Cornish Pasty

Cornish Pasty


Old World Map

Lunch, Dinner, European


The south west of England is one of the friendliest and most beautiful parts of the world. One food from there I always crave when I’m away is pasties. So to help with the cravings, here is the recipe straight from legendary Ann’s Pasties.


To make the pastry...

  1. Put the flour and salt into a bowl. Cut off a quarter of the lard and rub into flour.

  2. Grate or slice the rest of the fats into the mixture and stir with a knife. 

  3. Pour all the water in and stir until absorbed. 

  4. Knead a little and leave at least 30 minutes in the fridge before using.

Pastry can be made the day before, wrapped in polythene and stored in the fridge overnight. Pastry freezes well, but remember to take it out the night before you need it. Do not refreeze!

To make the pasties...

  1. Keep the sliced potatoes in a basin of cold water till needed. Trim and gristle off the meat and cut it (with some fat) into 6 mm (1/4 in) pieces.

  2. Generously flour the board or area you are using. This allows the pastry to relax as you roll, especially if you flip the pastry up from the surface every now and then. Cut off a quarter of the prepared pastry. Roll it out, keeping the shape, into a circle 21-23 cm (8-9 in) across. The pastry should now be the right thickness. Place an upturned plate over the pastry and trim round to get a good shape.

  3. Place most of the turnip and onion across the centre of the round. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Place meat along the top and well into the ends; season the meat with a little salt. Top the meat with most of the potato and the remainder of the turnip.

  5. Sprinkle again with a little salt, and add the remaining potato. Do not season the top layer: salt directly in contact with pastry can make it taste slightly bitter.

  6. Dampen one side of the pastry with a little water. If you dampen the pastry all round or use too much water you will find the edges slide instead of sealing, so don’t slosh it on.

  7. Fold the damp side of the pastry to the other and press firmly but gently together, so that you have a seam down across the pastry, or by the side, whichever you find easier. From the right side if you are right-handed (or the left if you are left-handed) fold over the corner and crimp by folding the pastry seam over and over to the end. Tuck in the end well to seal. Alternatively, if you find this difficult, just curl the edge like a wave.

  8. Make a small slit in the top with a knife and patch any other breaks or holes with a little dampened rolled-out pastry. Brush the pasties with milk or egg wash or even just water and place them on buttered paper or a greased and floured tray, leaving 5 cm (2 in) between them.

  9. Bake in a hot oven 220C (425F, gas 7) for 20 to 30 minutes. Check the pasties. If brown, turn them down to 160C (325F, gas 3). Bake for another 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave them in the oven for another 15 minutes with the door shut.

  10. Remove from the oven and with a slice lift the pasty onto a plate. Cut in half, allowing some of the steam to escape.

  11. If you are eating them picnic style, place the pasties onto a cooling tray and wait 15 minutes before eating. If you want to eat them an hour or so later, or are taking them on a journey, wrap them straight from the oven in paper and then a clean cloth. Pasties keep extremely hot for a long time and if well wrapped. 

Vegetarian Version

Use ordinary pasty pastry. Roll out pastry as for a pasty, then fill with layers of onion, turnip and potato, seasoning as you go, except the top layer. Seal, and cook as you would a pasty, reducing time by about 10 minutes, Just before dishing up, dribble in a good ounce of thin cream if you like it. Alternatively, while making the pasty put in about 25g (1oz) butter. With or without cream or butter, vegetable pasty is surprisingly delicious.


For the Pastry

  • 450g strong white flour (large pinch salt optional)

  • 100g margarine (Echo or similar hard variety)

  • 110g lard

  • 175ml water

For the Filling

  • 200g brown onion

  • 200-300g turnip (swede)

  • 340-460g beef skirt or chuck steak

  • 600g sliced potatoes

  • black pepper & salt

Filling for Vegetarian Option

  • 200g brown onion

  • 200-300g turnip (swede)

  • 600g sliced potatoes

  • 100g butter

  • 120g of thin cream

  • black pepper & salt