For the pastry
500g strong white plain flour (or plain flour will do)
110g lard, frozen
25g butter, frozen
1 teaspoon salt
Iced water to mix
For the filling
450 – 500g skirt beef (sometimes sold as pasty meat). Chuck steak will do.
½ – 1 yellow turnip (swede) depending on size
3 – 4 large potatoes depending on size. King Edward or Maris Piper are ideal.
2 – 3 white onions, depending on size
Approximately 75g butter
2 – 3 tablespoons plain flour
Salt and black pepper
Beaten egg and milk to glaze.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 c / Gas mark 6
2. Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl
3. Grate the frozen lard and butter and mix into the flour using a table knife. Do this a little at a time to ensure the fat doesn’t clump together.
4. Mix in sufficient iced water until the mixture comes together to a soft dough.
5. Tip onto a lightly floured and bring together lightly into a disc. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
6. Trim the beef and cut into small pieces on a chopping board. Divide the meat into 4 piles
7. Meanwhile, peel the onions and chop finely.
8. Peel the swede and cut into 1cm cubes
9. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 cm cubed
10. Mix together the vegetables with a ratio of 2/3 onion and 2/3 swede to the quantity of potatoes
11. Cut the pastry into 4 even pieces and mould each in your hands to a round disc.
12. Roll each piece of pastry to a large circle, the size of a dinner plate. If you struggle to get the pastry into a circle shape, cut around the dinner plate as a template.
13. Taking one circle of pastry at a time, fold a piece of pastry in half, place a rolling pin against the folded edge of the pastry then fold the top half of the pastry back over the rolling pin.
14. Place a thin layer of potato, swede and onion mix over the flat crescent of pastry, leaving a 2 – 3 cm margin around the edge.
15. Take one of the piles of beef and lay in an even layer over the top of the vegetables.
16. Cut a large knob of butter into small pieces and lay at intervals on top of the meat. Sprinkle over a light layer of plain flour and plenty of salt and pepper.
17. Top with another thin layer of vegetables
18. Brush around the margin of pastry with the egg and milk glaze.
19. Starting at one edge, crimp the edges, pushing together to seal firmly.
20. Place on a greased baking tray and glaze with a mixture of beaten milk and egg. Cut a small hole in the top to let the steam escape.
21. Repeat with the remaining 3 pieces of pastry and all the other filling ingredients.
22. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the pastry is well set and browned, then reduce the heat to 160 c / gas mark 4 for a further 35 – 40 minutes until the vegetables and meat feel tender when tested with the tip of a sharp knife through the slit in the top of each pasty.
23. Cover with a piece of greaseproof paper or foil if the pastry is browning too quickly during cooking.
NB – the pasties need to be baked as soon as possible after they are assembled. If left to rest before baking the potato will go brown. However, they can be frozen successfully uncooked and baked from frozen giving an initial 20 minutes at the high temperature then a reduced 50 – 60 minutes at the lower temperature.