Sunday, March 12, 2017

Turkey Cornish Pasty with Mushroom Gravy

     A Savory Hot Cornish Pasty For A Chilly Day!      
     Today's Turkey Cornish Pasty is similar to an item on the menu at an English Pub that I worked for a few decades ago.  The pub owner was purchasing cheap manufactured frozen Chicken Cornish Pasties and they were not exactly good quality.  In fact, the filling was so skimpy and the amount of meat was so small that it was difficult to tell whether it was chicken or not.  
     After taking over the chef spot in the pub kitchen, I stopped purchasing the cheap Cornish Pasty frozen product.  We started making the menu item Cornish Pasties from scratch.  The fresh Cornish Pasties looked better and tasted better!  Only a Vegetable Cornish Pasty and Chicken Cornish Pasty were on the menu and these items were meant to appeal to health conscious customers.  
     Because chicken was touted as being a healthy meat option nationwide back in those days, food purveyors continually raised the price.  Soon the price of turkey was about half of the price of chicken, so turkey was the better choice from a profitability standpoint.  All it took was replacing chicken with turkey in the recipe, then changing the name of the Cornish Pasty on the menu.  To make the item more appealing, Mushroom Gravy was poured on the plate.  
     On a chilly day, a plated Turkey Cornish Pasty with Mushroom Gravy was simply irresistible and the customers ordered plenty.  Even though many of the British Isle customers never tried turkey before, they sure liked this bird when served in a familiar way.  Basically, it was the Mushroom Gravy that made the difference, because this combination created a level of comfort that can be compared to having an Open Face Turkey Sandwich at an American style diner restaurant.  In a traditional English pub, comfort is the name of the game!  

     Pâte Brisée:
     Admittedly, the pie crust dough in the photos above was actually a frozen product from a grocery store.  This was one of the first Cornish Pasty recipes that I published about 10 years ago and the original goal of my recipe writing back then was to keep things simple for the viewers.  As one can see, the quality of manufactured frozen pie dough from a grocery store was sub-par, so the goal of making things easy for readers went right out the window.  As a result, I no longer recommend frozen dough products.  Making pie dough from scratch is the way to go!  
     If you prefer a proper Cornish Pasty Crust Dough is preferred, then substitute lard for the unsalted butter in the pie dough recipe.  Keep the chilled lard pieces to the size of a pea or less.  Larger pieces of lard would turn the dough into a very flaky Irish Pastry Dough and the Cornish Pasty would then become fragile.  The crust on a Cornish pasty is supposed to be durable!
     Follow the link tothe Pâte Brisée recipe in this website.

     Turkey Filling For Cornish Pasty:
     This recipe yields about 1 1/3 cups.  (Enough for 1 Cornish Pasty.)  
     There are no tricky cooking techniques involved with most British Isle recipes.  This is a very easy filling to make!
     Step 1:  Place 1 quart of water in a sauce pot over medium high heat.
     Bring the water to a boil.
     Step 2:  Add 1/4 cup of diced rutabaga.
     Add 1/4 cup of diced potato.
     Add 1 tablespoon of diced onion.
     Add 1 tablespoon of diced celery.
     Add 1 tablespoon diced carrot.
     Boil till the hard root vegetables just start to become tender.
     Step 3:  Remove the pot from the heat.
     Drain the water off of the vegetables.
     Set the vegetables aside.
     Step 4:  Place a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Add 4 ounces of ground turkey meat.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
     Sauté till the ground turkey is fully cooked and a few golden highlights appear.  Stir with a whisk and break up any clumps.
     Step 5:  Add the reserved blanched vegetables.
     Add 1/2 cup of water.
     Bring the liquid to a simmer.
     Step 6:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer and reduce till most of the liquid evaporates and the mixture looks fairly dry.
     Step 7:  Remove the pot from the heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of fine plain bread crumbs.
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Step 8:  Allow the stuffing to cool to room temperature.
     Place the Turkey Cornish Pasty Filling in a container.
     Chill in a refrigerator to 41ºF.

     Turkey Cornish Pasty:
     This recipe yields 1 Cornish Pasty.  (Average portion.)
     Step 1:  Roll out a sheet of pâte brisée that is about 3/16" thick.
     Cut a 9 1/2" diameter round sheet.
     Step 2:  Mound the chilled turkey filling on the center of the round pie dough sheet.  Leave about a 3/4" bare border on the edge of the dough sheet.
     Step 3:  Brush the bare border of the dough with egg wash.
     Fold the pastry dough over the stuffing, so it forms a half moon shape.
     Roll and press the edge of the dough, so it resembles a thick handle.
     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.
     Poke 1 tiny steam vent hole in the dough where it will not be seen.
     Step 5:  Bake the pasty in a 375ºF oven, till it is a golden brown color.
     Allow the pasty to cool to a safe serving temperature.

     Mushroom Gravy:
     This recipe yields 1 cup.  (2 generous portions)
     The gravy should be started before the pasty goes in the oven.
     Step 1:  Heat a small sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add an equal amount of flour, while stirring constantly with a whisk.  (The roux should look shiny, not caky.)
     Stir till the roux is a light golden color.
     Step 2:  Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
     Add 1 cup of mushroom broth.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Stir with a whisk as the gravy comes to a gentle boil.
     *The consistency will be very thin at this time.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Gently simmer the gravy.
     Step 4:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 6 small Button Cave Mushrooms that are cut in half.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Sauté and sweat the mushrooms till they are tender.
     Step 5:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Add the sautéed mushroom halves to the sauce pot of Mushroom Gravy.
     Step 6:  Gently simmer and reduce till the gravy is medium thin consistency that can coat a spoon.  (The finished volume will be about 1 cup.)
     Keep the gravy warm over very low heat or in a 135ºF bain marie.

     Turkey Cornish Pasty with Mushroom Gravy:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Step 1:  Spoon 1 generous portion of the Mushroom Gravy on a plate.  (About 1/2 cup)
     Use a spoon to push the mushroom halves toward the border of the plate.
     Step 2:  Set the Turkey Cornish Pasty on the gravy.
     Place a vegetable of your choice on the plate.  (Wilted Garlic Spinach or Buttered Carrots are nice choices.)
     No garnish is necessary!

     Turkey Cornish Pasty with Mushroom Gravy is comfortable pub fare!

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