Perfect pasties

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 55 mins Plus chilling

More effort

Makes 4
Reawaken childhood memories of summer holidays with Sara Buenfeld's eat-by-the-sea favourite, the humble pasty

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per pasty

  • kcal1174
  • fat68g
  • saturates35g
  • carbs114g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre6g
  • protein34g
  • salt1.96g
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    For the pastry

    • 125g chilled and diced butter



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 125g lard
    • 500g plain flour, plus extra
    • 1 egg, beaten



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

    For the filling

    • 350g beef skirt or chuck steak, finely chopped
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped



      Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

    • 2 medium potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced



      The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

    • 175g swede, peeled, finely diced



      A member of the cabbage family, the swede is often confused with the turnip, though they look…

    • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper


    1. Rub the butter and lard into the flour with a pinch of salt using your fingertips or a food processor, then blend in 6 tbsp cold water to make a firm dough. Cut equally into 4, then chill for 20 mins.

    2. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Mix together the filling ingredients with 1 tsp salt. Roll out each piece of dough on a lightly floured surface until large enough to make a round about 23cm across – use a plate to trim it to shape. Firmly pack a quarter of the filling along the centre of each round, leaving a margin at each end. Brush the pastry all the way round the edge with beaten egg, carefully draw up both sides so that they meet at the top, then pinch them together to seal. Lift onto a non-stick baking tray and brush with the remaining egg to glaze.

    3. Bake for 10 mins, then lower oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and cook for 45 mins more until golden. Great served warm.

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    Comments (83)

    vrog's picture

    As others have said these were a bit dry, though full of peppery flavour. I will follow the advice from the Cornish experts and add butter and a little water next time.

    sandradd's picture

    I can't comment on the pastry recipe - me and pastry dont mix - used 500g shop bought and got 6 decent sized pasties out of the filling recipe (18cm pasty mould - another cheat lol). Girls n guys this is so worth the effort of the veg/meat prep - I'll never buy another ready made pasty - ps I researched traditional pasties on Cornish websites beforehand and this is very close. Served with mixed steamed veg and gravy = 100% winner

    vonnie's picture

    Unfortunately, these pasties were so dry it was like eating sand. I had high hopes as the filling looked and smelt so gorgeous, but the finished product wasn't pleasant.
    The pastry was easy to make, but incredibly difficult to work with.
    I'll use a different pastry recipe next time, and will look at reworking the recipe to provide more moisture.

    spongemaker1's picture

    I make these often & they always turn out well. The method of cooking for 10 minutes at the higher temperature is very important, lard in the pastry gives the authentic cornish taste & I would never add gravy - it's a pasty not a pie!

    donnamc63's picture

    I used ground white pepper as it gave the pasty a more authentic taste and crumbled a beef stock cube into the filling, giving a beefier flavour - yummmm!

    mwanderson's picture

    Good basic recipe as a starting point but these aren't truly "Cornish" pasties unless made by a Cornishman/woman and/or in Cornwall. Sounds pedantic, I know, but as a proud Cornishman I would say these are the best and closest thing to a true Cornish pasty made by a true Kernowan. Just ask my mother!

    sandalwood23's picture

    we really enjoyed this recipe.
    we had been to devon and had some home-made cornish pasties and i decided to try to make them myself.
    i did fry the onions first, as i need them well cooked due to stomach problems, so, to make sure, i cooked them first.
    i used rump steak (special offer at supermarket)
    and i put one tablespoon of water and some slithers of butter onto the mixture before folding over the pastry.
    i will certainly be making them again. they were much appreciated.

    cherimoya's picture

    Absolutely classics.
    If the pastry is crunchy and dry - try to reduce the lard - i once tried to use no lard at all - the pastry becomes nice and tastes like bread.
    If the filling is dry - try to add a little mince. It will make the filling juicy.

    catpear's picture

    I totally love this recipe. Totally reminds me of pasties I had when I was younger. I always crumble an oxo cube or 2 into the filling before putting it in the pastry. The pastry is very very short and does need to be handled carefully but its totally delicious. I always make 2 or 3 times the amount and freeze until I want them.

    donnadrew's picture

    I use ready made pastry, usually flaky. I also slice all my veg thinly, rather than dice. Before you seal up your pasties add a few small nobs of butter along the filling, & a light dusting of flour. This makes the gravy & stops the dryness. Also, all true Cornish know that you do not cook filling before making the pasties... Yummy - making these for lunch!

    thomas_austin's picture

    My grandmother was Cornish and her recipe for pasties included a few knobs of butter on top of the meat and veg mix. When the butter melted it made the 'gravy' and made for a lovely moist pasty.

    heatherelmer's picture

    Going to try this today but will be making the pastry with vegetable suet mix as have done similar before and works well

    aucklar's picture

    Wish I'd read the reviews before making these. Unbelievably dry & far too large at their recommended size. Will be drowning remaining pasties in gravy in attempt to make them edible. On a positive note, pastry tasted ok - let down by the filling.

    yvonne3009's picture

    I thought these were scrummy. I nearly broke my wrist grinding a whole tablespoon of black pepper but it was worth it! So nice and spicy. I also used minced steak and used 500g instead of 350g cos my husband prefers more meat. My 4 year old joined in and painted on the egg glaze. Even she enjoyed the resulting pasty which is quite something given that she doesn't like potato or swede!

    nance1's picture

    i look forward to making these they sound great

    grannyjen's picture

    I was taught to make Cornish pasties by an old Cornish woman who sliced the meat and vegetables very thinly and then layered them, starting with the onion, followed by the potato and finally the meat. Add a dollop of butter and a tablespoon of water and fold up. The sallt and pepper is added to the vegetables.

    hannah89's picture

    This is a rubbish recipe. The pastry was very dry and the filling was boring. Nothing like a cornish pasty. Will stick to the ones from gregs!

    georgialucas's picture

    do I need to cook the filling ingredients before I put them in the pastry.

    spaghettialaguiness's picture

    OMG - made these and almost choked to death on the dry pastry, it was similar to eating sand! Filling was tasteless - not something I'll even try again.

    littlestar85's picture

    Haven't made these yet but have some swede to use up so will definitely have a go.

    Quick question though, @dogsdinner I've also had trouble with my pastry falling apart the last couple of times I made it using Trex which has never happened when I used butter, do you think it could be the Trex somehow?


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