I learned how to make these pies while helping a friend open an English Pub in San Francisco. Originating in England, pastys are made from a savory short crust that is filled with potatoes, cheese and onions. You can add meat or keep it vegetarian. Take these on a picnic or keep a few in the freezer for a quick and satisfying late night snack.
Makes 8 pies.
For the Dough:
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening
- 7 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
- 2 Tbsp cold water
For the Filling:
- 2 large russet potatoes
- 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 6 scallions, minced
- 5 ounces sharp cheddar (1/2 grated, 1/2 large dice)
- 3 Tbsp Parmesano Reggiano, grated
- 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
- 4 Tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream
- salt and pepper to taste
1. In a food processor, add the flour and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Next add yolks, shortening and butter and pulse until mixture becomes mealy. Add cold water until dough just comes together. Remove dough to lightly floured cutting board and form into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 400’F. Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes, put them in a saucepan cover with cold water by 1 inch. Boil gently for 5-8 minutes, or until they are cooked but still retain their shape. Drain and let cool 10 minutes.
3. Sautee onion slowly over medium heat in butter for 5-10 minutes until translucent and beginning to caramelize. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, combine slightly cooled potatoes, onion, scallions, cheeses, parsley and season with salt and pepper. Bind with creme fraiche or sour cream. Divide filling into 8 portions.
5. Remove dough from fridge, divide into 8 portions. Roll each portion into a ball with your hand. Next, roll out dough into a 6” circle, about 1/4 inch thick. Put one portion of the filling in the middle. Fold in 1/2 to make a “D” shape and crimp edges with a fork. Place on sheet pan and poke a small hole in the top for venting. Bake for 20-30 minutes until starting to turn golden brown. The pastry should be firm, let cool a little on the tray before eating. Enjoy!
If you are too busy to make this dish yourself, you can always hire Chef Michael Thompson to make it for you in your home. Contact him at 732. 948. 2352 or michael @ chefmichaelthompson.com