Thursday, March 4, 2010

Michigan Pasties

My lovely and talented Aunt Chris shared this recipe for Pasties with me. I was excited to make these because they remind me of my home state, Michigan. Every time my friend Beth and I would drive up to visit our friend Neile in Northern Michigan, we stopped on the way home for a Pastie.

 If you are not from Michigan or Wisconsin, you may have no idea what a pastie is, so I did a little research to find out more about the famed Pastie to share with you. I came across this description on Mackinaw Pastie and Cookie Company's Website. "Made originally as a meal for the miners of Cornwall, England, Pasties date back about 800 years. Wives would bake meat and vegetables in a crust and wrap it in many layers of linens or newspapers for their husband's lunch. It provided a warm and filling meal in the cold, damp mines. Pasties arrived in Michigan over 150 years ago with immigrants who came to work in the iron and copper mines in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Pastie provided a hot and nutritious meal that had good holding capacity and could be eaten anywhere. This full-bodied flavor soon became a favorite with locals and visitors alike. A trip to Northern Michigan is not complete without a Pastie."

The best way I can describe it is a pot pie that you shape yourself. I decided to modify the recipe to make it vegetarian. I still served them with gravy because a Pastie is no good without gravy! 
My Pasties do not look at pretty as I would like, but they tasted incredibly authentic. I am very proud of myself for making these because they require you to make your own dough, something I've never done before. Another bonus is that I get to cross another item off my "30 Things to Make Before I Turn 30." Yippee! 

Marquette Pasties
Special thanks to My Auntie Chris

The Dough
3 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 cup Crisco
3/4 cup cold water

Sift the flour and salt. Cut in crisco. Add water and blend with a fork until it holds together. Shape into a ball. Chill until the rest of the ingredients are prepared.
The Filling
1 1/2 pound ground chuck (I omitted this)
4 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 onions diced small
1 rutabaga, peeled and diced 
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all filling items together throughly. Diving into 6 roughly equal servings, about 1 cup each. Add a teaspoon of butter on top of each before adding it to the dough. Take the dough out and divide it into 6 pieces, slightly oblong. Roll each on a floured board and add the filling. Seal the edges with water, folding or crimping the edges. Take a sharp knife and slit the top. Flute the edges and bake on a lightly greased pan for 12 - 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
Note: The great thing about these is you can add your own touches. I added in garlic, oregano, and mushrooms since mine were vegetarian. Some people use round steak cut into quarter inch cubes instead of ground chuck, and chicken is also another option. In cubing the meat and potatoes, be sure to use small, uniform pieces. 

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