Traditional Cornish Pasty, savory packages of beef and potatoes wrapped in flaky, buttery pastry. This British classic makes a wonderful lunch or dinner on a chilly day. You may (or may not) have heard of the Cornish pasty (sometimes spelled pastie, pronounced pass-tee, not paste-y).

A Cornish Pasty on a serving board with a salad of greens

Along the pasty is the Sausage Roll is Britain’s favorite on-the-go meal and one of England’s national treasures.

Bakeries are all over England and that makes it convenient to go in and pick-up a fresh pasty for lunch, the most popular being the Cornish pasty. Other varieties include cheese and onion and minced beef, but whatever the filling, they’re always savory, never sweet.

The Cornish pasty is a complete meal in itself that is a mix of beef and vegetables that are incased in a flaky pastry that is then baked.

The History of Cornish Pasty

A popular quick meal since the 13th Century, this pasty originated in Cornwall which is on the very tip of the south west of England. If you’re from Cornwall, you’re considered Cornish. It’s simply homemade pastry filled with beef, swede (rutabaga) and onion. It later evolved into food for miners as it was stable enough to be dropped to the workers in the mines.

A Cornish pasty cut in half showing the beef and vegetables inside

Cornish Pasty Variations

There are many variations to the Cornish pasty, like the shape and filling, but these are not correct. For the pasty to be authentically Cornish there are some rules. After all, it represents the county of Cornwall in the South of England and it has to be right.

Cornish Pasty Pastry

The pastry should be shortcrust pastry (like pie crust, unsweetened). Chopped skirt steak, onion, rutabaga (swede if you’re in the UK), potato, salt, pepper and a little butter are the proper filling.

A circle of pastry is rolled out and the filling must be placed in the pastry uncooked, to allow it to cook slowly and develop the flavors.

The way the pastry is sealed also has to be right. The edge has to crimped in a way that looks like a braid, basically rolling the pastry edge on itself to create the characteristic look.

The sealed edge is not to be on the top of the pasty, but on the side. If it doesn’t have this crimp, it’s not Cornish. In addition, if the pasty is not ‘D’ shaped it is also not Cornish.

4 Cornish pasties out of the oven

I like to serve the pasty with a simple side salad. Since the filling contains all the makings of a meal, a heavy side is really not needed, but a nice pint of ale will certainly finish the meal nicely!

Freezing Cornish Pasty

You can make them and freeze before baking, just defrost before baking to ensure the meat comes to a safe temperature.

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Yield: 8

Traditional Cornish Pasty

Traditional Cornish pasty are savory packages of beef and potatoes wrapped in flaky, buttery pastry. It makes a wonderful lunch or dinner on a chilly day.

Traditional Cornish Pasty are savory packages of beef and potatoes wrapped in flaky, buttery pastry. It makes a wonderful lunch or dinner on a chilly day.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • For the pastry:
  • 3 cups (450 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks/1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, cubed and kept cold until ready to use
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) cold water
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon milk
  • For the filling:
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) russet potato, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) swede (rutabaga), peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 small onion , finely chopped
  • 1 pound (453 grams) skirt steak, cut against the grain into bite-size pieces
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. To make the pastry in a food processor: Add the flour, butter and salt. Pulse until you get the texture of fine breadcrumbs. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the cold water until it forms a ball.
  2. To make the pastry by hand: Add the flour, salt and butter to a large bowl. Using your fingertips (or a pastry cutter) rub the butter and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Drizzle in the water and mix using a fork until the it starts to come together and holds together when pressed in your hand.. You may not need all of the water.
  3. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a flat ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 10-15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 360°F/182°C.
  5. Whisk the egg with the milk.
  6. Take 4 ounces pastry and roll into an 8 inch circle. Place a small handful of potatoes, rutabaga, onion, and beef in the center of the pastry, leaving 2-inch border. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt pepper and flour. Place a little piece of butter on the top.
  7. Brush half of the edge of the pastry with egg mix then fold the pastry in half and seal the edge. Twist the edge to create a good seal. Cut a slit in the top of the pasties (to let steam out while baking) and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Brush all the pasties with the rest of the egg/milk and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 328Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 65mgSodium 385mgCarbohydrates 38gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 2gSugar 0gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 7g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.

This Traditional Cornish pasty recipe first appeared on Food Fanatic where I am a contributor.

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