English Food is Not a Joke (Vegetarian Cornish Pasties)
English food is not a joke because well, frankly, it's my food heritage and I'm proud of it. English food prepared by a thoughtful, caring cook is delicious!
I was very fortunate to have a grandmother and a grandfather who were both excellent and thoughtful cooks. They cooked with fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients (often from their garden), had good relationships with the butcher, baker, and green grocer, and just plain really cared about feeding their family and friends well.
My grandmother gave me my love of vegetables. She never overcooked them and she made perfect roast potatoes. She always invited me to participate in the preparation - shelling peas was a favorite - and the clean up (I could choose to wash or dry). She was experienced enough to be able to make desserts on they fly from whatever she had.
My grandfather was more of an afternoon tea and supper specialist. Freshly baked goods, slices of fresh cut bread and butter, sausage rolls. Nothing fancy, but always thoughtfully done. You know, generous.
Sure, I've suffered through ghastly school lunches and bad food in England. But they were bad, not because English food is inherently bad, but rather due to a lack of care and respect for the end product and the diner.
Anyway, this proud post is my contribution to Becks & Posh St George's Day Fish & Quips event. I have now created a recipe menu item on my sidebar called English Food to highlight some favorite English recipes already blogged. Thanks to Sam for hosting this excellent event.
Today, I give you Vegetarian Cornish Pasties. When I took an early cooking class in traditional English fare (I was about 7), I recall one of the first recipes we made were Cornish Pasties. This vegetarian version came out superbly. You can change the vegetables to whatever is in season. Happily, I found English peas at the Farmers Market yesterday. These are best served with gravy. Enjoy.
Vegetarian Cornish Pasties
2-1/2 cups flour
4 oz butter, cut into small cubes
pinch of salt
2 oz butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 rutabaga/swede, peeled and diced small
1 large potato, peeled and diced small
1 large carrot, finely sliced
1/2 tsp marmite
1/4 cup hot water
pinch of herbes du Provence
fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh English peas
4 oz MorningStar Meal Starters Grillers Recipe Crumbles (frozen) or veg. ground beef substitute
1 shake of soy sauce
salt & pepper
Put the flour in a large bowl, add the salt, and rub the butter in with your finger tips until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add water in tablespoons and mix with your hands or a folk until dough starts to come together. Use enough water to produce a pliable dough. Form a flat disk shape, wrap in plastic, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onions and rutabaga and cook for 5 minutes. Add the potato and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for a few minutes. Dissolve the marmite in the hot water and add to the vegetables. Add the herbs and cover, cooking for 8-10 minutes until the vegetables are almost done. Add the pea and cook 2 minutes. Add the vegetarian mince and soy sauce. Season.
Preheat the oven to 400.
Roll out the pastry and use a 6" plate to cut out 6 circles of dough (you'll have some left over). Put 2-3 spoonfuls of filling into the center of each dough circle and crimp together the dough using a little water.
Place on a baking sheet and brush with beaten egg.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until nicely browned.