Recipe: Jamie Oliver's Traditional English Cornish Pasties with Beef, Onion, Potatoes, and Carrots (2024)

Recipe: Jamie Oliver's Traditional English Cornish Pasties with Beef, Onion, Potatoes, and Carrots (1)

These classic-style British meat hand pies (with updated ingredients) from Jamie's Great Britain are perfect cold weather comfort food—portable, filling, and they freeze beautifully.

Jamie Oliver's Great Britain is a neat cookbook. 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. 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.

Some of the recipes I've bookmarked include Bubble and Squeak (a quintessential classic that dates to the early 1800s), Minted Zucchini Soup, 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, Speedy Butter Beans with Tomatoes and Swiss Chard or Cabbage, Sour Cranberry Bakewell Tart, 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.

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.

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 Oliver.The contest is over. Thanks for all your fun entries and congratulations to the winner, Mary in Canada!

Recipe: Jamie Oliver's Traditional English Cornish Pasties with Beef, Onion, Potatoes, and Carrots (2)

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 introduction 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." Rutabagas are traditional but definitely not required (and nearly impossible to find in rural Missouri).

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

A digital kitchen scale is so handy for weighing everything from ingredients to Farmhouse White bread dough to outgoing packages; I lovethis Oxo 11-pound scaleand often pull it out several times a day.


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 (or butter and lard) 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 (I love this brand), 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.If the dough starts to stick to the work surface or your rolling pin, sprinkle it with a small amount of flour.

Recipe: Jamie Oliver's Traditional English Cornish Pasties with Beef, Onion, Potatoes, and Carrots (3)

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 (I use a silicone brush), 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 (I've been using some of my commercial baker's half sheet pans for over 20 years) lined with unbleached parchment paper(I could only fit four pasties per baking sheet), 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 the 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, toaster oven (I've used my Oster toaster convection oven nearly every day for at least 6 years; it's perfect for reheating things) 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.

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

Recipe: Jamie Oliver's Traditional English Cornish Pasties with Beef, Onion, Potatoes, and Carrots (2024)


What was in the original Cornish pasty? ›

Pasties date back as far as the 13th century, at which time they were a pie baked without a dish of French origins, with a rich filling of venison, veal, beef, lamb or seafood, gravy and fruit. The name pasty is a mutation of the Medieval French “paste”, for pie.

What is the difference between a pasty and a Cornish pasty? ›

There will always be great debate about the origin of the pasty, but one easy way to detect the Devon pasty from the Cornish is that the Devon pasty has a top-crimp and is oval in shape, whereas the Cornish pasty is semi-circular and side-crimped along the curve.

Does a real Cornish pasty have carrots? ›

It must only contain: Roughly diced (or minced) beef, sliced or diced potato, swede (or as some call it, turnip), onion, seasoning to taste (mainly salt & pepper – we're not telling your our secret seasoning!). Yes – you read that right... No carrots!

Who make the best Cornish pasties? ›

  1. Over The Top Cornish Pasties - Callington. Over the Top is a family business (Image: Over the Top)
  2. The Cornish Vegan - Truro. ...
  3. St Agnes Bakery - St Agnes. ...
  4. The Cornish Deli - St Ives. ...
  5. Hampsons of Hayle - Hayle. ...
  6. Sarah's Pasty Shop - Looe. ...
  7. Helluva Pasties - Callington. ...
  8. Morris Pasties Gover - Newquay. ...

What is the secret of the Cornish pasty? ›

Use a firm waxy potato such as Maris Peer or Wilja. A floury potato will disintegrate on cooking. Crimping is one of the secrets to a true Cornish pasty. A good hand crimp is usually a sign of a good handmade pasty.

What is a Cornish pasty called in America? ›

American pasties are the American equivalent to Cornish pasties. The border between Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is delineated by a line of pasty shops.

Why are there no carrots in Cornish pasties? ›

No debate here: carrots are "sacrilege" as the Cornish Pasty Association points out: the swede adds all the sweetness this dish needs. Older recipes tend to be vague on exact details but potatoes should be waxy, as the CPA makes clear, rather than the floury ones Mark Hix uses, so they keep their shape when cooked.

How unhealthy is a Cornish pasty? ›

But what you might not know is just how many calories are in a Cornish pasty. And how other various food groups, healthy or otherwise, match up to that. Apparently a traditional large pasty from the Cornish Pasty Company contains 774 calories and 45g of fat.

Why can't you say Cornish pasty? ›

Since 2011, the Cornish Pasty has enjoyed protected status under Protected Food Names legislation; so only a pasty made to a specific recipe in Cornwall can be called a “Cornish Pasty”.

Why does a Cornish pasty have 20 crimps? ›

Given that most miners had hands like coal shovels, the "knob" of the pasty wouldn't have been anywhere large enough for them to hold it by surely? They could spread their fingers along the crimp making the pasty far easier to hold on to.

Does a traditional Cornish pasty have jam in it? ›

Tradition has it that the original pasties contained meat and vegetables in one end and jam or fruit in the other end, in order to give the hard-working men 'two courses'. Cornish housewives also marked their husband's initials on the left-hand side of the pastry casing, in order to avoid confusion at lunchtime.

Who is the oldest Cornish pasty maker? ›

160 years on and Warrens Bakery is proud to be the oldest Cornish pasty producer in the world, feeding families for generations. For further information about Warrens Bakery, visit, follow warrens_bakery on Instagram and Warrens Bakery on Facebook.

Should Cornish pasties be eaten hot or cold? ›

They can be eaten from chilled or oven heated to enjoy hot. Pre-baked pasties should be kept chilled on receipt and not cannot be frozen. To prepare pre-baked pasties: These instructions are the producers recommendations and should be used as a guide only.

Why are there no carrots in Cornish pasty? ›

No debate here: carrots are "sacrilege" as the Cornish Pasty Association points out: the swede adds all the sweetness this dish needs. Older recipes tend to be vague on exact details but potatoes should be waxy, as the CPA makes clear, rather than the floury ones Mark Hix uses, so they keep their shape when cooked.

Is the Cornish pasty illegal? ›

Since 2011, the Cornish Pasty has enjoyed protected status under Protected Food Names legislation; so only a pasty made to a specific recipe in Cornwall can be called a “Cornish Pasty”.

What is the fungus in the Cornish pasty? ›

Here's an ancient illustration of it where the pencil title calls it Boletus betulinus. I check the modern scientific name and it's apparently called Fomitopsis betulina now.

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