Is it time for your mid-day tea break? Then pour your self a cuppa and learn how to make authentic Cornish pasties in this short but entertaining video from The Guardian, a UK newspaper. Our cook today is Kay Bolitho and she's making her pasties as her mother and grandmother did before her in a delightfully eccentric manor house kitchen.
Pasties are traditional Cornish meat pies that originated as a handy way for Cornish mine workers to carry food with them into the mines, as the thick crust is reported to protect the filling. Today's filling has beef as a center point but the traditional pasty was usually filled with whatever was at hand. In this video, the simple filling of potatoes, onions and skirt steak skips the traditional swede (or turnips, as folks in North America may know them).
Mrs. Bolitho's crust recipe calls for margarine and Trex (a British form of vegetable fat, similar to Crisco) which may not appeal to some palates but the resulting pasties, which we get a quick glimpse of at the end of the 5 minute segment, look golden and delicious. Pasties have a Protected Geographical Indication in Europe, and while the filling regulations are quite specific, the pastry crust is only required to be golden in color and not crack while cooking and cooling.
The making of the pasty is not the only thing worth watching in this video. The Port Eliot House kitchen is a delightfully eccentric place, painted bright blue and still equipped with its separate Scullery, Knife Room and Game Larder. Look for the bird and elephant head sculptures scattered throughout, a lovely hutch stuffed with preserves and cookbooks, and racks of gleaming, covetable copperware.