This pasties recipe, which I call homemade lunch pockets, will become a new family favorite. I would often buy pre-made lunches that we could pop into the microwave. My family and I got tired of them quickly. They don’t taste as good as homemade, cost more than made-from-scratch meals, and aren’t as healthy. One favorite is pasties or, as we call ’em, lunch pockets. They are easy to grab and warm up in a hurry. And there are lots varieties you can make. These are classic meat and vegetables you’re family will love.
Homemade Lunch Pockets, aka Pasties
We’ve been calling them by the a brand name since they came out in grocery stores. Then recently when I was looking for new recipes I found out they are traditionally called Pasties. Originating from Cornwall, England:
A pasty (/ˈpæsti/, Cornish: Pasti) is a baked pastry, a traditional variety of which is particularly associated with Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is made by placing an uncooked filling, typically meat and vegetables, on one half of a flat shortcrust pastry circle, folding the pastry in half to wrap the filling in a semicircle and crimping the curved edge to form a seal before baking. Source
The essential starting point for these is a really good, really simple pie crust. If pie crusts freak you out, don’t let them. You can ONLY get better with practice, and once you get a feel for it you will never go back to the store-bought variety. If you really don’t want to make the dough from scratch, you can use ready-made pie crust, crescent roll dough, or biscuit dough.
Chunk up your cold butter and shortening. I always buy the shortening sticks because they are easier to measure and chunk up for pie crusts. My favorite crust recipe is always a mix of salted butter and butter flavored shortening. If you don’t like the “butter flavored” portion of that, feel free to use regular shortening, or even all butter.
Add the flour and using your hands, squish the flour into the butter chunks, breaking the chunks up and flattening them out a bit, until they are small pea-sized chunks coated in flour.
Add in most of your ice cold water and mix together with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a ball. It should be slightly crumbly, but able to stick together. Form the dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place that in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 1-2 hours is better, but if you are in a time crunch, 30 minutes will do.
While the dough is chilling, cut up your veggies. Before tackling this recipe, I had never actually cooked with rutabaga. It was a little intimidating at first, but after diving in, it is really just like any other root vegetable. A little tougher than potato, but similar. I cut a chunk off, peeled it with my vegetable peeler, and chopped it up into a small, 1/4 inch dice. Then I did the same with the potatoes, carrots, and onions.
Chop up some fresh flat leaf parsley while you are at it too.
Now remove the chilled dough from the fridge and cut it into 6 equal parts.
Roll out each portion of dough into a circle somewhere between 1/8-1/4 inch thick.
Chunk up equal amounts of ground pork and ground beef and place it on half of the dough. And yes, you are seeing this right. It goes into the dough raw. I was surprised when I learned that is how it is done too, but it really turns out great this way, so trust the method!
They key to a really good pasty is seasoning well each layer of ingredients, so give that meat a good dose of salt and pepper before topping it with the veggies. Then go ahead and salt and pepper those veggies too.
Fold the top half of the dough over the filling, lightly wet the edge with wet fingertips, and press to seal. Next you crimp the edge by folding it up and over slightly. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
Brush the pasties with an egg wash, and poke a couple of small holes in the top for steam to vent out of.
Bake at 350 for about an hour, or until they are golden brown.
Some folks like to serve them with quick pan gravy (popular in Minnesota) or ketchup. I’ve made other kinds including sloppy joe meat with cheddar and Italian with ground beef, pasta sauce, and mozzarella. All are delicious!
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