What Have Cornish Pasties and Champagne Got in Common?

Well Cornwall will tell you only Cornwall produce real Cornish pasties. Just like people in Champagne would say the only place that produces real champagne is Champagne. All sounds a bit much to me. The European Union has a lot to answer for (just ask Conor) I mean it’s not like Pizza Hut is laying claim to the pizza. Or McDonalds the burger. Well it might be.

Anyway I am a pie boy. Meat and pastry. It’s not good for you and it rarely looks pretty but it always tastes good. Even when you cock it up. And when pastry comes into the equation I usually do. Cock it up that is. The last time I made pasties I made my own shortcrust pastry and they were so heavy I could have used them as bricks.

But Cornish Pasties are so simple I tried again. I mean there are only a few ingredients. How hard can it be?

For completely non-traditional Cornish Pasties, originated about 160 miles east of Cornwall, you will need

  • Some beef. I used another load of left-overs from the Prime Rib I cooked about a month ago. Obviously I did this recipe a while ago. Otherwise the beef would be green and moving around
  • Onion
  • Chopped potato and swede, par-boiled
  • Some juicy gravy bits from the beef
  • Puff Pastry
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Egg wash

First off get the filling ready: combine meat and veg with the gravy:

Now unroll the pastry and using a small plate cut out a circle:

Spoon a good dollop of filling on one side of the circle:

Now fold over the pastry and crimp the edge. The basic problem with pastry, I have found, is that you need to keep things cool. But I suffer from hot hand syndrome and so pastry tends to get warm, sweaty and does everything it can to fall to bits. So I did my best but the uncooked pasties still look a bit rubbish:

Brush on some egg wash and put in the oven (about 200 degrees centigrade) for 20 minutes or so.

They don’t really look like Cornish Pasties. But that’s okay because they weren’t made in Cornwall. Best served with a great big glug of Ketchup:

Come on give me some of your favourite food failures. Its much more fun than the successes.

26 thoughts on “What Have Cornish Pasties and Champagne Got in Common?

  1. Looking good!
    (In the picture I see you use egg wash as glue, but you don’t mention it in the instructions.)
    As for food failures, I can think of some. For instance when I made spaghetti alle vongole and hadn’t rinsed the shells in fresh water after soaking them in salt water. It ended up being way too salty.
    Or the time when I was teaching a bunch of young friends how to cook and didn’t check whether the flour had been folded properly into the cake batter and the cake came out with huge lumps of flour in it.
    Or the time where I actually followed the instruction from a recipe to remove the stems from all of the spinach leaves (which is a LOT of work), not realising that this is not needed with the ‘baby’ spinach we have here…

  2. It’s hard to remember all of the food fails but I do remember trying to make a sauerbraten with a thick steak rather than a roast. I stuck it in the marinade but one day led to the next without cooking it up. When I finally got around to cooking it my husband who usually just eats what I put in front of him (hey he likes his food supply to continue), gave up with tears in his eyes…”Holy sh*t that’s a slab of vinegar!”

  3. we have two best food failures. the first time we tried to make bread, the results were so heavy it took both us to carry it to the trash. who knew 3 cups of flour could weigh 20lbs. our second was our first attempt at making bacon. we spent a few minutes pretending we didn’t smell something noxious coming out of the oven before we ran to open every window in the house and then ran outside to gulp in some fresh air. huge failures but lots of laughs.

  4. Oh!! I totally thought these look exactly like a pastie?? My disasters.. I think you’ve read about already, but my latest was an abomination… nasty little almond butter gluten free (rock) cookies with a bad after taste!

  5. Well they look pretty tasty to me. I’m also a pie-girl myself but I can never make the pastry from scratch. Its far safer and less time-consuming to buy store-bought.

    Because I like to get creative in the kitchen, I’ve had more than my fair share of flops, so I won’t even bother listing them. ;P For some reason I always think the dish/pudding will come out fine if I did my own thing! LOL.

  6. Had to look up the meaning of swedes and found out they’re Swedish turnips or rutabagas. Thanks for the languaage class.

    As to failures, my greatest was making roux for gumbo when I was a student. It was either raw or burned. I had to move to Louisiana, take lessons and practice for years. But now I can make a pretty good Cajun chicken and andouille gumbo with dark roux.

  7. Those look great. How can you go wrong with puff pastry. I made my own puff pastry not too long ago and they turned out great but I thought to myself, I could’ve bought the dough and saved myself some time. Some things are totally okay store bought! BTW, what’s “chopped potato and swede” I get the chopped potato but the swede is not some dude from Sweden you chopped up right?

    • No the swede is a rutabaga but the word rutabaga promises too much – its just a big lump that comes out of the ground. I lik ethe word we use because you could be mistaken for thinking it was cannibal time or something

        • Some years back our English Football manager was refered to as a Turnip in the newspapers – his face was superimposed on a turnip. Today turnips are synonymous with crap football players – and we have plenty of those!

    • It was pie pastry – it was all wrong – the butter wasnt cold, hand too warm, and so on. If i wanted to learn anything in cooking it would be how to do pastry – a real art i think!

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