Michigan Pasty (Meat Hand Pie)

When Cornish miners migrated to Michigan's Upper Peninsula in the 1800's, they brought with them their beloved national dish: the pasty. The Finnish miners that followed adopted these meat pies as their own (easily transportable for long subterranean days!), and the pasty became such a large part of the regional culture that there's an annual pasty festival in early July. In this recipe, beef, rutabaga, carrots, onions and potatoes are essentially steamed within the crimped, D-shaped dough pocket that's slit to allow just enough steam to escape.

Recipe courtesy Santos Loo for Cooking Channel
TOTAL TIME: 2 hr 45 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: 1 hr
Cook: 1 hr 15 min
 
YIELD: 6 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup picked fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • Ketchup, for serving
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Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the flour, shortening and a pinch of salt to a food processor and run the motor until the dough starts to clump together. With the motor running, drizzle in the water. Stop the motor when a ball begins to form. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for about 1 hour. This step allows the glutens to relax and makes for easier rolling.

Mix together the beef, rutabaga, carrots, onions, potatoes and parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to form the pies.

Cut the dough into 6 even pieces, about 5 ounces each, and form into balls. Make sure the dough is cold for easier handling. Flour a work surface and roll out each ball of dough into an 8-inch circle. Evenly divide the filling (about 3/4 cup per pastie) on one half of each dough circle. Fold the dough over to cover the mixture and crimp the edges using a fork. Slice 3 small slits on top of each pocket. This prevents steam from building up and splitting the dough. Brush the pasties with the egg and bake on the prepared baking sheet until the crust is golden brown and flaky, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Serve with ketchup.

Cook's Note: Pasties can be baked and then frozen. To reheat, place in a 300 degree F oven until warmed through, about 20 minutes.
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