The hand pies that served as lunch for generations of miners in Cornwall, England.
Visit People Like Pie to learn more about the Cornish mining tradition that inspired this recipe.
1 recipe Hardworking Pie Crust (2 disks), cold
3/4 pound skirt or hanger steak, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 pound red-skinned potatoes, skinned, cut into 1/2 pieces (to make 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium-small rutabaga, skinned, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (to make 3/4 cup)
1 1/4 cups diced yellow onion (about 1 medium-large onion)
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
9 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1. Cut each disk of pie crust pastry into 3 even wedges. Use your hands to press each wedge into a ball, then on a lightly floured surface, roll each wedge into a rough circle at least 1/8-inch thick. (Do not roll the pastry any thinner, or it will be too difficult to form the pasties. Each circle will be approximately 9 inches in diameter, but the thickness of the pastry is more important than the diameter. Smaller circles will simply form smaller pasties.) As you finish each circle, carefully transfer it to a sheet of wax paper. Layer the circles, separated by sheets of wax paper, on a large plate and when finished, put the plate in the refrigerator to rest while you make the filling. Save and refrigerate the pastry scraps to make initials for the tops of the pasties, if desired.
2. Combine the meat, potatoes, rutabagas and onions in a bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and mix to evenly combine. Set aside.
3. Make an egg wash by whisking the egg with 1 Tablespoon of water in a medium bowl. Set aside. Cut the butter into six portions, 1 1/2 Tablespoons each. Set aside.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the middle position. Take the pastry circles out of the refrigerator and set up a work space with the pastry, the meat filling, the egg wash with a brush, the cold butter, and a lightly floured space on which to lay the pastry. Have a large rimmed baking sheet lined with a sheet of parchment nearby (depending on the size of your baking sheets, you may need a second one to accommodate all the pasties.)
5. Lay one pastry circle on the lightly floured surface. Put about 3/4 cup of meat mixture (less if your circle is less than 9 inches in diameter) in the middle of the pastry circle, with a portion of butter on top. Keeping the mixture roughly in its place, carefully lift one edge of the circle up over the filling, to align with the far edge. Beginning at one corner of the curve, roll small portions inward, toward the center of the pasty, bit by bit, working your way around the curved edge and ending at the other corner. Fold the final bit directly in toward the center of the pasty. When you are finished, the pasty should look like a large letter D. Carefully transfer the pasty to the parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with the other pastry circles.
6. Brush all the pasties with egg wash. If marking pasties with initials, roll the pastry scraps together and use a cookie cutter or paring knife to quickly cut out letters. Lay each letter on a pasty and brush with more egg wash.
7. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the insides are bubbly (you won't be able to see this of course, but you can listen for sizzling sounds). Serve hot.