So I invited my friend Ol' Blue Eyes over for some hand pie. He lived by an exclusive source of hand pies until recently and would often supply me with copious amounts of discount cherry pies during movie watching. I'm not sure if this was a good thing, but in any case, it seemed fun to make a theme out of the evening with both savory and sweet hand pies. It was also my first opportunity to premiere my new pride and joy:
That is a joke for my brother.
Yes, my mother gave me a food processor for my birthday this month. I was soooo excited - no more grating butter for me!!!!!!
I looked for recipes for pasties online and found one from a blog called The Barefoot Kitchen Witch. I liked her step by step instructions, and I really love home food blogs. It seemed like a more authentically British story than many of the other recipes I found (most of them came from Michigan mining traditions, which is fine, but not exactly what I wanted). I decided to adapt her recipe to my own uses.
I got my ingredients at the grocery store (who knew that you couldn't find turnips in Kroger?) and went to work cutting up steak, potatoes, rutabagas, and onions. I mixed up my pastry, and got it to a consistency I thought would work. However....
I didn't put nearly enough water in the dough to make it form together, and rolling it out was impossible. I ended up pinching pieces together, placing bits of meat and vegetables on them, splashing it all with Worcestershire sauce, dried parsley, salt and pepper, and then pinching more dough pieces on top. You can see the filling peaking through in the picture. At one point, I was just pressing the crust onto the filling like I was making mud pies or something. This was the most frustrating pie I've made, and I was very afraid of the result.
The pie gods have once again smiled upon me, because these turned out surprisingly well. The dough had a nice flavor, and was crisp, flaky, and golden, and the filling was good. I've definitely had better pasties before, and I would have liked more of a gravy inside, but it was good enough to get a review of "if this were a girl, I would ask her out" from Ol' Blue Eyes.
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups chilled vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8-12 (or more) T ice water
Combine the flour and salt in the food processor, add the shortening, and pulse until the mixture looks like small peas of flour. Add the water in batches until the dough forms into small clumps. Pat it into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
Cut up 1 lb of steak into small pieces, slice 4-5 potatoes, 1 rutabaga, and 1 onion. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. When the pastry is ready, separate it into 8 even pieces, and roll out each piece into a 1/8-inch thick circle. On one half of each circle, place enough meat and vegetables to fill the pastry, but leave room on the edges to seal the crust together. Splash with Worcestershire sauce, and sprinkle with dried parsley, salt, and pepper. Fold over the other half of the pastry over the filling and roll the edges together to seal them. Place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment. Pierce with a knife to vent the dough, and brush with an egg wash for color. Bake for 30 minutes, checking every five minutes thereafter to see if they are done. They should be golden brown.