If you are from the UP of Michigan, this will need no explanation.  If not, you are probably wondering what this is.  It is a pasty.  


Pronounced: pastē/pas·ty.

Definition: a folded pastry case with a savoury filling, typically of seasoned meat and vegetables.

Until I met my husband, who happens to be from the UP, I had never heard of or tasted them before. But once I did, it was love at first pasty.  Now, whenever we get close to the Michigan border, I start thinking about them.  A pasty is very simple and understated with common ingredients…and therein lies the beauty.  

This was my first attempt to make them, and I was up for the challenge.  So, with a recipe from my sister-in-law and some  “input” from my husband, I got to work.  Starting with the crust.

In a bowl, mix together the butter, milk and flour. pasty_1

I thought I would be able to get by with using a utensil to make the dough…but no…you have to get in there with your hands.  Once you have a nice ball of dough, wrap it in Saran and put it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  


Making the filling

Now, on to the filling – Onion, Potato, Meat & seasoning.  Dice the onion as small as you can get it.  Get a nice quality,  lean ground beef.  I used 85/15  ground round.  Mix these two ingredients together and season.  Salt, Peper & Greek seasoning. Mix with your hands.

Peel potatoes and cube…I tried to get them to 1/4″ cubes.  An alternative to this is to grate the potato.  I wanted to try this, but my husband wanted to keep it traditional.  So…cubes it is.  Fold the cubes into the meat mixture. While the mixture is still in the bowl, divide it into 4 equal portions.pasty_3

Back to the pastry/crust.  At this point,  you will want to pre-heat your oven to 350º.

Flour your surface.  Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.  Roll out the 1/4 of the dough pretty thin into a circular shape.  Don’t make yourself crazy trying to make it perfect.  Just get it close.  pasty_4

Add 1/4 of the meat mixture onto the dough.  Note: some people will put a small pad of butter on top of the meat before they close the pasty.  I did not do that, but believe it would be delicious.  DSC_1486

Now start pulling the dough up to the center and crimping it together.  Make your way from one side to the other; sealing the meat inside the dough.  I just did what felt right.  No real rhyme or reason…although I am certain there is probably an official process for doing this.  

Note: the dough is really thin and delicate.  If you get a few rips in the dough up by the crimping, that is fine.  You need a little ventilation.pasty_5

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the pasties on the paper; leaving at least 1″ in between.  Give the pasties and egg wash and put them in the oven for 60 minutes at 350º.pasty_6

Serve warm with ketchup.  


I would love to hear how you make your pasties.  


Yields 4
Pasties. The official meat pie of the UP.
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For the Dough/Crust
  1. 2 Cups flour
  2. 1 stick of butter (room temperature)
  3. 1/2 Cup milk
  4. 1 egg - for the egg wash
For the Filling
  1. 1 lb lean ground beef
  2. 1 small white onion - finely chopped
  3. 1 tsp ground pepper
  4. 1 tsp greek seasoning
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 2-3 medium russet potatoes - peeled & cubed
Making the dough
  1. In a large bowl, combine the butter, flour and milk
  2. Mix with hands into the dough. Wrap & refrigerate for 30 minutes
Making the meat filling
  1. In a large bowl, combine finely diced onion, meat and seasonings. Mix well
  2. Add cubed potatoes and mix again
Making the Pasty
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Roll out 1/4 of the dough into a thin circle.
  3. Place 1/4 of the meat filling in the center
  4. Pull the edges of the dough to the center; crimping and the middle
  5. Line a pan with parchment paper & place pasties on paper
  6. Brush the pasties with an egg wash
  7. Bake for 60 minutes
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