Traditional Cornish Pasty Recipe made from scratch with a homemade shortcrust pastry, and filled with the classic diced beef, potato, swede and onion. They are lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, and baked to perfection until the pastry is golden, and the meat and veggies are tender. The nation's favourite pasties, so easy to make at home.
I could eat pasties only for the rest of my life and not have a care in the world about waistline, or other nonsense like that. Any filling, any time of the day! Surely, there is such much choice out there when it comes to pasties, but since we can't be out there now, why not make them at home?
I have always been intrigued by the Cornish pasties, purely because the veggies and meat go in raw, and I couldn't wrap my mind around how they could be fully cooked inside a pastry. Beef is one of those meats that take ages to tenderise and cook, so I couldn't believe it will be nice and tender at the end of the baking.
But I was so wrong! Not only the beef and veggies are tender, but they also melt in your mouth! The secret is to cut them in small enough pieces, and bake the pasties at a low temperature for about 1 hour. In this way, the pastry cooks perfectly with no soggy bottom, and the filling is amazingly done.
How to make homemade shortcrust pastry
If for my Potato, Cheese and Onion Pasty I used puff pastry for a quick and easy pasty fix, for these beef pasties I chose to make the classic shortcrust pastry myself. And what a winner that was! It's the best shortcrust pastry you can have, baked to absolute perfection.
Traditionally, the shortcrust pastry was made with lard, and I wanted to give this recipe an authentic touch. But I was worried about the taste and smell of lard being too strong, so I used half lard and half vegetable shortening, plus a bit of butter too. The 3 together gave the best texture and taste, and you can't even taste or smell the lard at all.
- in a large bowl, sift the flour, add the salt, butter, vegetable shortening and lard, and use your fingertips to rub the fat with the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs
- add the water, and bring everything together into a dough
- cover with clingfilm, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
- divide the dough into 5 or 6 smaller balls, and use a rolling pin to roll to roll into large discs
How to make a traditional Cornish pasty
Once the dough is chilling in the fridge, you can get on with the filling. The easiest you can get, just make sure you dice everything really small for a perfect bake. For the filling we need: beef, potatoes, onions and swede, just lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.
- preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit)
- divide and spoon the filling onto each dough disc, top the filling with a small cube of butter, then brush the edges with water, and fold the dough over
- crimp the pasties by pinching the fold between your thumb and fore finger
- brush the pasties with beaten egg, then transfer to a large baking tray lined with non-stick paper
- bake for about one hour, or until the pastry is golden and the filling is cooked through
These pasties are absolutely delicious, and it goes to show that tasty food doesn't need to use a variety of slices, but even basic seasoning can bring out the best flavours too. Do give them a try!
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Traditional Cornish Pasty Recipe
- 500 g plain flour
- 60 g lard
- 60 g vegetable shortening
- 30 g butter
- 175 ml cold water
- 1 egg for brushing the pasties
For the filling
- 200 g beef
- 1 large potato
- ¼ swede
- 1 onion
- 5-6 small cubes of butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- To make the shortcrust pastry, soft the flour into a large bowl.
- Add the butter, vegetable shortening and lard, and use four fingertips to to rub the fat with the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the water, and bring everything together into a dough.
- Cover with clingfilm, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 5 or 6 smaller balls, and use a rolling pin to roll to roll into large discs.
- Preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Cut the beef and vegetables into small cubes, and mix everything together, then season with salt and pepper.
- Divide and spoon the filling onto each dough disc, top the filling with a small cube of butter, then brush the edges with water, and fold the dough over.
- Crimp the pasties by pinching the fold between your thumb and fore finger.
- Brush the pasties with beaten egg, then transfer to a large baking tray lined with non-stick paper.
- Bake for about one hour on the middle rack of the oven, or until the pastry is golden and the filling is cooked through.
- If you'd like to see the ingredients listed in cups and ounces, please check the US Customary Link.
- Also, the amount of ingredients changes depending on the servings, so click on the number listed to change it to the number you prefer.