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Article: A Platter of Pasties

A Platter of Pasties -
Maggie Black

A Platter of Pasties

Pasties were the staple of the working man's noon meal. Legend holds that the meat filled pastry was brought all over England by miners from Cornwall. Cooks there would place each individuals' initials in the corner of the the pastie making them easily identifiable to the owner. There were various strategies to eating your pastie-- though most included holding it at the seam and eating towards it-- this provided and handy way to identify unfinished pieces and avoid getting dirty hands on your lunch. Pasties are a delicious way to warm up on a chilly winter day.
Petit Pasties
Make a short crust, roll it thick, make them about as big as the bowl of a spoon and about an inch deep; take a piece of veal enough to fill the patty, as much bacon and beef-suet, shred them all very fine, season them with pepper and salt, and a little sweet herbs; put them into a little stew-pan, keep turning them about, with a few mushrooms chopped small, for eight or ten minutes; then fill your petty-patties and cover them with some crust; colour them with the yolk of an egg, and bake them. Hannah Glasse, The Art of Cookery made Plain & Easy, 1792

Pasties with White Wine Sauce

  • 7 oz/ 200 g shortcrust pastry egg wash for glazing
  • 5 oz/ 150 g lean cooked veal or chicken without gristle or bone
  • 5 oz/ 150 g rindless bacon rashers (slices), blanched
  • 1 tablespoon shredded suet salt and pepper to taste
  • finely grated rind of ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 oz/ 25 g mushrooms, finely chopped about
  • 3 tablespoons white wine sauce (see method below)

Make the patty cases first. Pre-heat the oven to 350*F/ 180*C/ Gas Mark 4. Roll out the pastry 1/8 inch/ 3 mm thick and use two-thirds of it to line small bun tins (muffin pans). Cut the remaining pastry into rounds for lids. Glaze the lids with the egg wash. Place both cases and lids on baking parchment laid on a baking-sheet. Bake ‘blind’ until firm and golden. Keep aside. To prepare the filling, mince the veal or chicken and bacon together. Mix with all the other ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat until the mushrooms soften and the sauce is very hot. Fill the mixture into the baked cases, put on the lids and serve at once. Makes 8-10

White Wine Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plain (all-purpose) flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 fl oz/175 ml/3/4 cup medium-dry white wine

Put 1 table spoon melted butter into a saucepan and add the shallots or onion. Stir over medium heat until they soften. Off the heat, blend in the flour and season well. Then stir in the wine gradually, with a little more butter from the frying-pan if you wish. Replace the sauce over low heat and stir until the mixture thickens. Leave at the side of the stove. This recipe by from Maggie Black's The Jane Austen Cookbook appeared on the University of Michigan's website. 


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