Friday, January 22, 2010


Well it's time I breathed some life into this blog. It hasn't been dead but merely sleeping.

So where to begin? I think it just as well to nail the fallacy that pasties are a Cornish invention here right at the start.

Check out this link:

Whilst we are at it then let us also not be too sure that Cornish pasties are necessarily the best either:

The sooner the cultural crime that is the theft of the humble pasty by the light-fingered Cornish from the humble, downtrodden and under-appreciated Janner is brought to book the better. This is an injustice of a par with the Elgin Marbles and we all know how unhappy the Greeks are about that. The pasty is one of the Janner Nation's greatest gifts to the world.

What better topic is there to float a Janner boy's boat than pasties? I could start a pasty review service to run parallel with the pub reviews (also sleeping) and might just do that in the future but for now I'll just reference the Facebook group My Mum's Pasties Are The Best. Clearly you'll have to take my word for this since you are never likely to try one. Equally it is suitably ambiguous and could mean that your Mum's pasties are best which should at least spare me having to defend many "my Mum's are better than you Mum's" arguments which would be just too tedious to stomach. I also don't want to set set up a married bloke up in a place where he has to decide between mother, mother-in-law and wife. Anybody who makes you an oggie is a deeply loving and wonderful person.

And please none of that "if it's crimped on the top it's... and if it's crimped on the side then it's..." because it is just too boring for words.

Right that's the preamble dealt with so let's get into the meaty stuff. Just how do you make the damned things? Well who better to ask than my Mum who has 80 years plus of hands on pasty making experience to fall back on. What follows is her advice.

INGREDIENTS: Potatoes, onions, turnip, beef (skirt), shortcrust pastry, salt, pepper, butter, egg.

METHOD: Chop all ingredients into small bits then encase in pastry. Paint with beaten egg. Gas mark 5 for about an hour.

That was pretty much it. She doesn't weigh stuff so the quantities would be apochryphal if I was to give any but when pressed she added:

Turnip and swede are completely interchangeable (and I would maintain the same thing anyway just a different size and colour). Amounts of each ingredient are infinitely variable according to taste but about 1 pound of skirt, 3 average onions, 6 medium potatoes and a small swede will make about 6 good-sized oggies.

Shop bought pastry is fine. Any flour will do for rolling out the pastry ~ don't scrimp. Jus-Roll is recommended. Season ingredients well (do not be afraid to add lots) and pop a knob of butter inside each one. It's best not to overfill the pastry because this makes it harder to seal the pastry up (and if have too much pastry then just trim it off) but try to compact the filling as much as possible. A circular dinner plate will do fine to cut out the pastry. Or a smaller plate for a smaller pasty. Use excess pastry to make jam tarts or mince pies (or more pasties) ~ just dampen it very slightly to get it to stick together as required.

Cook on a well greased baking tray or on baking paper so that they don't stick. If you have an olive oil spray thing then this works well and will be lower in calories than using butter but if you are that worried about calories then I'd wager you won't be making pasties nor will you be reading this.

There is some other stuff about allowing the pastry to come up to room temperature so that it doesn't shrink (or was it stretch?) and the chopping/dicing/slicing thing is up to you but cut everything smallish so that it cooks thoroughly. You can either mix it all in a bowl or layer it in each pasty as you go ~ it is your pasty after all so do what you like.

Inpired? Make 'em yourself. It ain't rocket science and it is fun. Give it a go.


At 3:43 pm, Blogger Edward said...

Pasty's are Cornish.


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