Something that has always perplexed me about the South is the fuss over bread and milk when there’s a snow storm coming. I’m never quite sure what it is they’re expecting to make (maybe copious amounts of french toast?) but personally, I prefer to grab all the ingredients for my favorite dish, Michigan Pasties.
Pasties (pronounced pass-tees) are a hearty meat pie that’s commonly found in the upper peninsula of Michigan. They were originally made for copper miners and provided a heavy lunch for men working hard labor – it was guaranteed to tide them over til dinner.
For me, they’ve always been a sign of winter and cold days spent at home. My mom used to make them when we were little, especially on snowy days spent ice skating in the backyard and building snowmen. To me, they taste like home.
There’s a few variations on pasties. Some are made with venison, some are made with beef, but you can really use about any red meat and it’ll taste delicious. Personally, I opt for hamburger.
To be honest, I go the lazy route with this recipe. It takes a good amount of preparation and an hour to cook, so I use store-bought pie crusts and on nights like tonight, I grab Trader Joe’s Mirepoix and just take out the celery so I don’t have to spend so much time chopping*.
- 1 rutabaga (also known as a swede), chopped into one inch pieces
- 1 large potato, chopped into one inch pieces
- 1 chopped carrot*
- 1 chopped onion*
- 1 pound of hamburger meat, not cooked
- Two cloves of garlic
- Two boxes of store bought pastries (you should have four)
- Parsley, salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg for the egg wash
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine your rutabaga, potato, onion, carrots, garlic, hamburger meat and spices together and mix well with your hands. Then, take your pastries and cut them into four pieces. Take the four pieces of pastry and roll them into individual balls (they should be a bit bigger than a golf ball) and roll them out into circles. Next, take your meat mixture and spoon it into the middle of your pastry circle. Fold the edges of one side over to the other and take a fork to crimp it shut. Slice three holes in the top for the steam to come out of while they bake, and repeat the process until all of your dough and mixture is used. Once your pasties are formed, brush the with your egg wash and bake for an hour. This should yield about 17 small pasties or 8 large pasties.