Cornish Pasty vs. Meat Pie

Jump to recipe

Winter settled into our area of the world (Pacific Northwest) and while the gray skies swirled my mind drifted to visits to Cornwall and our friends Gill and Des. They have homes in Gloucestershire and Cornwall England. Oh the adventures Gill and I had in Cornwall! Walking the ha penny hill, grabbing a pasty, strolling through the shops in town, enjoying a boat ride around the area, finishing an afternoon of adventure with a spot of tea in a local tearoom, and then joining the gents in the pub at the end the day. 

Relishing these memories of visits to England, I decided to cook an English dish. A Cornish pasty was the goal. 

According to Cornish Recipes cookbook (first published in 1929), paraphrased “a proper pasty is filled with potatoes, turnip, and a little meat and is considered a meal in itself. It was most convenient to take into the fields or down the tin mine for consumption at ‘croust’ time. Croust time is really “lunch time” but the actual time varied. The reason for this was that down in the tin mine, you couldn’t see the sun so you didn’t know the time at all.”

I knew from tasting a few pasties that they varied quite a bit according to what area of Cornwall we were visiting. However, the standard ingredients were meat and potatoes with vegetables and onions contained in a thick-heavy pastry.

Was I up to the task today? Well, as you will soon find out an American meat pie was the outcome. How did I end up making a meat pie? Well part of the reason is that I didn’t have a rutabaga (a common ingredient in pasties).  Another is that I wanted to use a pre-made pie dough which would have been too delicate to use for a pasty.  

So I guess you could define this recipe as my American version of a pasty baked in a pie. 

Basic ingredients onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, peas, and jalapeno pepper. 

I cheated with a pre-made pie dough. 

Cooked ingredients ready to be put in the pie!

Meat pie ingredients spilling out of pastry.. 

Delicious results even if didn’t turn out to be a Cornish pasty!

While this meat pie is a good recipe, my cravings for a  Cornwall pasty were not entirely satisfied. Since I can’t pop into a shop in Cornwall to buy a pasty, I will be making them someday soon, I promise! Stay tuned. 

2 thoughts on “Cornish Pasty vs. Meat Pie”

  1. Frankly I am appalled at this recipe, being a Brit your first mistake was the ingredients. A pasty is simple but tasty and doesn’t need jalapeños, chile powder and all the other unnecessary items, no wonder it was an American meat pie.
  2. Didn't mean to offend the British Jean. As I mention in the post, I know a pasty is simple and doesn't require the same ingredients as I put into the American meat pie. In a future post, I will be using a pasty recipe straight from a cookery book from Cornwall so cooks can experience the dramatic difference in ingredients.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top