This Montana Cornish Pasty is like no other pasty! The flavors and aroma are mouth watering!
Cornish tin miners who worked the Montana tin mines brought their pasty cooking knowledge with them. The Cornish tin miners were experts at mining tin, so countries worldwide that had deposits of tin underground welcomed miners from Cornwall England with open arms. Where the Cornish miners went to work setting up tin mining operations overseas, they brought their Cornish pasty making technology with them!
While digging tin mines overseas, the Cornish pasties tradition lived on. Because arsenic is found in heavy concentrations where tin is mined, arsenic poisoning was a problem. Arsenic on dirty hands easily contaminated food that was eaten with bare hands. The solution was to create a stuffed pastry that had a crust handle. The crust handle was grasped with arsenic tainted hands and the soft crust and filling was eaten. The crust handle was discarded as an offering to the Knockers. Knockers were devilish imps that causes accidents and mine cave ins.
At overseas tin mining sites, traditional Cornish ingredients for pasties were scarce. Cornish pasty fillings were made with the available local food at foreign tin mine sites.
Montana is a mineral rich state. If you know a little bit about Montana, then you know that the winter is very cold and harsh there. The conditions underground in Montana tin mines were cold, wet and clammy, just like tin mines back home in Cornwall, England. A rich hearty Cornish pasty warms a shivering cold tin miner up quickly!
Cornish pasties in Montana were often made with two ingredients that were easily available. Pork and apples are easy to find and they are cheap everywhere in Montana. This Montana Cornish Pasty will comfortably warm up belly on a freezing winter day!
Pate Brisee Recipe:
If you want a proper Cornish Pasty dough, 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!
Place about 1 cup of flour into a mixing bowl.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
Add 3/4 tablespoon of sugar.
Rice the flour by adding a few drops of ice water at a time while stirring with a whisk. (The flour should look like grains of rice.)
Cut 1 1/2 ounces of unsalted butter into pea size pieces and drop them in a bowl of ice water.
Cut a few pieces of the chilled hard butter at a time to the riced flour. (Use a pastry dough cutter or the end of a wire whisk.)
Work and press the dough lightly with your fingers and for a minimal period of time leaving exposed small pieces of butter.
Chill the dough, till it becomes very firm.
Roll the pate brisee into a thin sheet on a floured counter top. (The sheet of pate brisee should show thin streaks of butter! This is what will give the pate brisee a flakey crusty texture.)
Refrigerate the sheet of pate brisee, till it becomes firm again.
Montana Pork and Tart Apple Cornish Pasty Filling:
Heat 1 1/2 cups of light pork broth in a sauce pot over medium/medium high heat.
Add about 5 ounces of coarsely chopped pork shoulder or pork loin.
Add 1 ounce of chopped pork fat.
Add 1 ounce of chopped uncooked smoked bacon or salt pork.
Add 1/3 cup of diced potatoes.
Add 1/3 cup of diced swedes (rutabaga).
Add 2 tablespoons of diced carrot.
Add 2 tablespoons of diced onion.
Add 2 pats of unsalted butter.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 2 pinches of marjoram.
Add 1/3 cup of diced peeled tart Granny Smith green apple.
Return the ingredients and broth to a gentle boil.
Boil and reduce the liquid, the liquid is nearly evaporated and only about 1/3 cup of liquid remains.
Remove the pot from the heat.
Add just enough plain fine bread crumbs to soak up the liquid in the pot. (About 1 to 2 tablespoons is about enough. The bread crumbs will gel with the filling's liquid, so the filling will not loosely fall out of the pasty when it is eaten.)
Set the Montana Cornish Pasty filling aside to cool.
Chill the pasty filling to just below room temperature.
Montana Pork and Tart Apple Cornish Pasty Recipe:
Cut a 10" diameter round sheet of pate brisee.
Place a mound of the pasty filling on the center of the round pate brisee sheet. Leave about a 3/4" border on the edge of the pate brisee.
Brush the bare border of the patry with egg wash.
Fold the pastry dough over the stuffing, so it forms a half moon shape.
Roll and press the edge of the pate brisee, so it resembles a thick handle.
Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking pan.
Place the pasty on the parchment paper.
Brush the pasty with egg wash.
Bake the pasty in a 375 degree oven, till it becomes a golden brown color.
Set the pasty on a plate.
Serve with sour cream on the side.
Garnish with Italian parsley sprigs.
The flavor of tart apples and pork has always been a classic combination. This Montana Cornish Pasty is a great cold weather pasty to warm up with. Essential fats are necessary in cold bitter weather.
Do not forget to toss the crust handle to the evil little Cornish mine spirits called Knockers, so no disaster will strike! Appeasing mine imps named Knockers is a legendary Cornish tradition. Delicious! ... Shawna