Monday, November 12, 2012

Recipe: Jamie Oliver's Traditional English Cornish Pasties with Beef, Onion, Potatoes, and Carrots

Classic English Cornish Pasties with beef, onion, potatoes, and carrots -
These classic British meat pies from Jamie's Great Britain are perfect cold weather comfort food—portable, filling, and they freeze beautifully.

This is a neat cookbook. The full title is Jamie Oliver's Great Britain: 130 of My Favorite British Recipes, from Comfort Food to New Classics. Laid out like Jamie's America, it's a 400-page hardcover packed with color photos of people, places, and mouthwatering food, along with commentary and interesting tidbits (cover price $35; available from amazon for $19.02). I've already spent a couple of hours just leisurely reading through it.

The chapters range from Breakfast, Pub Grub, and New British Classics to Afternoon Tea, Pies and Puddings, and Sunday Lunch. There's a section on wild food that has me thinking about cooking rabbit—either the Honey-Roasted Lemon Rabbit or the 12 Hour (!) Rabbit Bolognese—for the first time ever (my mother won't believe I just said that). The short Condiments chapter at the end tells you how to make things like Curried Mayonnaise, A Quick English Mustard in Seconds, eight kinds of flavored vinegar, and The Best Piccalilli.

There are new takes on old classics (Lemon Thyme and Vanilla Scottish Shortbread), adventurous, time consuming creations (Legendary Clootie Dumpling, a "tea-cakey, loafy, bun-type dumpling" that's full of dried fruit and named for the cloth it's wrapped and steamed in for 3½ hours), and fresh, simple ideas for serving seasonal ingredients: Mashed Potato Four Ways includes one version with celeriac and another with Jerusalem artichokes and bay oil.

Some of the recipes I've bookmarked include Breakfast Crumpies (Jamie's new invention, a cross between a crumpet and a popover), Bubble and Squeak (a quintessential classic that dates to the early 1800s), Minted Zucchini Soup, Scotch Broth with Pulled Lamb on Grilled Toasts, Quick Fresh Tomato Soup with Little Cheddar Soliders, Epic Roast Chicken Salad with Golden Croutons, Shredded Rainbow Salad (you just throw everything into the food processor), Kate and Wills's Wedding Pie with Beef and Beer Filling, Guinness Lamb Shanks, Baked Creamed Spinach (or Swiss Chard), Creamy Crunchy Leek Gratin, Worcestershire Asparagus and Mushrooms on Toast, Speedy Butter Beans with Tomatoes and Swiss Chard or Cabbage, Sour Cranberry Bakewell Tart, Apple Pepper Pot Cake ("sticky, spongy, gorgeous"), and Rainbow Jam Tarts.

Recipe below. . .

The recipes have been translated for the American version of the book, so here and there you'll find the odd sized pan (8"x12") or measurement (7-5/8 ounces of cheese or 1/3-inch diced vegetables), and of course some of the British ingredients may be hard to find, like Lincolnshire cheese, golden syrup, British "banger" style sausages, and scrumpy ("strong, traditionally made cider"). I had to ask an English pal what a rasher or bacon is (a slice) and what a knob of butter is. I loved her response: "A knob of butter is very subjective and depends on the size of your knife." How perfectly British.

In the introduction, Jamie says, "Every time I wrote a recipe for this book, I had to restrain myself from starting each intro with the sentence, 'This dish will make you so happy,' but I swear, it's true. This is beautiful comfort food at its best—unfussy and unpretentious, but full of life."

In 1981, when I was twelve, my family moved to London for seven months. I haven't been back to England since, but now I'm daydreaming of an eating tour through Great Britain. Until then, it's nice to know I can turn to Jamie's new book and cook all of this glorious food myself.

If you're a fan of Jamie Oliver and/or British fare, I think you're really going to love Jamie Oliver's Great Britain.

Would you like to win a copy of Jamie Oliver's Great Britain? To enter, just leave a comment below and share something—anything!—about British food or Jamie OliverThe contest is over. Thanks for all your fun entries and congratulations to the winner, Mary in Canada!

Jamie Oliver's English Cornish Pasties with beef, onion, potatoes, and carrots -

Jamie Oliver's Cornish Beef Pasties
Makes 6 large pasties — Adapted from Jamie Oliver's Great Britain

As a certified sconehead, naturally I went straight for the Crumbliest Scones recipe first. They were surprisingly disappointing, but these Cornish pasties more than made up for it. I used to sell similar pasties at my little bakery cafe in California, but I haven't made them in years. In the intro to his recipe Jamie says:

"These traditional English pasties are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. They're delicious, homely, and light years away from mass-produced ones. The recipe isn't difficult at all, but please make sure you use skirt steak and chop up the meat and veg exactly how I've said, because that is going to create the perfect equation for what happens inside the pastry case and ensure that all the filling ingredients cook at the same time. One of these with salad, mustard and beer is pure happiness."

That's exactly how my hunky farmguy (and picky eater) Joe enjoyed his first one (I had wine instead of homebrewed beer), and he loved it. The next day I gently reheated a couple of them in the microwave for lunch because we were too hungry to wait for the oven, and they came out great. They also freeze beautifully.

While Jamie calls these traditional English pasties, he goes beyond the classic ingredients when filling them. His early autumn version includes zucchini and butternut squash, but I opted for a simple filling of just beef, onion, potatoes, and carrots. He says, "Feel free to swap out some of [the] veg to reflect the season you are in, using peas, fava beans or asparagus in spring and other root veg in the winter."

I used chuck steak from one of our grass-fed steers instead of skirt steak, and it worked perfectly. I also mixed up my pastry crust in the food processor rather than by hand, and I used half organic butter and half lard that I rendered down from one of the locally raised hogs we recently had processed. Yum. Using all butter and mixing the dough by hand will work too. Either way, don't overwork the dough.

You want all the filling ingredients chopped up the same size. Grab a ruler and do a little test measure when you start chopping; 1/3-inch is small.

As always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients; they really do make a difference. Organic carrots are one of the best buys around, and you don't have to peel them. Search for local meat, vegetables, and more at

For the pastry:
3¾ cups organic all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces/2 sticks) very cold organic butter, diced (or 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup good quality lard)
3/4 cup ice water (you may not need it all)

For the pastry egg wash:
1 large free-range egg and 2 Tablespoons milk, beaten

For the filling:
12 ounces raw beef skirt steak or chuck steak, preferably naturally raised and grass-fed, cut into 1/3-inch dice
2 cups 1/3-inch diced yellow or white onion (about 7½ ounces)
2 cups peeled, 1/3-inch diced red or Yukon Gold potatoes (about 11 ounces)
2 cups 1/3-inch diced carrots (about 8 ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Make the pastry before you chop up the filling ingredients. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the 'S' blade and briefly pulse them together. Add the butter and pulse at 1-second intervals until the largest pieces of butter are the size of chickpeas. Remove the lid, pour 1/2 cup of the ice water evenly over the flour mixture, replace the lid, and pulse a few times. Add just enough more ice water so that the dough holds together when you press it between your fingers. Do not overmix.

Pour the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, gently pat it together using the edges of the plastic wrap to help you, then flatten it into a large flat disc or rectangle (I find it easier to divide it into six equal pieces if it's a rectangle). Wrap it tightly in the plastic and refrigerate it while you make the filling. (You can make the dough several hours ahead of time, or the day before, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to use.)

Heat the oven to 400°F. Combine the chopped beef, onion, potatoes, and carrots in a large bowl. Add the salt, pepper, olive oil, thyme, and rosemary and mix well. Set aside.

Cut the pastry into 6 equal pieces and shape each one into a flat disc. On a lightly floured surface, gently roll each piece of pastry into a 9-inch round (I love my Vic Firth solid maple French rolling pin). If the dough starts to stick to the work surface or your rolling pin, sprinkle it with a small amount of flour.

Two different ways to shape English Cornish pasties -

Place about 1 cup of filling on each round, either in the middle if you want to bring both sides of the pastry up and together, or on one side so you can pull the other side of the pastry over to make a semi-circle (see photo above; both are traditional Cornish pasty shapes). Use your hand to compact the filling a little, then brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash, and seal them together. If you're making semi-circles, you can decoratively crimp the edge of the pasties with a fork or your fingers.

Place the pasties on a heavy duty baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper (I could only fit four pasties on one of my commercial baking sheets), brush them all over with the egg wash, and bake until golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes. I baked mine in two batches, but if you trust your oven you can try using two oven racks at once, rotating the pans halfway through baking.

Serve pasties hot, with mustard on the side (we like them best with brown mustard). They will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator and will also freeze well. Reheat in the oven or microwave.

Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

Love books? You'll find more of my book reviews and recommendations here.

©, where we live a crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres, happily surrounded by food and cute animals and books.


  1. Thanks for this great giveaway. Jamie Oliver is talented and creative. His many cookbooks are all great. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. Great photos and cookbook giveaway. I enjoy cooking so this book would be a new type for me. Jamie is versatile. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  3. Anglophile here. Marmite, full English brekkies, chips with vinegar, all things lemon curd and...Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

    Thanks for the opportunity, Susan


  4. I love British cooking! I've been watching a series on Youtube called Victorian kitchen to see their old techniques and recipes. I am obsessed with the idea of making a "pudding" one of these days.



    sarah.mira (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. We have British friends that moved to this country some time ago. Unfortunately when we went to dinner at their house it was what we used to think of as typical British food: boiled, watery, and bland. Either British food has now evolved or they are letting their secrets out!



  6. I love what Jamie Oliver had done to promote healthy eating for kids in the U.S.!

  7. What a special book, from a special soul!! I grew up enjoying British food, there is nothing like a stream pudding, bubble and squeak, roast beef and yorkshire pudding. Yummy, yum yum. Thanks for the chance to enjoy more good food.

  8. I love cornish pasties although these are slightly different to what I grew up with. We used cooked cubed lamb from the previous night's roast. The pasties were served for lunch the next day but if we were totally lucky we got them in our school lunch ie cold finger food :)
    owlsndoves at gmail dot com

  9. Just quick question, is filling going in as raw or is it cooked first? Just not sure, i havent never done raw filling to this kind of pastry.. Maria

    1. Hi Maria,
      This filling is raw and cooks inside the pastry, which is why you need to chop everything up into such small pieces. Like Barb mentioned above, though, you can also make them with leftover cooked meat and/or vegetables. Cornish pasties are very adaptable! :)

    2. Thanks for the answer, i will be trying these after next visit to butcher :) I love this kind of pasties but im more used to for the ones with cooked fillings, except for cabbage. Maria

    3. I substituted Yves Veggie ground round for the meat and the pasties were absolutely delicious!

    4. Hi, i am slow sometimes to get on doing so it took all most year before i did these pasties and they where delicious and will make them again for sure. Maria

  10. Love Jamie! I love the fact that he loves to eat and not just make things look pretty. Real cooking for real appetites!

    readerrabbit22 at

    (I'm a book blogger but also dabble in cooking. if you get a chance, please come visit!

  11. I visited England a couple years ago and got to eat at a Jamie Oliver restaurant in Bath!!! We sat outside and had a great view of Bath Abbey. I also ate a few Cornish pasties, when we went to Cornwall. I'd love this book!

  12. Love Jamie's recipes! Even though British food often gets a bad rap, we love it in this household. These pasties sound great - a bit different than our usual recipe.

  13. Mmm, I checked Jamie's Great Britain out from the library a few weeks ago and couldn't decide where to start cooking - everything looks so yummy! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy, so I don't have to worry about getting a library book dirty!

    miss.ragsdale at gmail dot com

  14. Dang. I don't know anything about British food or Jamie Oliver. Can I still win?

  15. I love Jamie Oliver's cookbooks. I've got three and they all see lots of use in my kitchen! Dying to get my hands on a copy of this one.


  16. Yum, this sounds so tasty! I used to watch him way back when on TV, but never tried any of his recipes, I might have to start with this one! BTW, I love your blog too, and I enjoy all of your pictures and stories, and I just adore Bert, Molly Doodlebug, Daisy, Martha, Midnight, Gus, Gnat, and all the other other critters.
    fishoutofwater at gmail dot com

  17. Please excuse me while I drool.

  18. I've loved Jamie Oliver since his Naked Chef days and would love to add this cookbook to my collection!


  19. Ohhh I would LOVE to win! I enjoy Jamie Oliver's ideas and would love to try this out! My mum had a pen pal from England that came over to the US to visit us several times. I remember one time she made dinner for us and served Yorkshire Pudding. I was so confused cause I couldn't find the pudding (I kept looking for Jello haha!) In my defense I was about 10 at the time. :-)

    good luck to everyone

  20. These look wonderful. Have to try making them soon.

  21. I have a fascination with 1940 Britain and British pastries (not really compatible I know). I bought a reprint of war time recipes (have actually made some) and also bought book about traditional and regional cakes. (haven't dived into that one yet)

  22. We love Jamie Oliver! We have almost all of his cookbooks and use them regularly. Would love to add this one to our collection! meredith AT mereware DOT com

  23. My dad was an Iron Ore Minor back in the day and these pasties were a staple food then. Never put anything but potatoes, onions and hamburger in them, probably because of cost. And they were served with catsup. I'm 78 now so you know how long ago it was and we lived in upper Wisc.

  24. The Cornish pasties sound delicious, can't wait to try them. I must tell you that the worst Yorkshire pudding I ever had was in York!

  25. This is so perfect!! Each year we do a theme for Christmas. This year it is tourists, and food from London. We are each going to use a Jamie Olive recipe! WOW. How did you know? We used to have a pasty here in town but it closed up shop. It was so good. Thanks for this recipe.

  26. Love Jamie Oliver's cookbooks! I was lucky enough to find one in our local used book store and I snatched it up for $4! Great giveaway:)

  27. Oops I forgot to give my email and I may have posted twice. Sorry! I'm a newbie! Jennybear7174 at live dot com

  28. Love anything British. Love Jaime too. What a great combo.

  29. Jamie Oliver is a favorite of mine, because he cooks real food and because he shares that with real people. His work to bring real food to schools has him my admiration. I grew up on bubble and squeek and yorkshire pud. so I would love to try some of his other recipes. From

  30. Im excited to try this!!

  31. Looks wonderful! I went to England several years ago with my Grandma and cousin and we were all disappointed with the food....except breakfast. The pastries and breads were amazing!
    Ehlena99 (at) Yahoo (dot) com

  32. We took our young children to London several years ago. Our son had food allergies and our daughter was quite a picky eater so our adventures in food mainly consisted of trips to the grocery for basics that we cooked in our apartment. Our two great joys were church basements--which interestingly enough housed some wonderful food. I particularly remember a small basement cafe with awesome Indian food. On a more traditional note we came home tea lovers!

  33. I LOVE his Food Revolution show. I wish it had caught on and taken ratings by storm.

  34. I love Jamie Oliver. He's awesome. I liked his show here on fixing school lunches.

    But when he had "The Naked Chef" show, every recipe I tried pretty much sucked. Maybe I picked the wrong two recipes to try. His later show was better. "Jamie at Home" I think it was.

    marciamoore2 AT hotmail DOT com

  35. I lived in Great Britain for 5 years while we were in the air force. We used to get cheese and onion pasties. I love all the different ones but those were my favorite. Thanks for the recipe and the chance to win

  36. Jamie Oliver is one of my faves; I really miss his show. I still make his peanut butter banana milkshake as my go-to comfort food in a glass.

  37. Being part of the English colony i.e. Canada, I grew up loving some of the classic foods especially Christmas cake or the dreaded fruit cake. All my cousins had their wedding cakes made from fruit cake and I still make it at Christmas time but of course, bumped up a notch by soaking them in rum or brandy with almond paste on top. Got to put my cakes together now!

  38. Love Jamie and his cooking shows! I also really, really enjoyed the series he did on American school lunch programs. These pasties look really good, I can see where they would make a nice lunch. Thanks for the review and the giveaway! :)
    calicocandy1958 at gmail dot com
    P.S. I also love the way he says oregano!!

  39. I love your blog so much...and and Jamie Oliver is one of my favorite cooks.

  40. Jamie Oliver has a cooking show on netflix from way back when. It looks like public access, but the recipes and down to earth techniques are still there.

    And he has a video online for the lamb curry song. Great to sing while making lamb curry

    dawn dot lowe dot win at gmail dot com

  41. I love British food. I grew up in Northern California, but there was an authentic British tea room out on the coast and my mom and I went there two to three times a month. The owner, a Brit, got the point where she'd see us walk and in and cheerily call out our order: "The usual, love, sandwiches and scones with Lemon Lift tea?" I would love a comprehensive UK cookbook written by someone as accessible as Jamie!

    kate_peltier AT hotmail DOT com

  42. These pasties you made look much better than the one I had recently in Pescadero at some British Pub. Definitely going to think about making these one day (strike thru) year.... in all my free time. LOL. But you always make it sound so easy! <3

    tobeycrockett at gmail dot com

  43. I've watched Jamie Oliver on his tv cooking show - he's delightful and so enthusiastic about food and cooking that you're inspired to try his recipes. It would be a treat to win a copy of this book of comfort food recipes.
    emmdickson AT gmail DOT com

  44. Oh my, this looks just like the Pasties I grew up with on the Iron Range! I'm so homesick now. I might just have to make some :)
    My memories of cooking in Great Britain are mixed--the apple pies had no spice! but the shortbread and Scottish porridge were to die for. And the tea. Brits know how to make tea!

    lornarouleau AT gmail DOT com

  45. Bubble & Squeak, what a great dish! quozzle @ hotmail . com

  46. I have a size-able collection of scone recipes, so I guess I am a sconehead too. The best way to eat them is with my fav Brit cooking expression " lashings of cream!" Lashings of butter works too and sounds much better described that way, don't you think? Yep, an anglophile from way back.

  47. I love Jamie Oliver!!!!
    I live in NL so a lot of our traditional cooking is based on the foods of the British Isles. My favourite would have to be bubble and squeak, pease pudding and yorkshire puddings!

    seagrrlz AT

  48. Wow...perfect! I've been looking for new and different grass fed steak recipes. I never thought of pasties. What a great idea.

  49. I love cookbooks, especially when I get to learn about food from another country. victoriangal at sbcglobal dot net Thanks!

  50. I lived in England for a few years. To this day at 4PM (tea time)I have this urge to sit down and have a cup of tea and some biscuits (we call them cookies) or scones!
    Also have a few favorite Jamie recipes....hmmm might need to go make some. Cheers!
    JeffJCOA at aol DOT com

  51. It's been awhile since I've watched Jamie on TV, but I do remember his Naked Chef shows. He's so fun to watch. Probably my favorite British food is Bangers & Mash. I also like mushy peas. And good strong English tea. And scones, of course. jennifer AT nobletouch DOT com

  52. I love anything Jamie cooks. He is totally my hero! My favorite British dish, well there is two: Jamie's rice pudding, and bangers and mash.

  53. Would love to add that cookbook to my collection! Always appreciate his cooking.
    Also really enjoy your blog!

  54. Pasties are traditional in Michigan (Upper Peninsula) from mining days. Love to get some whenever we get to the UP. Never tried to make them myself, though; I just might have to now with this great-looking recipe.
    quiltlady59 at fuse dot net

  55. I think Jaime Oliver is great and I can't wait to make these pasties!

  56. Has anyone been following Jamie's 15 Minute Meals series? Brilliant! Although his recipes have pretty much ruined most restaurants for me, I still greatly appreciate his culinary skills. Thanks for sharing this!
    rubyslypprz at netscape dot net

  57. I love hearty comfy food and would love to try this pasty with different meats!

    krystaldwilson at gmail dot come

  58. It's nice to see somebody put together a book that showcases English cooking.

    braggpd at rogers dot com

  59. I love good old-fashioned food, and other than the butter/lard in the crust, this doesn't sound like a really unhealthy recipe. Loved watching Jamie on his US TV show about making school lunches healthier. I've had pasties before and loved them, so I might give this recipe a try this weekend.

    sharonbond at hotmail dot com

  60. Don't enter me because I reviewed it too. And, the Cornish Pasty recipe was the same one I fixed. My husband is British and he loved it. I've done it several times and the last time I used leftover roast beef and leftover roasted veggies. To. Die. For. I have learned to cook a lot of my husband's favorites over the years, but I still marked a ton of recipes to try. The commentary was just as great as the recipes!
    2 Kids and Tired Books

  61. The cookbook looks great!

    I've enjoyed your blog for a few years. Great recipes and so fun to hear about life on your farm. Thanks!
    tenar9 at gmail dot com.

  62. Years ago, I made Jamie's raw tomato sauce with fresh herbs and fell in love.

    kquinn6942 at aol dot com

  63. I hope you continue to enjoy the recipes in Jamie's latest book!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  64. I grew up reading British literature, which always seemed to include British food - for years I never knew what half the things I was reading about were, but I always wanted to try them. Thank heavens for Jamie Oliver, I've loved watching him cook and one of my favorite recipes to make is a Green Curry recipe he once made on Martha Stewart.

    strbryfld5 AT yahoo DOT com

  65. During a trip to the UK I stepped off the train from London Paddington Station to the small train station in Bath. We were met by the smell of Cornish pasties in the food area of the station. I crave these still. I'm very glad to have the recipe now as it's not a simple thing to hop on a jet from the Texas hill country to cross the Pond and satisfy a craving for pasties at will!

  66. I was amazed at the high quality of Indian food in England. Still, you can't beat the traditional English fish 'n' chips with the mashed peas!

    amianerd at YAHOO

  67. I really admire Jamie Oliver for his work with young people and his efforts to promote healthy eating. I'd love to win your giveaway. -Ruth
    My address is rawiens at hotmail dot com.

  68. Sorry, but the one way to know if your getting a "genuine" pasty is if you're asked, "With, or without?" and they're referring to rutabaga.

  69. Thanks for sharing this! I noticed the end of the recipe said to serve the pasties hot. I was thinking they would be great for a British-themed party a friend is throwing, and wondering if you think they'd be OK at room temperature?

    1. Hi Shirley,
      I think they would taste just fine at room temperature. Enjoy!

    2. Great article :-) Pasties are often served hot if you go to a specialist pasty store in England, but in the supermarkets, one can buy them cold and pre-cooked too and they still taste great.

  70. I made these exactly as the recipe said to and they were amazing!


January 2013 update: I know word verification is a big pain, but it's the only way I can stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I get every day. I don't want to require commenters to be registered Blogger or Open ID users because I know many of you aren't. Thanks so much for your understanding!

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