Cornish Pasties : How To Make Them By Hand

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Cornish pasties! I do love a good cornish pasty! Now, I have to say up front that I am NOT cornish. However, I have married into a cornish family so I do have a, somewhat tenuous, link to Cornwall. Over the years I have been with Mr N, I’ve had so many utterly gorgeous cornish pasties – first made my by lovely mother in law and in the last few years made by my lovely father in law. In fact, when we go to visit them, I try to make the request that we have at least one meal of pasties. I follow my father in law’s example by cutting them open and sprinkling liberally with vinegar – and this is one of my favourite meals of all time. So, when I realised that I had quite a lot of slow cooked beef left over from the week’s roast dinner, I decided (much to the delight of Mr N) that I would have a bash at making my own pasties. Not only that, but I was determined to make my own pastry. And I have to say I am delighted with how they have turned out! I’m pretty sure that they aren’t authentic (after all I’ve avoided the turnip/swede as the kids aren’t that keen) but I don’t think they are a bad facsimile of a good cornish pasty. So, if you fancy a go – here’s the recipe.

cornish pasties


For the pastry
500g plain flour
250g butter (cut into small cubes)
6 to 8 teaspoons of cold water

For the filling
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 – 2 potatoes (peeled and chopped into small chunks)
450g chopped or shredded beef
2 tablespoons of flour
1 egg (beaten) for the egg wash

Salt and pepper to taste


  1.  Put the flour into a large bowl and add the butter.  Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add most of the cold water and bring it together with a palette knife into a dough ball. Once it is almost combined, finish combining with your hands.  Try not to overwork the pastry.
  3. Wrap the dough in cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the over to 200 degrees C.
  5. Whilst waiting, combine the beef, onion and potato in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. After 30 minutes, cut the dough into 4 roughly equal pieces.
  7. Roll each piece out as large as possible (I used a 22 inch plate to help guide me) on a lightly floured surface.
  8. Add a good quantity of the filling mixture down the middle of each pastry circle and brush the egg wash around the edges of each one.
  9. Bring two sides of the circle together to create a parcel, then use your forefingers and thumbs to create a crimping effect down the centre.
  10. Brush the whole pasty with the egg wash and pop in the over for approximately 30 minutes.

I was really surprised with how easy cornish pasties were to make and how great they tasted as well.  I guess the real test will be making them again for my in laws and letting them tell me how close to the real thing I am!

Happy cooking!!

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