Cornish Pasty Pie
I find Cornish pasties often have too much pastry and not enough filling. However, the traditional filling of steak, potato and turnip is so delicious I now make one big pie using this filling – which is also a lot quicker than making individual pasties.
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course and Delia Smith's Complete Illustrated Cookery Course.
Make the pastry first: sift the flour, salt and pepper into a large mixing bowl, holding the sieve up as high as possible to give the flour an airing. Then cut the lard into small cubes and add to the flour. Now, using your fingertips, lightly and gently rub the pieces of fat into the flour – lifting your hands up high as you do this (again to incorporate air) and being as quick as possible.
When the mixture looks uniformly crumbly, start to sprinkle roughly 2-3 tablespoons of cold water all over. Use a round-bladed knife to start the mixing, cutting and bringing the mixture together. Carefully add more water if needed, a little at a time, then finally bring the mixture together with your hands to form a smooth ball of dough that will leave the bowl clean (if there are any bits that won't adhere to it, you need a spot more water).
Now rest the pastry, wrapped in foil or polythene, in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes before rolling out.
Meanwhile, slice the meat into very thin strips about 2 inches (5 cm) long (it's important to keep them very thin in order that they cook in the time given). Place the meat in a mixing bowl, with the chopped onion and mixed herbs. Then peel the potato and turnip and slice these as thinly as possible too (the slicing edge of a four-sided grater does this thin slicing job in moments). Now, if you are using a quiche tin, roll out half the pastry, large enough to line the tin with about ½ inch (1 cm) overlapping.
Then layer the filling ingredients in it (in any order). Season well with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of herbs as you go, and finally sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of water. Roll out the other half of the pastry, dampen the edge all round, then fit it over the top of the pie. Then seal the edges, folding them inwards and pressing gently to make a rim just inside the edge of the tin.
Make a steam hole in the centre (about the size of a 10p piece), brush the surface with beaten egg, and bake the pie on a baking sheet, on a high shelf, for 15 minutes. Then turn the heat down to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C), and continue to cook on the centre shelf for a further 1½ hours.
Instead of using a quiche tin, you could simply roll out two 11 inch (28 cm) diameter rounds of pastry and place one on the baking sheet. Layer the ingredients (as above) on it but leave 1 inch (2.5 cm) all round the edge.
Now place the other pastry round on top and seal the edge by turning the bottom piece inwards all the way round, then make deep diagonal cuts with the edge of a teaspoon handle all the way round the edge. Then proceed as above.
Serve this hot or alternatively, as it is still delicious eaten cold, take it on a picnic.
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