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Traditional cornish pasties recipe

Traditional cornish pasties recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Beef pie
  • Steak pie

A hearty meal-in-one, make these satisfying pasties for a picnic or packed lunch, or enjoy with salad.

61 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • Shortcrust pastry
  • 450g plain white flour
  • 250g chilled butter, diced (or half butter and half white vegetable fat)
  • Filling
  • 350g lean chuck steak, finely diced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 potato, about 175g, peeled and finely diced
  • 175g butternut squash or swede, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 tbsp beef or vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • beaten egg or milk, to glaze

MethodPrep:50min ›Cook:1hr15min ›Ready in:2hr5min

  1. Sift the flour and a pinch of salt together into a mixing bowl. Rub in the fat until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Sprinkle 6 tbsp chilled water evenly over the surface, then mix with a round-bladed knife or fork. Add a little more water if the mixture is too dry. Gather the dough together, then lightly knead on a floured surface for a few seconds until smooth. Wrap and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the steak, onion, potato, squash or swede, stock and parsley in a bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper and mix well. Preheat the oven to 200°C (gas 6).
  3. Divide the pastry into eight pieces, then roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface to a 20cm round. Spoon an equal amount of the filling onto the centre of each pastry round.
  4. Brush the pastry edges with beaten egg or milk, then bring together at the top. Press the edges firmly together to seal, then crimp the edges or pattern them with a fork.
  5. Place the pasties on lightly greased or non-stick baking trays and brush with beaten egg or milk. Make a small hole in each to allow some of the steam to escape. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 160°C (gas 3) and cook for a further 45 minutes–1 hour or until the pastry is nicely golden and the filling is cooked. (Test by piercing in several places with a fine skewer – it should go through with little resistance.) Serve hot, warm or cold.


*If time is short, use two 375g packets of ready-made shortcrust pastry.
*Add extra flavour by blending 1/2 tsp English mustard with the stock. You could also make up the vegetable content with some diced carrot or turnip.
*Pasties will freeze well for up to 2 months.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)

Reviews in English (4)

Something else.I would like to try the Cornish Pastie recipe but is there a way that I can change the ingredients to ounces instead of metric?-15 Apr 2009

Just a small tip.I always precook the ingredients before filling the pastry!-08 Feb 2012

Something else.To DoreenS - use a converter?! They actually have a page on this site..... Thats what I do if I find recipes with oz. measurements p.s once I get the ingredients, I will be trying this recipe-02 Dec 2010

Traditional Cornish Pasty

The national dish of Cornwall(England), a meal of meat and 3 vegs wrapped in pastry and closely related to the tin mining industry of years gone by.
A Cornish pasty is an envelope of baked shortcrust pastry filled with beef and 3 vegetables and sealed in a characteristic rope crimp, that is an authentic Cornish Pasty.
In 2011, a truly authentic Cornish pasty was given both a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication status, which means that in order for these pasties to be made commercially and bear the name “Cornish pasty”, they have to meet very specific requirements.
These requirements state that they have to be made in Cornwall, can only contain beef, potato, Swede, onion, salt and pepper. No other meat, vegetables,or seasonings are allowed.
The order also states that the ingredients must be raw when the pasties are made up before baking and then slowly baked so as to produce the traditional Cornish pasty flavor.
The edges of the pasties must be sealed with a rope crimp, which gives them the authentic Cornish look.
A true Cornish pasty should only ever be made for commercial purposes west of the Tamar River, the boundary of Cornwall and Devon.


500 grams strong white flour

100 gr lard or white shortening

400 grams beef skirt cut into small dice

400 grams potatoes peeled cut into small dice

200 grams swede peeled cut into small dice

220 grams onions cut into small dice

Cut the meat and vegetables into the same size dice

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 egg beaten with a dash of milk


  • To make the Pastry
  • Put the flour into a large bowl with the salt and rub in the vegetable fat and butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in enough water to make a fairly firm dough, not wet and sticky
  • Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured work surface and knead briefly until smooth.
  • Shape into a ball, wrap in cling film and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • For the Filling
  • Place all the filling ingredients Into a large bowl and mix together, season well with salt and especially pepper, set aside until you are ready to make up the pasties.
  • Bringing it all together
  • Pre heat the oven – 200°c / 395°f / 180°c Fan/ gas mark 6
  • Divide the chilled pastry into 6 equal portions and roll out each portion to around 20cm diameter and 4mm thick. A small side plate will give you a good guide
  • Divide the filling into 6 equal portions and spoon each portion off centre on each circle of pastry, leaving at least 1 cm from the edge
  • Place a couple of knobs of butter over the filling
  • Brush the beaten egg mix around the edge of half of the circle of pastry then bring the other half over the filling to enclose it and seal the edges together by pushing down with your fingers to make a seal
  • Crimp the edges whichever way you feel comfortable with but make sure the edges are tightly sealed.
  • If you would like to crimp in the classic rope style which does seal everything inside. see the video below
  • Glaze with the egg wash and put onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, don’t squash them up too much, you may need to use two baking sheets
  • Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Then turn the heat down to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3 and bake for 30 minutes longer until golden brown
  • Remove from the oven and let them stand for 10 minutes before attempting to eat, the inside will be very tot.

Recipe Video

Recipe Summary

  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 ¼ cups ice water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 ½ cups thinly sliced potatoes
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 onions
  • ½ cup diced rutabaga
  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
  • ½ pound lean ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • 1 cube beef bouillon
  • ½ cup hot water

Whisk together flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut shortening. Make a well in the center of the mixture, and quickly stir in ice cold water. Form dough into a ball. Set aside.

Dissolve the bouillon cube in the hot water. Combine uncooked vegetables, uncooked meats, salt, pepper, monosodium glutamate, and bouillon.

Roll out pastry dough into 6 x 8 inch rectangles. Place about 1 1/2 cups of filling in the center of each rectangle. Bring 6 inch sides together, and seal. Cut a slit in the top of each pasty. Place on dull, not black, baking pans.

Cornish Pasties

While pastry has served as a container for food for centuries, a Cornish pasty is unique to Cornwall. It's a tangible reminder of its mining past, although people now eat them whenever a quick and portable meal is needed. It was designed to accompany a miner to the mine in his pocket and it contained enough meat and turnips for at least a couple of meals. The miner's initials were usually carved into one end, to vent steam as it baked and so there would be no question to whom the pasty belonged. Editor's note: This recipe has been retested and adjusted to better match the filling and pastry amounts the new yield (of slightly smaller pasties) is now 6.


  • 3 cups (361g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) lard, (traditional), 8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature, or 1/2 cup (92g) vegetable shortening
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons (43g to 71g) water
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar

Traditional miner's filling

  • 3/4 pound (340g) cubed or diced lean beef (uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup (113g) diced rutabagas, parsnips, or turnips
  • 1/2 cup (64g) diced onion
  • 1 cup (227g) peeled, diced baking potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • salt and pepper to taste


For the pastry: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Cut the fat into small pieces and distribute evenly over the flour. Cut the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with the water and vinegar. Drizzle this over the flour mixture while tossing everything together with a fork.

Gather the dough together (a dough scraper is ideal for this), folding it over on itself until it becomes cohesive. Sprinkle any dry or crumbly bits with water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. Divide into six pieces, shape them into discs, wrap and chill while you prepare the filling

For the filling: Stir all of the ingredients together in a large bowl (uncooked they'll cook in the oven).

To assemble and bake: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.

Remove the wrapped pastry from the refrigerator and roll each piece into an 8" circle. Place 1/2 cup of the filling in the center of each circle. Brush the edge of the circle with water, and bring two opposite sides up and over the filling to pinch together over the filling. Flute the seam as you would a piecrust, so it looks like the back of a dinosaur. turn up the ends a bit to look a little like devil's horns.

Cut a design (or initials) into one of the sides of the pasties to vent the steam. Place, fluted edges up, on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with egg wash.

Bake at 400°F for the first 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for a further 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm, or chill to reheat later.

Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

  1. Heat the oven to 200 °C (Gas 6)
  2. Chip the potatoes and swede into small slices.
  3. Slice and chop the onion finely
  4. Roll out the pastry to the size of 2 small dinner plates (20 cm diameter)
  5. Pile half the potato, swede and onion in the centre of the first pastry circle and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper
  6. Layer half the meat over the vegetables and place a knob of butter and a little chopped parsley on top. Again season to taste and moisten with a tablespoon of water.
  7. Moisten the edges of the pastry then fold both edges of the pastry up over the ingredients and press together to form a seam. Then fold the pastry edges over firmly with a crimping action to seal the pasty. Brush the top with milk.
  8. Repeat above steps for the second pasty.

Serving Suggestions

Can be eaten hot or cold on their own or served 'hot' with seasonal vegetables.


For the pastry, pulse the flour, baking powder, salt, butter and egg yolk in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Gradually add the water, a tablespoon at a time, mixing continuously until the mixture just comes together as a dough. (You may not need to use all the water.) Roll the dough into a ball, then wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for an hour.

Meanwhile, for the filling, bring a pan of salted, boiling water to the boil. Add the chopped swede and potato and cook for 4-5 minutes, until tender, then drain well, refresh in cold water and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Roll the chilled pastry out onto a clean, floured work surface. Cut a large disc from the pastry using a dinner plate as a template. Place the onions in a line down the middle of the pastry disc. Spoon the chopped steak on top, then spoon the cooked potato and swede over it. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Brush the edge of the pastry disc with some of the beaten egg. Draw the edges of the pastry together and crimp them with your fingers to seal so that the seal sits on top of the filling. Using a knife, make a small hole in the top of the pasty and brush all over with the remaining beaten egg.

Place the pasty onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden-brown.

Traditional Cornish Pasties

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

As promised, here is the recipe for the Cornish Pasties that were featured earlier this week.

I really had planned to make these myself but as we got to researching and experimenting the best way to make the crust and the best ingredients for the filling, Stephen kind of took over and made it his own personal mission. And since I don&rsquot mind being cooked for one bit, I relaxed and just stuck with taking the pictures.

I&rsquom very proud of how close ours taste to the ones that we got in Cornwall. Traditionally, these are made with fatty steak, potatoes, onion, and either rutabaga or carrot. I had one while there that was onion and cheese and I loved it! I definitely want to try making one of those soon.

Anywho, lets dive into this, shall we?

We&rsquoll start with the crust. If you so desire, you can use a store bought crust for these. We tried our hands at making our own.

Once dough is ready, take it out of the fridge and cut it into 6 even pieces and let the dough sit for a few more minutes. If you want smaller pasties, you can cut the dough into smaller chunks.

On a floured surface, take one section of the dough and roll it into a circle that is about 9 inches around. It&rsquos okay if it&rsquos not perfect as you can cut off some later.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
1) After taking the pastry dough out of the fridge, cut into 6 equal chunks (you can cut into more if you want the pasties smaller). Let sit for a few more minutes after cutting.
2) On a floured surface, take one section of the dough and roll it into a circle that is about 9 inches around.
3) Position slightly less than a cup of the filling onto one side of the pastry.
4) Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place a small piece of butter on the top.
5) Around the side of the pastry that has the filling on it, brush the edges of the dough very lightly with milk to help the edges stick together.
6) Gently fold the pastry over, making sure all of the filling stays inside, and press down the edges to seal them.
7) Crimp the edges together by folding small sections over top of each other all the way around. Watch this video for clarification.
8) Place all of the pasties on a parchment lined baking sheet and (if you so desire) brush the tops with an egg wash.
9) Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they get a nice goldeny brown color.
10) Let cool (takes quite a few minutes until they are cool enough to hold and eat) and ENJOY!!

Mum’s Cornish Pasties Recipe

Go straight to the Cornish Pasty recipe

When we were little, one of my mother&rsquos staple dishes for weekday suppers was Cornish Pasties. She made her Cornish Pasties with flaky pastry which took an inordinate amount of preparation, but which she thought hid her poor pastry skills. My grandma was a dreadful cook but a rather excellent baker and made a shortcrust pastry that was melt in the mouth and delicate. Mum never tried to compete. Instead, she learnt to make flaky pastry, rolling out and dobbing on pats of lard and butter, folding and re-rolling to make a delicious light pastry that she used for almost all her baking!

Following the family tradition, I&rsquove never tried to compete. In fact, I&rsquove completely avoided making anything that involved flaky pastry till now, especially homemade Cornish Pasties. Or, I&rsquove bought the pastry ready-made. But, while I was looking for a dish to make for the Best of British Challenge that could represent Cornwall, I thought of my mum&rsquos homemade Cornish Pasties and got a bit of a yearning for them. While I was looking for a pastry recipe I came across a couple of examples of this &lsquograted fat&rsquo quick flaky pastry and decided it sounded too good to miss. One version was all butter, one all lard &ndash and neither had any salt. But I do remember mum making flaky pastry and what the ingredients were.

So, this version uses my mum&rsquos mix of lard and butter (which I remember vividly from childhood because the lard meant that the raw pastry tasted horrible!). And, it has some salt in it&hellipwhich of course you wouldn&rsquot necessarily use if you were making a sweet filling, or even if you were using salted butter. The theory is that butter adds richness while lard makes a lighter and flakier pastry.

Making up the Cornish Pasty I&rsquove tried both using a &lsquotop crimp&rsquo for the pasty and a side crimp. I find the top crimp a bit easier than using a side crimp, which apparently is more traditionally &lsquoCornish&rsquo. And that is just the way mum made them. But, I am still not an expert &ndash my crimp looks fine while the pasty is out of the oven but once it cooks, it seems to disappear!

We NEVER had swede in our pasties (mum didn&rsquot like it) and, she always used raw ingredients including uncooked onions and beef, which to me now seems a little strange. And of course, my mum and my grandma came from Somerset, not Cornwall&hellipso, apologies in advance for any &lsquobastardisation&rsquo of a Cornish recipe.

Here&rsquos the recipe for a not quite traditional Cornish Pasty from scratch. If you want to make it completely authentic use a mixture of swede and potato!

Traditional Cornish Pastie

Many people are under the impression that a cornish pastie is made with puff pastry, minced beef and carrot. They are wrong. My grandmother is Cornish, and I would like to let you know how to make a REAL Cornish pastie.

Shortcrust pastry - for 1-2 pasties use 1/2 lb of flour, 4 oz of fat
diced poatoes - small cubes
diced onion (optional)
braising steak or stewing steak, diced
diced swede (optional)
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
dab of margerine
pinch of flour

Roll out the pastry. Use a bowl or plate to cut out a circle. Bear in mind that a pastie is very filling. Normally a dinner plate is about the right size.

Place the circle of pastry on to foil. Put the diced meat, potatoes, onion and swede into the centre of the pastry. you can check the amount of filling is correct by lifting the sides of the pastry up together.

The two edges should be able to meet at the top, with enough room to seal the pastie. mix up the filling up a bit, then arrange it into an oval shape, with space at either end to seal. put a pinch of salt and pepper on top of the filling.

Add a dab of margerine using 2 teaspoons, to keep the pastie moist, and a pinch of flour to soak up any juices. Get a cup of water, and using your fingertips, put water all the way around the edge of the pastry, leaving no gaps and about an inch wide.

With dry hands, fold up the pastry, starting at the bottom of the pastie where the filling is, and moving your hands upwards to fix the top.

You may have to talke out some of the filling to fit it in, otherwise it will poke out through the pastry.Ccrimp the edges of the pastry to keep the pastie's shape. If making several with different fillings, mark the pastry with the inital of the person it is for. Fold the foil over into a 'pastie' shape around the pastie, scrunching it up at the top, so you can open it later. Put it in the oven at gas mark 5 for 2-3 hours

For the last 1/2 hour, take off the foil to brown off the pasties. Move them around the oven occasionally to cook them faster, as they will cook slowly if left in the centre. When they are cooked, they will be golden brown, and you can insert a knife into the pastry to make sure.

They can be made in large batches then frozen for practically as long as you like. They can be cooked straight from frozen, though they will need slightly longer in the oven. Any extra contents can also be frozen and used another time. If they are kept in the freezer, the pastry will be more crisp when cooked. They are much better than the ones sold in the shops - you will never eat one with carrot in again! When they are in the oven you can mostly forget about them, as they are so easy! They are eaten on their own, as they are very filling, and everything is already inside!

Submitted by: Hazel Coverley

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Excursus: History of the Cornish Pasties

Originally the Cornish Pasties were a lunch of the miners of Cornwall. The wives filled them with all kinds of ingredients, from sweet to savory or half and half. To mark their pasties, the miners’ initials were usually carved into the dough.

The thick edge was there so that the men could simply eat the pasties by hand. By the way, this was not eaten along with the pasty, but was thrown to the “miner goblins and spirits”. A positive effect was that a lot of poisonous arsenic was often released in the mine, with which the men’s hands came into contact. Since the rim was thrown away, they did not eat the poisonous substances.