them Pot Pies.  In Greece, they are called Kreatopita.  In India and in food trucks across America, you can buy Somosas. 

The sort that we are considering today is the Cornish Pastie, or Pasty.  Originating in Cornwall, England, the pastie is really, really, old, and is referenced in texts as early as 1100.  The Pastie was designed to travel.  It is sturdy, and is most often served at room temperature, making it a perfect dish to make ahead and carry with you to your destination.  It is popular in England, Australia, and in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Traditionally, the filling is basic and simple.  Some potato, perhaps a little turnip or rutabaga, and cubed bits of meat, seasoned simply and baked in a crust.  Rustic, tasty, and very austere.  I wouldn’t be me though if I didn’t add a bit of Texan flair to such a dish. A little sweet, and a little heat.   They are traditionally made into meal sized pies, but small ones make fun appetizers.  Also, the filling is typically not cooked prior to baking, but I like the caramelized flavor that browning the meat gives.  Food snobs might argue that I have disrespected the Pastie, made it something that a Pastie wasn’t intended to be.  I say, let’s call it Texas Fusion and move on with it.

 

Texas Fusion Pasties With Charred Pineapple Habanero Sauce

Texan Fusion Pastie

For the Filling

  • 2 pounds beef or pork loin, or a combination of the two
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • ½ cup diced sweet red onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 cup finely diced sweet potato
  • 1 cup finely diced russet potato
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • ¼  cup beer
  • juice of one lime

Cut the meat into small dice. Salt and pepper and place in a hot skillet that has been coated with the olive oil.  Cook until starting to brown.  Add the garlic, onion, potatoes, and jalapeno.  Continue to cook until meat is nicely browned, and the pan juices have evaporated.  Add beer and lime juice to deglaze the pan.  Allow to cook for a few minutes more, until the beer has mostly evaporated.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

For the Pastry

  • 6 cups flour
  • 2 cups lard or mixed shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½  cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar

Cut together flour, shortening, sugar and salt until it resembles small peas. Beat the egg and combine with water and vinegar. Add to flour mixture, and stir just until moistened and a soft dough is formed.  DO NOT over handle, or the dough will become tough.  Break off a piece of dough the size of a grapefruit.  Roll out on a floured surface to desired size and thickness for your intended use.  See below.

To Assemble:

  • 2 beaten eggs
  • ¼ cup water

For miniature pasties, roll out to 1/8” or thinner. Cut circles out of your dough using a 3” bisquit cutter. Place one teaspoon of filling in the center.  Brush the outer edges with beaten egg mixture.  Bring pastry edges up to meet in the middle (like a taco), and gently press and crimp the edges to seal.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Using a fork or small knife, cut a few vent holes in each side for steam to escape.  Brush remaining egg wash over outside of pastie.  Bake in center of oven at 375* until golden brown.

For regular sized pasties: roll out to between 1/8” and ¼” thickness. Cut 8 inch circles of dough using an 8” cardboard circle, plate, or spring-form pan as your guide.  Brush edges with egg mixture.  Place ½ cup of filling in the center of the dough, and finish using the above directions. Brush remaining egg wash over outside of pastie.  Bake in center of oven at 375* until golden brown.

 Serve with Charred Pineapple Habanero Sauce

Charred Pineapple Habanero Sauce

 

Charred Pineapple Habanero Sauce

  • 1 Pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced ¼” thick
  • 1 Habanero, or scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1” pieces
  • 1/c cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup mild flavored honey
  • ¼ cup rum

Line a jelly roll pan with foil, and spray liberally with cooking spray.  Arrange pineapple over the pan, and place in the middle of the oven.  Broil until starting to char on tops.  Remove from oven, turn over the pineapple, and broil the other side.

Remove pineapple and place in a food processor with the Habanero, cilantro, and bell peppers.  Pulse for a few seconds, until finely chopped, but not pureed.

Place the mixture, with all remaining ingredients into a large sauce pan over medium high heat.  Bring to a simmer, and cook down until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Serve with pork, seafood, or poultry, or as a dip for meatballs and similar appetizers.

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Categories: Food, Gourmet, Texas, Uncategorized

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17 Comments on “Of Meat Pies and Lingerie—Bringing the Heat”

  1. bananamondaes
    2011/12/30 at 12:32 pm #

    Cornish pasties are all over the place in the UK – I much prefer the spicy Jamaican patties with curried chicken. Love the sound of the habanero sauce with this Texan twist!

  2. 2011/12/30 at 12:48 pm #

    You had me at lard . . .

  3. 2011/12/30 at 12:54 pm #

    Great recipe! I love the pineapple habanero sauce!

  4. 2011/12/30 at 1:05 pm #

    Oh I love pasties!! I lived in London, England for 3 years and would walk on my lunch breaks to Covant Garden and grab one while I sat and people watched. I wil have to try out your recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. 2011/12/30 at 1:38 pm #

    Great writing. I really love this twist on the recipe. Happy New Years!

  6. 2012/01/05 at 12:40 am #

    This sounds wonderful- great fusion of flavors. My daughter had pasties for lunch most days when she went to school in England. We visited her and she took us to her favorite shops and while there were always very traditional ones- the cornish pastie etc- there were lots of delicious fusion ones with Indian or other spices and flavors. So I think making this one Texan fits with the versatility of this little pie.

  7. 2012/01/15 at 7:09 am #

    Mmmm, these sound fantastic! (And hey, they’d probably be fun to eat off of dancers, too..)
    I have to say I am beyond intrigued by the pineapple habanero sauce – what a combination! 🙂

  8. 2012/07/03 at 4:02 pm #

    Reblogged this on Texana's Kitchen.

  9. 2012/07/03 at 5:07 pm #

    Ooh, that sauce sounds good! And sweet potatoes in the filling is a nice touch.

    It’s too hot to consider anything with pastry (or ovens) just now, but when we get down safely below body temperature, I have to try these. The heck with authenticity. My motto here is “If I cook it, it’s authentically Pennsylvania Dutch, no matter where the recipe came from!”

  10. 2012/07/03 at 5:34 pm #

    ahh the humble pastie. In Aus, the pastie is a semi circle shape with vegetables and minute pieces of meat inside as compared to the actual Meat pie – with chunky or minced meat inside. Yours look pretty good, I like a bit of spice 🙂

  11. 2012/07/03 at 9:21 pm #

    the sauce sounds delicious. the pastie reminds me much of empenadas!

  12. 2012/07/03 at 10:02 pm #

    Fun fact from England! The Cornish Pastie was originally developed to feed the workers of Cornwall’s most distinctive economic activity: mining. A traditional sandwich was useless in the blackened, soot-covered miners, so, their ingenious wives came up with the pastie. All of the delicious fillings that their husbands loved inside a flaky pocket with the cleverest food innovation this side of London: a giant crust. A crust so large that their dirty hands could effectively grab the pastie without touching the pocket, allowing them to eat their delicious pastie in a clean, healthy manner. The crusts would be disposed of afterwards, though now they make a delicious addition to the heart of the pastie!

  13. 2012/07/03 at 10:03 pm #

    well the modern variant of the pastie that is, as you said it did exist in other forms beforehand 🙂

  14. 2012/07/05 at 10:21 am #

    Well that’s just false advertising! Where are the pictures of lingerie? I am so upset right now. LOL…I kid, I kid. Those pasties look awesome. I could go for one right now, even though I’ve never had one. Just empanadas, but that’s close, right?

    • 2012/07/05 at 10:46 am #

      yeah….main difference is that the pasty has a flakier crust than most empanadas….But very, very close.

  15. 2012/07/05 at 10:32 am #

    Adding this to the menu this week!

    ~Lynn

  16. 2012/07/09 at 9:37 pm #

    Well, if they are selling stripper shoes in Nordstrom’s, pasties can’t be too far behind. I went to Cornwall once. The pasties were damn good. Love your variations.

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