This authentic recipe comes from no less an authority than the Cornish Pasty Association…
FOR THE SHORTCRUST PASTRY
500g strong bread flour (it is important to use a stronger flour than normal, as you need the extra strength in the gluten to produce strong, pliable pastry)
120g lard or white shortening
125g Cornish butter
175ml cold water
FOR THE FILLING
400g good quality beef skirt, cut into cubes
300g potato, peeled and diced
150g swede/turnip*, peeled and diced
150g onion, peeled and sliced
Salt and pepper to taste (2:1 ratio)
Beaten egg or milk to glaze
*The vegetable to use is the yellow-fleshed swede, not a white turnip. This is known commonly in Cornwall as the turnip. It’s also known as the yellow turnip/Swedish turnip in some places and in North America it is called rutabaga.
Add the salt to the flour in a large mixing bowl.
Rub the two types of fat lightly into flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add water, bring the mixture together and knead until the pastry becomes elastic. This will take longer than normal pastry but it gives it the strength that is needed to hold the filling and retain a good shape. This can also be done in a food mixer.
Cover with cling film and leave to rest for three hours in the fridge. This is a very important stage as it is almost impossible to roll and shape the pastry when fresh.
Roll out the pastry and cut into circles of approximately 20cm diameter. A side plate is an ideal size to use as a guide.
Layer the vegetables and meat on top of the pastry, adding plenty of seasoning.
Bring the pastry around and crimp the edges together.
Glaze with beaten egg or an egg and milk mixture.
Bake at 165 degrees C (fan oven) for about 50 to 55 minutes until golden.