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Monday, December 21, 2009

Kate’s Cooking: COOKING FOR ONE – Cornish Pastie

Greetings and happy holidays to you. The column today is for those of you who live by themselves. I married late – way after the normal marrying age of the 20’s – and for many years lived with my cats of the time and cooked away quite cheerfully. It is all too easy these days to go out to eat with quite a lot of cheap restaurants available. However, in the cooler months and on the weekends especially, cooking soups and pasta and meat dishes, gives a nice aromatic aroma to a home and if you live in a snowy area, a happy cook in a warm kitchen helps combat the chills outside. Today’s recipe is a simple one – Cornish Pastie. I love these delicious meat pies. I used to live in England and the British bakers are masters of the art of baking meat pies of all shapes and sizes. Cornish Pasties were my great favourite and I ate my way through many of them while there. They are an excellent way of using up left over meat from a roast. It is worth buying a roast of meat even if you live by yourself. It will give you some good meals for a few days. Preparation of a roast is minimal and in a moderate oven or even an electric frypan, they don’t take too long to cook. The first day of using a roast is mostly done with vegetables of choice and lots of gravy. Cooking extra gravy comes in useful for following meals. For example, omelettes, curries and of course, the pastie. If you are using left over meat for an omelette filling, it is tasty to add chopped cooked onion, fresh green herbs and a couple of slices of tomato. My late mum, used to make the most delicious and simple curries with left over meat. She would add along with the meat and curry powder, celery, banana, onion sultanas and gravy and serve it all over rice. Here then is a recipe that I have had for many years, for Cornish Pastie.


1 packet of frozen puff or shortcrust pastry – defrosted. (If you wish, you can make your own pastry)
1 large potato – cooked and diced
1 cup cooked meat – diced
1 small onion – chopped finely
1 small carrot – sliced finely
1 generous tablespoon of chopped parsley
Black pepper
(Salt is optional)
3 to 4 tablespoons gravy

Roll out pastry to about 1/8” thick and cut into rounds about the size of a saucer. Mix all other ingredients and put generous tablespoonfuls in the centre of each round of pastry. Dampen the edges of the pastry and fold over in half, and press edges together firmly and crimp the edges if you wish. Bake in a hot oven for about 20 to 30 minutes. If the pastry is looking brown reduce neat to 325F (160C, Gas 3). Eat hot or cold.

NOTE: Generally speaking, I don’t glaze pies but if you would like to, do this by using a pastry brush dipped into a beaten egg. I have sometimes made quite large Cornish pastie’s if I am using them as a main meal and they are being served with extra vegetables. Enjoy these delicious pies.

Have a safe and happy holiday season. Happy cooking to you, Kate.

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