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Homemade Pasties from the U.P.

Submitted by: cindyp on November 29, 2011
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Homemade Pasties from the U.P.

If you’ve ever been to Michigan’s U.P., you’ve surely tried a pastie…or at least seen a sign! I grew up in the U.P. and I know I’m home when I see my first sign on the northern side of Mackinac Bridge.

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There is quite a debate as to …

Difficulty:

Ingredients

Directions

If you’ve ever been to Michigan’s U.P., you’ve surely tried a pastie…or at least seen a sign! I grew up in the U.P. and I know I’m home when I see my first sign on the northern side of Mackinac Bridge.


There is quite a debate as to where the pasty originated from–some say Cornwall, some say Devon, then there the Finnish that got involved, too. The U.P. was a large mining area and pasties were great to carry to the mines wrapped and put into a pocket.

A pastie is simply a meat hand-pie with some vegetables thrown in. After my freshman year in college, I managed a pastie shop in St. Ignace, the city just north of the Mackinac Bridge. The owner’s mother came from the “old country” (not exactly sure where that was) and we used her recipe making massive amounts of pasties fresh daily with steak, potato, rutabaga, and onion.

I’ve scaled down that recipe to something that is more manageable at home. They do freeze well if you do a marathon pastie day, though–baked or unbaked. I have taken to making lots of filling and freezing that in portions that will feed us. I don’t mind doing up a recipe of pie dough really quick. It makes it quite easy to make a meat and potatoes meal when the whole family is in town.

How to make Michigan’s U.P. Traditional Pastie: Printable

You can easily dice and cube the meat and vegetables, but I find it easier to put through the meat grinder with the large chunk disc.



Combine 2 1/2 – 3 pounds round steak (cubed into 1″ pieces), 5 medium potatoes (finely diced), 2 small onions (finely diced), and 1/3 of a small rutabaga (finely diced). There should be about 6-7 cups of filling. Mix all together. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.



Make pie dough. I use Suzanne’s Foolproof Pie Crust recipe. It’s the perfect size to get 6 or 7 pasties. Divide dough in 1/2 before putting in fridge. Work 1/2 at a time. Roll into a rectangle, about 22″ x 10″.



In 3 equal portions of the dough, put 1 cup of the filling on bottom half, leaving room to fold the dough over on top. Using water, make a line around the mound.



Flip the other side of the dough over, and seal around each mound of filling with your hand.



Cut around each mound leaving about 1″ of dough so you end up with a 1/2 moon shape.

If the dough isn’t sealed from your hand, pinch together or mash with a fork.



Do the same with the other 1/2 of dough.

This will gives you 6 pasties. If you have left over filling, roll out the extra dough to use up the filling. Mine made 7.

Brush tops with milk and bake at 450F for 20 minutes, turn oven down to 350F for another 40 minutes. Let rest for at least 15 minutes.



Many eat them plain, many top them off with gravy. Some even use ketchup (horror!). Enjoy an old-fashioned meat and potato hand-pie meal!

Cindy blogs at Our Life Simplified.

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Comments

16 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 11-29
    1:51
    am

    Yup! Originally I thought all pasties were Cornish pasties until a good (Finnish) friend from the UP treated me to the pasties her mom made. They were scrumptious and your recipe sounds like it might be a good match to what I remember. Thanks.

  2. 11-29
    5:51
    am

    I have read of these and always meant to look for a recipe, but then would forget after I finished reading whatever book they were mentioned in. I will save to my recipe box and look forward to trying them. They sound wonderful!

  3. 11-29
    9:11
    am

    Cindy, I am saving this one too. It sounds really tasty.

    Of course, I got sidetracked by looking up Suzanne’s
    pie crust recipe and then her pop tarts….and then realized what I had started out reading…..I love these ‘trailing’ threads.

  4. 11-29
    9:18
    am

    @glendad that’s why we try to make links to “open in a new window”, so I can get back to what I was originally looking at…too many times I’m just at a loss as to where I even started! LOL!

    Pasties are very versatile…you can really add whatever you’d like…because you CAN. It wouldn’t be a traditional pastie, but I’m all for not being traditional 🙂 Do what you want. You don’t even HAVE to put meat in it if you don’t want to…make it vegetarian.

  5. 11-29
    9:40
    am

    Wonderful looking treat!

    On a cooking show some time ago the host was in Wales, explaining that the miners there have taken pasties for lunch for many generations. The guest chef said that occasionally, there would be fruit placed on one end giving a sweet ending to lunch!

  6. 11-29
    10:25
    am

    OMG!!! I used to live in the UP, and worked at the old Ropes Gold Mine in Ishpeming. I had eaten at the pasty shop in St. Ignace, as well as at others, and LOVED the pasties, but had never tried to make them myself. Thanks for the great sounding recipe (and bringing back some fond memories!)

    Susan

  7. 11-29
    11:06
    am

    Ahh Memories,I grew up ‘down below’ but we had a cottage in Thompson, just west of Manistique.
    So I have to ask, shouldn’t the title of this thread read… Pasties from DA U.P.?

  8. 11-29
    11:49
    am

    Looks great! I have to ask for clarification sake. Are you cooking the filling before putting in the pastie? I am assuming so or else I can envision juices coming out in my version of the pastie.

  9. 11-29
    1:48
    pm

    @pirate96 No the filling is not cooked, it cooks in the oven INSIDE the dough. There are some juices that will come out depending on how wet the vegetables are or how much fat is in the meat. The last photo shows some of the juices that ran out and a couple of the pasties split open, but nothing horrible.

  10. 11-29
    4:14
    pm

    Thanks for the article!! I originally thought-Pasties, big deal. But after reading the post I can’t wait to make them. Maybe because they don’t look as difficult. Thank you!!!

  11. 11-30
    5:09
    am

    Sounds like my kind of comfort food! I am going to make these for lunch today; 🙂

  12. 11-30
    7:36
    am

    I have not had a good Pastie in a long, long time! Can’t wait to make this on a cold winter day!

  13. 11-30
    1:52
    pm

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing it!!!

  14. 11-30
    8:02
    pm

    Mmmmm, I love pasties. My sister used to make them, but there’s an old-fashioned pasty shop near my house so I’ve been lazy and just buy them there. Your recipe sounds perfect (I’m in the “yea” camp of the great turnip/rutabaga in pasties debate) and you make it sound so do-able I may have to try my hand at it. Thanks!

  15. 2-14
    1:11
    pm

    aww.. what a nice surprise to see this post! My memories go way back with pasties. My mom was born and raised in Spalding, MI in the U.P…every vacation was visiting my grandparents each summer. We couldn’t wait to cross the bridge, as we knew there would be ooodles of places to get our pasties enroute. My gramma made them while raising her family of 10.

    I have made them through the years. My family loves them as well. I like making them and freeze a few batches. My husband likes taking them in his lunches for work. I don’t put rutabega in mine, as no one here cared for rutabega, my husband said he got rutabegaed out growing up. 🙂 I would also make them with potato, carrot, green bean and ground chicken. My gramma would change them around at times too. (Hubby has a hard time digesting beef.)

    Thank you for rekindling those memories. Looks like I need to make a batch soon. 🙂

  16. 1-13
    1:06
    pm

    Cindy. Today is cold, cold, cold and pasties seem like the very thing for dinner. I’m using this recipe for the first time and am glad to see you grind all the ingredients. What a timesaver. I’m anxious to try it. I have missed you on CiTR.

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