Pasties - A Michigan Tradition
A Michigan Tradition- grilled.
This meat and potato in a pie crust dish has been a tradition of my wife's family for a long time, from their roots in Upper Michigan. Delicious either hot or cold, it was a popular meal for miners, and was brought to the Michigan area by migrating Cornish miners. It was a complete meal, easily carried, able to be eaten without cutlery, and if it did grow cold by lunchtime, could be reheated on a shovel over a candle. We have enjoyed them many a time over the years, and though it can be filled with whatever you want, the traditional filling is simple and specific. Pure pasty-ists, for example, would be and have been shocked at the substitution of carrot for "swede" (which I've done a few times, to my mother's chagrin!).
5 medium potatoes, cut up
1-1/2 onions, diced large
1 swede (rutabaga), cut up
1-1/2 lbs. beef or venison (we often used ground, but cut up steak/roast is great too)
6 T. butter
3 cups flour
1 t. salt
1 cup shortening
10-12 T. cold water
Combine all filling ingredients in large bowl.
In separate bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water slowly, tossing with fork until mixture is moistened and form dough into a ball. Divide into 6 (or 8 if you don't want them SO HUGE!) and roll our on floured board in circles. Fill one half of circle with meat and potato filling and dot each with 1 T. butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Fold over, seal and crimp edges. Cut slits in top of each pasty. Grill at 350 for about 1 hour, until internal temp is at least 180. We put the pasties directly on the grill (be careful- pastry isn't known for its durability...). For more smoky flavor, we actually put them in when we turned the grill on, so they got all the start-up smoke, too.
Depending on your preference, (or depending on where you are in Michigan) they can be enjoyed with ketchup or gravy- Delicious!