A pasty is a simple, hand-held pie that is among the quintessential street foods of the UK, almost equal to kebabs and fish and chips. This British-inspired cheese and onion pasty is deliciously easy. Made with a rich lentil-based filling, it is a hearty vegetarian meal.
A particular type of pasty, the Cornish pasty, has Protected Status. This means that only pasties made in Cornwall can be called a Cornish pasty. It also has a distinctive D shape and particular filling requirements. Having been a vegetarian for most of my adult life, I haven’t ever tried a traditional Cornish pasty. However, I have bought numerous vegetarian pasties over the years.
A pasty can be made with any thickened stew. However, this cheese and onion filling is particularly perfect. It tastes just like I bought it from a street vendor in London.
My favorite way to eat a pasty is served with a dollop of mashed potatoes and gravy. However, this cheese and onion pasty is delicious all on its own. Warm and filling, it’s the perfect winter comfort food. It’s also ideal for road trips, which is why I made it last weekend, ahead of a trip to the mountains in search of snow.
I’m not particularly skilled at pastry dough, so I can’t offer any advice about using ice-cold water or a particular mix of butter and shortening. Instead, I typically turn to my favorite cookbook for a reliable recipe.
If you don’t already happen to have a favorite pastry recipe, here are a few suggestions:
- Mix the lentils and the 1 1/2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring the water to a boil and simmer until the lentils are cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes. Red lentils turn to mush, so you won't be able to drain off any extra water.
- While the lentils are cooking, finely dice the onion and potato. As long as the vegetables are small enough, they don’t need to be precooked.
- Once the lentils are cooked stir in the diced vegetables, oregano, cheese, and bullion powder. Add the salt, taste, and add more salt, as needed.
- Form the pastry either in a pie plate, or the half-moon shape of a Cornish pasty. You can make a few small individual pasties, or one large one.
- Fill the pastry with the filling, and seal it shut by rolling up the edges.
- Move the pastry to a baking sheet. Make a few incisions on the top of the pasty to allow steam to escape. Brush the top of the pasty with 1 Tbsp of milk to help with browning.
- Bake at 400 F (200 C) for 30 min for individual pasties or 45 minutes for one big pasty. It’s done when the filling is bubbling and the pastry is browned.
- Serve immediately with a side salad for a healthy meal. Or allow the pasties to cool before wrapping in wax paper for a take-along meal.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 426Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 758mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 8gSugar: 11gProtein: 17g