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Old 07-05-2012, 01:58 PM   #1
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Default Pocket Taco

So, Kid and I went to UP recently and feasted on Pasties most of the time we were not at Yoopers cottage. Surprisingly, she enjoyed them and even took notes on which place made the better pasties.

I figured we should try and make some when we get home, which we did. The first batch we ended up with filling left over (made up some traditional with ground beef and potatoes (store didn't have rutabagas), and some chicken pot pie style.) So I made more crust, but then I had some of that left over!

Realizing that I was headed towards the downward spiral of trying to balance filling and crust, I took a look in the fridge and saw a container of leftover Taco meat.

YES! I added some refried beans and some Mexican blend cheese (I usually prefer plain cheddar, but I wanted to use up the package) and made a couple Mexican Pasties!

Man, are they good! I'd like to put some shredded lettuce and some diced tomato on there, but I don't have any. A little sour cream on top is working out though.

Here is the recipe, more or less:

4.5 cups Flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup CHILLED shortening (I used 3/4 cup shortening and 1/4 cup real unsalted butter)
1 1/4 cup ICE COLD water (or a little less, depending)

The crust is very much like a pie crust, but if you add the whole 1 1/4 cup water it will be a wet dough. No problem, really, but you can adjust to suit your preference. Just make sure to use COLD fat and water.

Whisk salt into flour and cut in shortening. Make a well in flour mixture and pour in water and mix with spoon or hands until JUST mixed. Chill for a bit while you prepare the filling:

Filling:

Ground Beef
Diced Potatoes
Diced Rutabaga
Diced Carrot
Chopped Onion
Salt

All of that is to taste. I just threw it all together in a bowl. I also added a bit of gravy mix to add a bit of flavor, since the ingredients listed can taste rather plain to a modern person's tongue.

Once you have the filling prepared, split the dough into balls slightly smaller than your fist ( I did not measure them for size. You can experiment. I promise you can eat them big or small!). Roll the dough chucks out using a bit of flour until they are the thickness and diameter you want. Place some filling on one side, leaving a bit of crust around the edge. Then fold the crust over the filling, making a "D" shape. Next, start at one end of the seam and fold it over an inch or so at a time all the way across. Finally place on light colored (Not dark) baking sheet and poke a few holes in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake until golden brown and delicious!

You can experiment with different fillings, but the beef and potatoes with rutabagas are considered traditional. I also defrosted some chicken pieces and chopped them up and mixed with mixed veggies for a chicken pot pie style pasty, which turned out as tasty as the beef.

Pasties were created in Cornwall of England and brought to the UP by Finnish Miners back when copper was being mined heavily up there. The pasty made an excellent meal for them. They would heat them on the blade of their shovel using the heat from the carbide lamps they had to see by. They remain a tradition and a tourist attraction.

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Old 07-05-2012, 02:41 PM   #2
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They were originally simply a way to carry the meat and potatoes, it allowed the miners to eat with their dirty hands and they would then throw away the crust.

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Old 07-05-2012, 06:59 PM   #3
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I read that they could easily eat most of the pie and then throw the end away, at least until paper was cheap enough that newspaper could be used to keep the ends clean too.

And they sometimes made what was called a split pasty: Main dish on one end, and dessert (fruit) in the other end. I read they would often place initials on one end of the crust so that the miners could eat part of a pasty and later they could still see whose pasty was whose by the initials.

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Old 07-07-2012, 06:06 AM   #4
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I have made these many times, my daughter's favorite is made with Hormel Roast Beef Hash. I just cook up some onion and garlic nice and tender, add the hash and brown it up good. Let it cool, fill and bake. I use a super flaky crust made with cream cheese and a dash of apple cider vinegar. The flakest crust y'all ever find. I do the same for mincemeat at Thanksgiving but I make them small, only a few bites.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:47 PM   #5
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Post up that crust recipe! I'm really curious about it.

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Old 07-09-2012, 05:57 PM   #6
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Last Autumn in the restaurant, sweet potato pasties were component of the vegetarian menu. We made them without using actual dough. The roasted, mashed sweet potatoes were fortified with powdered Potato Starch so they kept their shape, formed into ring molds, par-baked to allow setting, chilled, and seared and reheated in the oven on the order. The ring mold was removed just prior to plating the pasties so they kept their shape. It's a much more upscale preparation. You could serve them plain or with a stuffed center, topped with greens.

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Old 07-19-2012, 03:26 AM   #7
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Pastry for a 9-inch lattice pie, a 9-inch deep-dish pie, a 10-inch pie shell, or a 12- to 14-inch free-form tart

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1 1/3 cups + 4 teaspoons pastry flour or 1 1/3 cups (dip and sweep method) bleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt (for savory recipes, use 1 1/2 times the salt)
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
one 3-ounce package cream cheese, cold
1 1/2 tablespoons ice water
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Cut the butter into small (about 3/4-inch) cubes. Wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it until frozen solid, at least 30 minutes. Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag and freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Place the flour mixture in a food processor with the metal blade and process for a few seconds to combine. Set the bag aside.

Cut the cream cheese into 3 or 4 pieces and add it to the flour. Process for about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the frozen butter cubes and pulse until none of the butter is larger than the size of a pea. (Toss with a fork to see it better.) Remove the cover and add the water and vinegar. Pulse until most of the butter is reduced to the size of small peas. The mixture will be in particles and will not hold together. Spoon it into the plastic bag. (For a double-crust pie, it is easiest to divide the mixture in half at this point.)

Holding both ends of the bag opening with your fingers, knead the mixture by alternately pressing it, from the outside of the bag with the knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.

Wrap the dough with the plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc (or discs) and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight. (For a pie shell and lattice, divide it in a ratio of two thirdsne third — use about 9.5 ounces for the shell and the rest for the lattice, flattening the smaller part into a rectangle.

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