Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pasty Time!

Today the BF and I had quality time, cooking pasties (pronounced PASS-ties, different from PASTE-ies). We went to school in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where they are a staple food. Pasties are to the UP what burritos are basically anywhere else in the country. They are originally Cornish, but were eaten by Finnish miners in the UP as an easy and portable lunch that was hearty enough to fuel their days in the mines. Traditionally they are eaten with ketchup or gravy. They also usually have a gross assortment of leftover beef/pork bits, but I obviously left that out. I like them best hot, but if you pack one for lunch you could definitely eat it at room temperature.

Michigan Pasties

For the dough:
-3 c. flour (I used 2 c. white + 1 c. whole wheat pastry to be healthy....if you use any whole wheat make sure it's pastry, because the normal kind will make the crust too rough/hard)
-.5 T salt

-.75 c. combination of margarine and Crisco....I used an equal combination of the two but you can use one or the other if you want
-6 T. ice water

1. Combine the flour and salt, then cut the fat in with two knives.
2. Use your fingers to crumble the fat into the flour to combine it. You'll be done crumbling when it kind of looks like corn flakes and is evenly distributed.
3. Then add the water a tablespoon at a time. Firmly knead it all together a few times to make sure it's all mixed together well. Wrap it up and throw it in the fridge for at least an hour.
Alternatively, if you really suck at making pie crust (which is essentially what this recipe is), you can buy store-bought crust. But that's not nearly as fun.

Classic filling (all veggies are diced into 1/2 inch pieces):
-1 rutabaga
-2-3 potatoes, depending how big they are
-3 carrots

-1 small onion
-salt and pepper

For our filling, we used a few unconventional ingredients. For my veggie pasties, I used potato, rutabaga, yuca, and a little bit of celery, carrot, and onion. Seasoned with just salt and pepper, of course. You can basically throw any tuber in there. Sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, are limited only by your imagination!

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it
into six even dough balls. Roll one out to about 10" diameter.
3. Put some of the filling in the middle and fold one side over, make sure to seal the edges up. Poke a few holes in the top with a knife to let
the pasties breathe
4. Pop 'er in the oven for 60-70 minutes and you're done! Serve with ketchup and some margarine for an authentic midwest taste.

These also freeze REALLY well.

My UP cookie cutter was put to official UP pasty!

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