At some point in the last couple months, I made the sudden and somewhat random decision that I wanted to learn to make hand-pies. I love the idea of a hand-pie filled with all sorts of different tasty fillings. It seemed like the best place to start was with a traditional Yooper pasty. A Yooper is someone who lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Pasties have traditionally been a miner’s food and the recipes traveled from Cornwall with people who came to work in the copper mines in Northern Michigan; now pasties are considered an essential meal for anyone visiting the U.P.
Joe and I made these together – my first attempt was a bit sloppy-looking, but they turned out absolutely delicious and I am looking forward to making them again.
Upper Peninsula Pasties – adapted from Taste of Home
1.5 cups shortening
1.5 cups boiling water
4.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons salt
3 medium red potatoes (about 1.5 pounds), peeled
1 small rutabagas (about 3/4 pounds), peeled
1/2 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground pork
1 medium onions, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1.5 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoons garlic powder
1/8 cup butter
Large egg, lightly beaten
1. On the stove, stir shortening and water until shortening is melted. Remove from heat and gradually stir in flour and salt until a very soft dough is formed; cover and refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours.
2. Cut potatoes and rutabagas into 1/8- or 1/4-inch cubes; do not make cubes too large or they will not cook properly. Gently combine ground pork and beef; break into small crumbles. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, rutabagas, onions, meat mixture and seasonings.
3. Divide dough into 9 equal portions. On a floured surface, roll out one portion at a time into a 8-in. circle. Mound 1 cup filling on half of each circle; dot with 1 teaspoon butter. Moisten edges with water; carefully fold dough over filling and press edges with a fork to seal.
4. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Cut several slits in top of pasties. If desired, brush with cream or beaten egg. Bake at 350° until golden brown, about 1 hour. Cool on wire racks. Serve hot or cold. Store in the refrigerator.
* Pasties can be frozen and later reheated in the oven.