America is a melting pot that was formed by the hard-working people who migrated here from lands as far east as China and Japan, as far north as Russia and Europe. They utilized American supplies and prepared them in ways that they had prepared them in their homeland.
True American food is a collection of these culinary traditions passed down from generation to generation”.Each culture brought their cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.
A pasty is a baked meat pie, a traditional variety of which is usually associated with Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is made by placing an uncooked filling, typically meat and vegetables, on one half of a flat shortcrust pastry circle, folding the pastry in half to wrap the filling in a semicircle and crimping the curved edge to form a seal before baking.
The traditional Cornish pasty, which since 2011 has Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in Europe, is filled with beef, sliced or diced potato, swede (also known as yellow turnip or rutabaga) and onion, seasoned with salt and pepper and baked. It is regarded as Cornwall’s national dish and accounts for 6% of the Cornish food economy. The origins of the pasty are unclear, though there are many references to them throughout historical documents and fiction. The pasty is now popular worldwide due to the spread of Cornish miners and sailors from across Devon and Cornwall, and variations can be found in Australia, Mexico, the United States, Ulster and elsewhere.
Michigan Pasty (Meat Hand Pie)
When Cornish miners migrated to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the 1800s, 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, carrots, onions, and potatoes are essentially steamed within the dough pocket.
6 hand pies
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough
1 cup shortening or lard ( I use Spectrum)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup ice-cold water
8 ounces boneless steak such as sirloin, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 egg, whisked with 1 tablespoon of water
Ketchup, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, shortening, and salt in 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 gluten to relax and makes for easier rolling.
Mix together the steak, carrots, onions, potatoes, and parsley and 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. Flour a work surface and roll out each ball of dough into an 8-inch circle. Or roll each piece of dough between a sheet of wax paper and a piece of plastic wrap.
Evenly divide the filling (about 3/4 cup per pasty) on one half of each dough circle. Brush the edges of the circles with egg. Fold the dough over to cover the mixture and crimp the edges using a fork. Cut 3 small slits on top of each pie. This prevents steam from building up and splitting the dough. Brush the pasties with the egg and refrigerate the baking pans until ready to bake for dinner.
Bake on the prepared baking sheets until the crust is golden brown and flaky about 1 hour. Serve with ketchup, if desired.Pasties can be baked and then frozen. To reheat, place in a 300 degree F oven until warmed through, about 20 minutes.