Thursday, July 16, 2009

An Introduction... with Pasties!

I did it. I started a blog. Now, I don’t have to spend all my time reading others’ blogs, but I can write my own! Anyway, a brief introduction, then a recipe (two, actually!):

My name is Karin, but you can call me Kar.

I am a grad student and live here:

And am married with one "child":

Now, living in the city and being a full-time student is not conducive to horse-ownership, so he (Bear, actually, is his name) is at “boarding” school- earning his keep by teaching horse-crazy little girls how to ride. I have many pictures of him and will share some as time goes by.

If you’d like to say “hi!,” I’d love your comments—please leave a link to your blog so I can visit and do the same! Tips and advice are very much welcome!

Now, on to the food. For an early birthday present, I received this book from my husband. The pictures are beautiful and I couldn’t wait to try something out. I decided on Cornish Pasties for three reasons:

  1. My mom is from England, so I feel a special connection with British food.
  2. A number of years ago, my now-husband had a pasty for lunch at our favorite pub in Minneapolis and he still talks about it.
  3. I had all the ingredients! Well, almost. No rutabaga for me.

This seems like a slightly-involved recipe, but it wasn’t too bad. I made the filling and the dough in the morning, rolled and assembled about an hour before dinner, then put in the fridge until baking time.

Cornish Pasties

From Pastry, by Michel Roux

My notes and additions are in italics throughout. I ended up with 7 pasties, but only baked two. I wrapped the others in plastic and put them in the freezer to enjoy at a later date without all the effort!

1 lb pâte brisée

1 lb chuck steak, cut into 5/8 inch cubes (I used slightly less)

3 tbsp peanut oil (I used vegetable)

1 ¼ cups beef stock

1 potato, cut into ¼ inch dice

1 rutabaga, cut into ¼ inch dice (I substituted a carrot sliced into half-moons)

1 onion, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper


Filling: Heat oil in a deep skillet and lightly sear beef. Pour off the fat, then add the stock and cook gently for about an hour until the meat is meltingly tender. (At this point, I seasoned the beef with salt, pepper, and a little Worcestershire sauce for good measure.) By now, the stock should have evaporated almost completely. If not, reduce over medium heat. Tip the beef into a bowl and let cool.

Cook the potato, rutabaga (or carrot), and onion in salted water until just tender. Let cool in the cooking water, then drain and mix with the beef (NOTE: reserve some cooking water). The mixture shouldn’t be too dry; if it is, add 2-3 tbsp of the cooking water. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for several hours. (The filling can be made a day ahead.)

To assemble, roll out the dough to a 1/16-1/8 inch thickness (I used my 1/8 inch set of dough planers). Using a 5 ½ inch cutter or plate as a guide, cut out 6 disks (NOTE: I thought 5 ½ inches would be too small to hold enough filling for a dinner serving, so I used a slightly larger template, about 6 ½ inches. I cut and assembled the pasties one at a time, so the pastry wouldn’t warm up too much to make it difficult with which to work. I also managed to get 7 pasties out of this recipe.) Spoon the filling into an oval in the middle of each disk, and brush the borders of the dough with eggwash. Fold up the sides of the dough to make a raised pasty and bring them together, pinching hard with your fingertips in about a dozen places all along the crest to seal the pasty completely. Place on a baking sheet (I lined mine with a Silpat) and brush with eggwash. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the pasties for about 25 minutes until deep golden; if necessary, in crease the oven setting to 400°F for the last 5 minutes. To enjoy the pasties at their best, serve at once.

Since I had the oven on, I decided to roast some vegetables, as well. Here’s a simple recipe:

Roast Vegetables

Vegetables, cut up. I used CSA beets and a turnip, along with a couple carrots.

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Rosemary, if desired

Grana Padana cheese, if desired.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place vegetables in a baking dish large enough to fit in a single-layer. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat evenly. If you’d like, throw in some rosemary. Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every so often. They are done when they are browned and tender. Grate a little hard cheese on top for extra flavor. Enjoy!


Elizabeth said...

Hey Karen, I found a pic of yours on Food Gawker and made my way over. I just started a blog too! I'm so into food it's ridiculous...but I actually do have a child (17 month old boy) so food is sometimes an afterthought. I aim to really get into this food blogging thing. Glad to see I'm not the only one just starting out! Cheers!

Oh and here' my blog so far:

Andrea said...

Hey Kar! Welcome to the blogosphere! Those pasties (ha, that word always makes me laugh!) look delish! Good luck with the blog, it can somtimes feel like a lot of work but mostly it is so rewarding to put a part of yourself into the (virtual) world and connect to people through it.

I'm over at

Beryl said...

Wow your first post made it on food gawker? It took me almost a year! What are you going to make for post#2?

Jennifer said...

Welcome to the blog world Kar!! :) I love your "child", I grew up on a large ranch and was very passionate about my horses too!

Great recipe, Ive not had anything like that!

Happy cook said...

Welcome to the foodworld and hope you will have a wonderful time in this super hobby.

Sonya said...

I went to London almost a year ago and the first thing I bought after getting off the train was a pastie! It was so so soooo good. I totally felt a part of the in crowd after that one. Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!!!

Mama Coyote said...

I think it's awesome that you started your blog on my birthday... and I want to hear more about Bear! :D