Friday, November 4, 2011

Easy-Peasy Pasties

I've taken a couple days off from my blog because I've been a reading fool. I was really into my book and wanted to finish it before I leave on my vacation so I don't have to lug as many books in my carry-on. I had about 450 pages left on Sunday and finished it last night about 11. I HAD to start the next book in the series too. Chances are, I'll get into this one and have to bring an additional book anyway. I've had a couple friends suggest a Kindle for this reason. Might need to go on my wish list....or how about an iPad or Xoom? :)

Anyway, today's recipe is a simple recipe for pasties (that's pass-teez not pay-steez). In Montana, when you talk about pasties, many people think of the mining and Butte/Anaconda area. I guess, historically, they were very popular with the miners for a good, healthy meal and easily transported. I found out from my sister-in-law Julie that in the midwest, they're associated with the UP. I have no idea if they're mining based up there, but also a regional treat.

I had never made them before, but wanted to find a quick way to make them up. I got a bonus because I had some extras that froze really well and just needed to be reheated and were a great quick lunch. Here's my easy-peasy recipe:

1 box of pie refrigerated pie crusts
1-2 sirloin steaks
3-4 potatoes (your choose the kind, I used baby reds)
1 onion (again choose the kind you like best)

Start by cubing your meat. I chose sirloin because it is inexpensive and has a decent flavor, plus when you're cubing it, it can be a little marbled and doesn't really matter. It would also work great with elk steak for all you hunting families out there. For all the ingredients, cube them on the smaller size (remember you'll be stuffing a pouch). Peel the potatoes and cube. Chop the onion. Works best if each ingredient is in its own bowl.

Roll out the pie crusts. Using a bowl as a template, cut the crusts into 6" circles. You can gather the dough and re-knead, re-roll and cut out additional circles. Obviously, you can make your own dough for the pouches, but I wanted to simplify this step.

Take each circle and add your meat, potatoes, onion across the center of the circle. Season it with salt, pepper and oregano to taste. Then put a couple pats of butter on the top of the filling.

Fold over one side of the circle to enclose the ingredients. Dip your finger in water and lightly moisten the bottom edge of the dough on the pouch. Use a fork to seal the edges together. Then cut 2-3 slits on the top of the pouch to vent.

Bake them in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. As you can see from the picture, I chose to line my pan with parchment. It really helps them brown without burning and they lift easily off the sheet. It's pretty forgiving, so if I'm in a hurry, I'll bump it up to 400 degrees and decrease the time to 20 minutes. Let cool slighly before eating!

As I mentioned, these are a great prepare and freeze meal. Be sure to let them cool all the way before wrapping in plastic wrap and then sealing in a freezer zipper bag. You can pop them in the microwave and reheat for an easy lunch.

These pasties were so good. Using the pie crusts saved me some time and it was still delicious. Give them a shot. You'll like them I'm sure! Stay tuned. I'm trying a new recipe in the crock pot using a pork roast. The aroma is mouth-watering. I'll let you know!

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