A Montana Style Cornish Pasty For A Chilly Day!
Cornish tin miners were world famous for their expertise in tunneling underground mine shafts. Wherever these expert miners went around the globe, they brought their Cornish Pasty cooking knowledge with them.
In a tin mine, Arsenic builds up on dirty hands and the Arsenic can easily contaminate food. The solution was to create a stuffed pastry that had a crust handle. The crust handle was grasped with Arsenic tainted hands and the fingers never had to touch the soft crust section that contained a savory filling. After eating the good part of the pasty, the thick crust handle was discarded as an offering to the Knockers. The Cornish definition of a Knocker is devilish imp that causes mine accidents, so it was best to appease these little creatures.
About 100 years ago, many Cornish miners worked the Montana tin mines. Traditional ingredients for Cornish Pasties were scarce in Montana, so the filling was made with with whatever food was cheap and available. Pork and apples fit the bill of fare! Pork and apples is also a classic flavor combination, so it did not take long for Montana Pasties to become famous.
Life in a Montana tin mine is pretty cold all year round and the outdoor climate can be very harsh in the winter. With this in mind, Montana Cornish Pasties were designed to be hearty enough to warm up a cold tired worker. A Montana Pasty is definitely one of the best cold weather food items that there is!
Pâte Brisée Recipe:
*If you want to make an authentic Cornish Pasty dough, then substitute lard for some of the unsalted butter in the Pie Dough recipe.
Follow this link to the recipe in this website:
Montana Pork & Tart Apple Cornish Pasty Filling:
This recipe yields enough filling for 1 large Cornish Pasty.
There are no tricky cooking techniques involved with making traditional Cornish Pasty fillings. The ingredients are simply placed in a pot and boiled!
Step 1: Place 1 1/2 cups of light pork broth in a sauce pot.
Add 5 ounces of coarsely chopped lean pork. (Pork shoulder or pork loin is best.)
Add 1 tablespoon of chopped salt pork fat.
Add 1 tablespoon of chopped hickory smoked bacon.
Step 2: Add 1/3 cup of diced russet potato.
Add 1/3 cup of diced swedes (rutabaga).
Add 2 tablespoons of diced carrot.
Add 2 tablespoons of diced onion.
Step 3: Add 2 teaspoons of unsalted butter.
Add 1/3 cup of diced peeled tart green apple (Granny Smith Apple).
Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
Add 2 pinches of marjoram.
Step 4: Place the pot over medium/medium high heat.
Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
Step 5: Reduce the temperature to low heat.
Gently simmer and reduce till most of the liquid evaporates and only about 1/3 cup of liquid remains.
Step 6: Remove the pot from the heat.
Add just enough plain fine bread crumbs while stirring, to soak up the liquid in the pot. (About 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons is plenty.)
Step 7: Let the Montana Cornish Pasty Filling cool to room temperature.
Place the filling in a container.
Chill the filling to 41ºF in a refrigerator.
Montana Pork & Tart Apple Cornish Pasty:
This recipe yields 1 hearty pasty.
Step 1: Roll a sheet of pie dough till it is about 3/16" thick.
Cut a round piece of pie dough sheet that is 10" in diameter.
Step 2: Mound the Montana Pork & Tart Apple Cornish Pasty Filling on the center of the round pie dough sheet. Be sure to leave a 3/4" bare border.
Step 3: Brush the bare pie dough border with egg wash.
Fold the pastry dough over the stuffing, so it forms a half moon shape.
Roll and press the seam edge of the pie dough, so it resembles a thick handle.
Poke 2 small steam vent holes through the dough, where they will not be seen.
Step 4: Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking pan.
Place the pasty on the parchment paper.
Brush the pasty with egg wash.
Step 5: Place the pan in a 375ºF oven.
Bake till the crust is golden brown.
Step 6: Set the hot pasty on a plate.
Garnish with Italian Parsley sprigs.
Serve with a ramekin of sour cream on the side.
This Montana Cornish Pasty will warm up an ice cold day like nothing else can! Do not forget to toss the crust handle to the evil little Knockers, so no disaster will strike!