Lovely leftovers: pasties!


My great-great-great grandmother Mary Ann Hawkey was a tin-dresser in the Cornwall mines when she was a child. Her whole family worked in the mines, and as far as I can tell, their ancestors had been tin miners since anyone thought to write these things down.

The Cornish tin miners’ great culinary claim to fame is the pasty (pronounced like “past” as in “past tense”). It’s just a turnover, filled with meat and vegetables, easy to eat down in the mines.

Now, I’ll be branded a heretic for saying so, but you can fill a pasty with anything. Leftovers are perfect. And you can use any kind of dough to make a pasty — leftover bread dough, pie crust, whatever you like.

For these, I used some sourdough I had in the fridge, filled with leftover beef stew (cooked down a bit to reduce the liquid). Perfect lunch!

(Reminds me of another perfect, simple meal a few years ago.)


  1. heidi said,

    May 18, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

    Broken link on the simple meal! The ‘http’ is in twice, with the www missing… but that really does look delicious!

  2. guido said,

    May 19, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

    Hey, i’m Italian. What do i know. Except that pasties are delicious and it’s great to see an article from the herbwife’s kitchen.

  3. crabappleherbs said,

    May 19, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

    Thanks, Heidi, I fixed it.

    And thanks, Guido, I’m glad to be on here a bit again.

  4. Mary said,

    May 20, 2011 @ 10:50 am

    Oh, lovely Herbwife! I’m so glad you’re here, too. I keep checking your blog in hopes of a new article! (I read the whole archives while recovering from my last baby—such good, realistic stuff.) You’ve really inspired me in my fledgling herbalism…I’m even drinking my lawn!

  5. kate said,

    September 7, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

    I love your blog but I’m sorry no you cannot put just any thing in a Pasty. I’m Cornish and come from Cornish stock. Flaky pastry is traditional,filling is beef ,spuds and carrots,none of which is pre cooked,in winter months turnip is substituted for carrots. If one was really lucky half of your pasty was filled with what ever fruit was in season the other half being savoury giving you lunch and dessert in one portable package.

  6. Cara Phillipo said,

    October 30, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

    Yummy! Those look quite delicious. Inspires me to get brave and make something like that for my family on this cool Sunday afternoon. You always motivate me and inspire me. Gratitude.

  7. kitchen cabinets said,

    May 12, 2012 @ 4:58 am

    Well,thanks for sharing this to us. This is really a great one. Especially we cannot deny that we have left-overs inside our fridges and its not good if we’ll just throw it away so this is really a great idea. Keep on posting!

  8. samantha said,

    May 20, 2012 @ 8:07 am

    Ohh I love veggie pasties. They is a shop in cornwall that handmakes the most divine pasties, my own don’t quite live up to their standard yet but still highly yummy.
    I also like chocolate and banana pasties (yes I am veggie hence the none traditional fillings), well truthfully there are a few fillings I love

  9. Katie said,

    May 13, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

    The original pasties were taken down the mines. When the miners ate the pasties they discarded the pastry and only ate the insides. This insured that what they ate was not contaminated. The original packaging!!!

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