There is nothing more emotive to a Cornishman, than to be told, especially by a Devonian, that the pasty does not originate from Cornwall. It is claimed, by the Cornish, that their miners, or more likely their wives, were the first to create the Pasty. Whilst they may have adapted the idea to suit their needs,they were over 2,000 years behind the times.
The Romans and Greeks around the 5th Century BC used pastry to enclose food and protected it from the heat of the fire when baking. Originally oil would have been used in the pastry which after baking would have been discarded as it would most probably been unpalatable It would not have been until the use of animal fats, such as butter, dripping and lard were used , coupled with the improvements in oven development, that the outer casing (pastry) would have been eaten especially by the poor.
Recent evidence has shown that in actual fact the Pasty as we know it and nick-named the Oggie originated in Devonport which as every Cornishman knows is in England.
There are many recipe variations on this product, involving the content and the pastry. What you put inside is very much up to personnel preference, there is no set rules, however, if you are making them to be sold there are legal requirements that have to be followed. We suggest you research these thoroughly before entering the commercial aspect.
The type of pastry that is made for the commercial/mass market is now made to suit the machinery, handling storage, shelf life and profit margins of the producer. Always check the ingredient contents when buying pre packed pasties. Buyer Beware. All the more reason to make your own.
Given below is a traditional basic Devonshire Oggie (pasty). This can be used as a base to be developed to your own personnel recipe. A good guide to start from, is that the filling should weigh the same as the pastry.
Makes 4 pasties.
Oven temperature 200C ,180C fan, Gas 6, 400F.
Baking time approx 35-40 minutes.
300g (12oz) Plain flour
6g (pinch) Salt.
75g (3oz) lard
50g (2oz) butter
80ml (3 1/2 oz) (6 Tbl spoons) Cold water.
Weigh and measure all ingredients accurately.
- Sieve the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
- Rub in the lard and butter to a sandy texture using your fingertips or a pastry blender.
- Sprinkle the water evenly over the mixture and mix lightly with either a round bladed knife or spatula until the dough comes together.
- Finish mixing with your hands to form a smoth paste. Do not over mix but the dough needs to be evenly mixed to an even consistancy.
- Wrap in cling film or foil and place in the refridgerator or cool place for at least 20minutes to allow the paste (gluten) to recover.
- 200g (8oz)- peeled weight-finely diced or grated potato
- 200g (8oz) rump, chuck or skirt beef sut into small cubes.
- 50g (2oz) onion,finely chopped.
- 50g (2oz) swede, grated or small diced (optional, although traditionally not included in a Devon Oggie)
4 x 6g knobs of beef dripping or butter.
Cick on the above thumbnails for enlarged picture of each stage.
- Have the prepared filling in seperate containers/bowls
- Divide the pastry into 4 eaqual portions and form into round balls. With a rolling pin, roll out each ball into a round disc approx 15cm (6in) in diameter.
- Next divide the diced potato into 4 eaqual portions and place in the centre of each circle of pastry.
- Divide the swede into 4 portions and place on top of the potato.
- Next divide the meat into 4 and place on top of swede/potato.
- Divide the onion into 4 and sprinkle on top.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Finaly top with a knob of lard or butter. (a light sprinkle of plain flour is sometimes added at this stage to thicken the "gravy" created by the natural juices of meat and veg and the added fat.This is optional and a matter of personel taste.
- Using a brush, moisten the edges of the pastry with water, do not over wet. Bring the moisten edges of the pastry together on the top of the filling, making a join down the centre. Using your forefinger and thumb squeeze the pastry together to seal and crimp the edges.
- Place on a lightly greased or baking parchment lined baking tray. Brush with egg wash and bake in a pre- heated oven 200C ,180C Fan, gas5, 400F for 30 minutes. Lower the temperature to 190C/170Fan/gas 5/375F and bake for a further 15 minutes. These times and temperatures are a guide and may need to be adjusted according to individual ovens