January 13, 2009

Welsh Pasties

Last week or so Andy and I made pasties (pah-stees) for the first time in ages, and when I posted it on facebook I recieved tons of inquiries about what these pasty things were. Well, here it is: The DL on Pasties.

Pasties are a traditional pocket pie that were eaten for lunch by welsh miners in the Sierra Nevada. My Grandma Barbara Reid is welsh and grew up in the Sierra Nevada gold country. Her father, uncle and brother worked the mines in the Sierra, particularly in Nevada City. Grandma learned how to make pasties growing up, and so of course we would have them on special family gatherings when I was growing up. The most magical part about pasties are how simple they are, yet so incredibly delicious. (The pasty actually originated in Cornwall, but that history is much less personal).

What's in it:
Enough pie crust for four rolled circles, about 9" in diameter (you can make from scratch, use a box mix, or buy the flat, frozen crusts from Trader Joes)
1-1.5 lbs tri tip or other steak, cubed small
3-4 medium potatoes, in 1/4" cubes
1 onion chopped small
1/2 C parsley chopped
salt and pepper
some butter (optional)

How it's made:
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Mix in a bowl the filling ingredients: steak, potatoes, onion, parsley, salt and pepper. Roll out the pie crusts into four circles, each about 9" in diameter. Place a quarter of the filling on each pie crust, add a little slice of butter, then fold the crusts over in half and pinch to seal. Brush crusts with water or egg wash to seal, and then place the pasties on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350 and bake for another 45 minutes.

Let cool, then enjoy! This recipe can easily be adjusted for serving sizes. I always end up with extra filling, so I cook it up with scrambled eggs later, etc.


  1. When you first mentioned these, I was thinking they'd be really complicated to make. But these sound like they're not too bad. I love anything with pie crust and meat filling! Mmmmm.

  2. I just did another round of these, and tried making the crust myself. It was looong. I used my food processor, which was awesome. I didn't have enough butter at first b/c I didn't realize how MUCH butter goes into crust. In the end I got it, but they look a little mountainy instead of pockety. Plus, I have no patience with crusts.

  3. I've definitely decided that it's worth it to go store bought...

  4. Do you cook the steak first or put it In Raw? I have to make 30 for our school midevil faire and was happy to find your recipe.

  5. It goes it raw and cooks while it's in the oven.

  6. Pasties can be made with any kind of meat. My family always used hamburger, because it was cheaper. You can't beat home made pasties!

    I was told that the reason they were made in the crescent shape with a thick folded crust was because the substances in the mine were poisonous and there was no way to wash up. They held the pasties by the crust and ate up to the thick crust, then threw the crust away!

  7. I am looking for a recipe like this but the pastry dough is a much tougher one without butter. I am trying to make some for my godson who is in Afganastain. My grandmother use to make a hand help pie filled with chocolate to send to my uncle in Vietnam. Anyone have any ideas?
    I know that traditionally one side of the pastrie was a meat pie and the opposite end was sometimes sweet. My grandmother made these for her eight children .


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