Yoopers Venison Pasty

The UP (Upper Peninsular) of Michigan is home to the proud Yoopers. A surprisingly stunning area of America it makes fine cycling territory. With the sandy beaches and the cool waters of Lake Superior to stop for a dip, it is also the home of the Pasty.

Soon after Michigan became a state in 1837 a mining boom was triggered. Iron and copper were plentiful and Cornish immigrants soon set up mining companies using the experience, techniques and machinery used in the tin mines of Cornwall. Just as Cornish influence was felt in methods of mining, the Cornish also introduced their own cuisine. The Pasty, a great example of functional food, is not merely a delicious, filling food, it is designed to be carried to work and eaten on the job. It can be taken down a mine, out logging or on a bicycle. Here is a recipe from the UP that also makes use of the deer that are plentiful in the vast logging forests.

For your Pasty Crust:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

1. Cut the butter into the salt and flour until it has the texture of corn meal. Add water until the mix is dough like. It's best to err on the side of dryness.

For the Pasty Filling:

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 1 small rutabaga/turnip
  • 3 medium onions
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 1/2 pounds venison

1. Peel and dice the vegetables, putting them in a large bowl. Mix with the meat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2. Building your pasty. Roll out the crust on a lightly floured surface as you would a piecrust, only more oblong than round. Put about one pound of filling on one half of the crust. 

3. Dip your finger in some water and make a line of moisture around the filling. Flip the other half of the crust over the filling and press it down over the line of moist dough. 

4. Crimp the edges, getting creative if you wish. Poke the crust with a fork and place on an increased baking sheet.

Baking your Pasty.

1. Bake for 20 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for another 40 minutes. Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Get back down that mine!


This entry was posted on Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 12:22 and is filed under American Recipes, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

1 comment

  1. I think the pasty may be more popular in the UP then it ever was in Cornwall. Now that I think about it, it makes for good cycling food. Plenty of calories and easy to carry.

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