Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pasties--A Meat Pie for Pi Day

Pasties--A Meat Pie for Pi Day

Most of my cooking is done within my comfort zone.  Granted, my comfort zone is pretty broad thanks to my life experiences, but still.  It's not my typical style to make a dish when I've never even tasted anything remotely similar to it before.


However, I am a lifelong learner and I love my spouse.  And my spouse, to his credit, is a sucker for a book with pretty pictures.  So a long time ago, when he presented me with America: The Beautiful Cookbook by Phillip Stephen Schulz and asked me to make him pasties like he ate while growing up, I reached outside my comfort zone and gave it a shot.  He's glad I did.  I'm glad I did.  The kids are glad I did.  And you will be too.

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Since that first episode many years ago, I've traveled up to the Upper Peninsula and tried a real pasty.  I've grown quite comfortable making them, and because pasties are a frequent visitor to our table I've even branched out a bit.  Today I wanted to share my basic pasty, because we've got a cow in the freezer, carrots, onions, and some potatoes that are not getting any younger.  When I have turnips from my CSA farm share they always appear in this dish, though the primary impetus was a good deal on pie crusts from Aldi.
Yes, Meghan says that this one is an easy crust.  Julie says that this one is an tasty crust.  Alanna says that this one is the best pie crust. You ladies are pie crust rock stars.
I am still scared about the whole 'cut in chilled butter' thing, too many opportunities for failure there, so for now, if I can buy pie crust for 99 cents I'm going to stock up.  Besides the fact that Pi day is right around the corner, I know that pie crust freezes just fine and with my unexpectedly defrosted fruit and vegetable freezer (see my FB page for the Lemons to Lemonade details) I had room to store.


For 150 some other food blogger recipes using ground beef, please see my Ground Beef Recipe Round Up. For other recipes using carrots and potatoes, please see my Carrot Recipes Collection and my Potato Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient.

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Pasties, recipe adapted from America: The Beautiful Cookbook (I swapped meat, vegetables, and added seasonings in addition to NOT making my own pie crust)

enough pie crust for a double crust pie (Your choice--homemade or store bought.  I don't judge.)
1 pound ground beef
1 cup diced onion
1 beef bouillon cube
1 cup chopped carrots (I had 2 large carrots)
1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped peeled potato (I used 3 potatoes)
2 to 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon steak seasoning (I had Omaha today)
1 tablespoon vegetable soup base (you could use beef, I have this in the fridge)
butter
cheddar cheese

If your oven takes a while to preheat, preheat it to 450 degrees Fahrenheit now, and let your chilled crust warm up a bit so you can work it without breakage.  In a large skillet (with a splash of oil), brown the ground beef over medium heat.  Drain fat, then add onions and bouillon cube to the ground beef in the skillet (otherwise the silly things never dissolve for me!).  Sauté until onions are softened.
(At this point, preheat your oven if you didn't a little while ago)
In a large bowl, stir beef, onions, carrots, potato, and spices until thoroughly mixed.  On a plain ol' piece of parchment paper, lay out one crust.  Fill with half of the beef mixture, then fold the crust over and crimp the edges.  Repeat with the other crust (see photo below).  Stab a couple of slits through the top of the crust.  Slide the parchment onto a cookie sheet and place in 450 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking for another 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and stick a little pat of butter into those crust holes you stabbed earlier (what? you thought it was for venting?  Everything's better with butter!).  Serve with a hunk of cheddar cheese and a beer, eh.

Are you a lifelong learner?  What have you cooked out of your comfort zone?

This post is shared with What's Cookin Wednesday at Buns In My Oven, What's In The Box at In Her Chucks,  Taste and Tell Thursdays, the Farm Girl Blog Fest at Let This Mind Be In You, the Clever Chicks Blog Hop at the Chicken Chick, Carole's Chatter and Foodie Friends Friday.

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38 comments:

  1. Love this bit: "Today I wanted to share my basic pasty, because we've got a cow in the freezer, carrots, onions, and some potatoes that are not getting any younger." And I swear that quiche crust is the easiest. No cutting of cold butter involved, but I understand. I buy my pizza dough for $1.99 so I can relate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meghan,
      Can I confess? The grocery store, after my rant about no dough, now carries bags of pizza dough. And it was marked down to 99 cents the other day, so I bought a couple of balls. For blogging purposes don't ya know.

      I want to do a photo essay on old veggies . . .

      Delete
  2. I love "everything's better with butter!" I feel the same way. :) Pie crust is out of my comfort zone, but I'm working on getting better at it. And practice is the only way, right? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth,
      I'm so happy to practice with cookies or cakes or anything else that uses butter. But I have a pie on the table right now, and I made the crumb topping for it, so that's a start.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  3. YUM! I have been wanting to try pasties, but the picky eaters in my household would balk. I might just have to make a tiny one for me the next time I am browning ground beef for something else.

    Side note: right after we got married we moved to eastern Pennsylvania. We kept seeing pasties on restaurant signs and really wondered what they were. And if we should even go to those restaurants. "Pasties" pronounced with a long "a" were something associated with less than savory establishments in our Midwestern vocabulary. Bear in mind these were pre-Google days. And we were too embarrassed to ask anyone. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah, LOL!
      I'm glad I learned about pasties by *hearing* the name before I saw the name. Because if my spouse had simply emailed me that he wanted me to make pasties, I would have gone in a different direction.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  4. I've heard lots about pasties, but have never tried them - I love savory pies, so I know I'd love this! It sort of looks like a shepherd's pie in hand-pie form, which is right up my alley. YUM!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amy,
      It is very similar to a shepherd's pie--though my kids would pitch a fit if there were no mashed potatoes in the shepherd's pie, regardless of how you eat it.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  5. I'm with you on crust. I buy it instead. Much easier on me. Less stress. I saw you making "lemonade" with the freezer got unplugged.

    Your pasty looks delicious. I have never made one myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marlene,
      It's probably crazy that I happily make pizza crust but balk at pie crust, but there you have it.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  6. This looks awesome. It reminded me that just a couple of weeks ago I wanted something savory stuffed in crust. Must put on my to-do list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrea,
      Something savory stuffed in a crust? Oh, the possibilities!
      I look forward to your post on what you end up making!

      Delete
  7. Such a comfort meal, it looks great!!

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    Replies
    1. Natalie,
      It really is a comfort meal--now for the whole family. Funny, how things get passed down from generation to generation.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. My mother was an expert pie crust maker.... I've never made one. Like you, when I can buy them for less then a dollar..... When I make quiche I make a rice crust. I haven't had a pasty in a long time. Could be time...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katie,
      Quiche with a rice crust sounds yummy to me--I threw a load of jasmine rice into the rice cooker for dinner, then got a wild hair for waffles instead (with the chicken) so now I've got cooked rice that I'll need to use somehow.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  9. I usually stick in my comfort zone, too. These look great, a great reason to step out of your zone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deborah,
      To be honest, it wasn't ridiculously far from my comfort zone, being meat and potatoes. Wednesday I'll be putting up a Chicken Tikka Masala recipe that is more out of my zone than this was, but I'd at least tried the final dish in Indian restaurants before so I knew what I was aiming for.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  10. Hi Kirsten, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm (http://annesfunnyfarm.blogspot.com), and I’m visiting from the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop.

    This looks awesome. And I love your writing style. I feel like you just gave me the recipe over the phone while you were stirring a pot and had a child clonging to your leg.

    Thanks for the recipe, and have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anne,
      Thanks so much! You just made my day!
      :)

      Delete
  11. Fun for Pi Day! I caved and made chocolate cream pie. Meat pie didn't cross my mind! I'll try to remember for next year. :-)

    (Stopping by via Farm Girl Friday!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chocolate cream pie sounds delicious to me. Our pie for dessert on Pi day came about when my daughter unplugged the fruit and veg freezer to plug in a glue gun, so we had a blueberry-peach pie with the partially thawed fruit. It was amazing (and will appear in the summer, during put-up-the-fruit season) because the crumb topping made it seem like part pie, part cobbler. Yum!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  12. These look great! I love anything stuffed in pie crust, whatever you call it - pasties, empanadas, turnovers, it's all good. Do you have a pastry blender? It makes cutting in butter so ridiculously easy (for pie crusts and biscuits, and scones!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie,
      I have a pastry blender, I have a food processor . . . I have the technology, just not the sisu to see it through to the finish!

      Thanks!

      Delete
  13. Thanks for sharing this. I do an olive oil crust an avoid all that chilled butter business, but it is admittedly not as flaky. I've been imagining something like this filled with lentils, rice and veggies. Thanks for the nudge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, lentils, rice and veggies sounds like it would make a delicious filling! Perhaps better for a pot pie, perhaps. (I don't know about you, but my lentils are always soupy. I need to learn to make a drier lentil without crunchiness!).

      Thanks!

      Delete
  14. What a perfect combo. Hearty meat and pastry...sounds like heaven to me :)

    Thanks for sharing and linking up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heather,
      Can't beat a tried and true recipe.
      Thanks for hosting!

      Delete
  15. G'day! Very warm and welcoming, TRUE!
    Based on your recipe and photo, I could go for some now too!
    Cheers! Joanne
    What's On The List
    http://www.whatsponthelist.net
    Foodie Friday Friends Party too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joanne,
      Thanks so much for your kind words!

      Delete
  16. Just about everything I cook is out of my comfort zone:) I just dive in and see what happens. These look delicious! I honestly don't think that I have ever had a pasty before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa,
      I like your attitude--just dive in and see what happens--I do that in the garden more than the kitchen.
      If you try your hand at pasties, please let me know how it turns out!
      Thanks!

      Delete
  17. Love pasties... but then again I live in the UP :)... but I am lazy about making my own and just go buy them here... I need to do it again one of these days. Thanks for sharing these on Foodie Friends Friday and to let you know I picked this as my host favorite. This will be featured over at the Daily Dish Magazine on Monday and on my blog at the next party.
    Marlys (This and That) cohost @ Foodie Friends Friday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marlys,
      My spouse grew up and went to school in the UP--it's beautiful up there. We've ordered pasties, and had them shipped wherever we've lived, and they are delicious. It must be lovely to just go and buy them--like when I was in Norway and could just go and buy lefse in the shop. Wow!

      I appreciate the feature--thanks!

      Delete
  18. You know I love these already. Thanks for sharing them on FFF.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Kirsten - I'm excited to try your pasties! They look so yummy. Oh if only my hubby hadn't sworn off dough....Guess I'll just have to make them for me! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shannon,
      It's time to do something for yourself! Even if it involves pasties, why not?
      Thanks!

      Delete