How to Make Meat Pies or English Pasties

I am a Nigerian native who loves sharing traditional and nontraditional recipes with everyone!

Photos by property of ComfortB. All rights reserved.

Photos by property of ComfortB. All rights reserved.

English meat pies are beloved all over the world! Meat pies (a.k.a. English pasties, or beef patties), are meat-filled turnovers. This tasty treat is said to originate from Cornwall, England. Here in the U.S., Pasties are a type of pastry/meal that is very popular in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was introduced years ago by the Cornish, who settled in America, and was a favorite lunch box companion for those who worked away from home.

In Nigeria, and among Nigerians in diaspora, meat pies (pasties) are a favorite at parties, and always the party take-away (take-out) meal of choice. Meat pie is also a popular treat with Jamaicans, among whom the name "beef pattie" has been coined for the tasty pastry. But, beware, when you bite into a Jamaican beef pattie, the spicy peppers inside will bite you right back.

Though this popular and tasty pastry may have a different name from one culture to another, there are some things they all have in common. They all have lots of wholesome veggies and meats on the inside, and a flaky pastry crust on the outside.

Overview of How to Make a Meat Pie

Making a meat pie is done in two stages. You prepare the pie crust, and then the meat filling (not necessarily in that exact order, as the meat filling can be done first before the crust). Once the crust and the meat fillings are ready, you start filling, sealing, and glazing the pie crust before placing it in the oven to bake.

Although the preparation time is a little lengthy, having a whole meal that fits inside a pastry makes it all worth it. Plus, it's a very tasty and enjoyable meal. Let's go ahead and start making this very tasty treat.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour 15 min

40 min

1 hour 55 min

12 servings

Ingredients for Meat Pie's Filling

  • 1¼ cups peeled potatoes, diced
  • 1¼ cup carrots, diced
  • ½ medium onions
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper or one finely chopped fresh hot Jamaican pepper (optional)
  • 1½ pound ground beef, turkey, or chicken
  • ½ teaspoon Curry, (powder or flakes) optional
  • ½ teaspoon Thyme, (powder or Flakes) optional
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Vegetarian and Pescatarian Filling Alternatives

The good thing about this recipe is that you can use any combination of meat or veggie filling of your choice. You can substitute turkey or chicken breast for the red meats. But, if you are a vegan, don't be intimidated by these meat suggestions. You can choose to have your pie with an all vegetable and carbohydrate filling. You can even use fish or shrimp for a pescatarian option. Yes, you can!

Vegan alternatives:

  • A mix of shredded carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and onions.
  • A mix of brown rice, beans, carrots, onions, and nuts
  • A mix of tofu, carrots, etc.

Fish alternatives:

  • Your choice of salmon, whiting, or tilapia fillets. These generate less fish fat/oil during baking and, therefore, it won't break out of the crust.
  • All of these fish work well when briefly sautéed with garlic, salt, onion, carrots, and potatoes. Let the ingredients cool before filling the pastry.
Everything you need. Plus salt and pepper for seasoning the meat.

Everything you need. Plus salt and pepper for seasoning the meat.

Directions for Making a Meat Pie's Fillings

  1. In a large wok, combine the potatoes, carrots, onion, salt and pepper. Set on stove at medium heat.
  2. Stir in beef, and butter (If using the Curry and Thyme, and other seasonings, you can stir in with the meats).
  3. Sauté veggies and meat mixture briefly on medium to high heat.
  4. Let cook for about five minutes. This brief cooking is done to ensure that meats are cooked properly through the duration of baking the pastry.
  5. Set the mixture aside to cool.

Pastry Ingredients & Preparation

Now that our filling has been sautéed and has been set aside to cool, let's get the pie crust ready. However, if you desire to deviate from this recipe and would rather use the recipe simply as inspiration, then there are a few things to keep in mind before we start the pastry.

A note before we start making the pastry: Some people do not like to cook or sauté meat and veggies before filling the pastry. That's okay. Just make sure you add extra time to the overall baking duration. For a raw meat filling, set the oven to about 375 degrees F and let it bake for about 45–55 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown. You can always alter a few things here and there. Now, let's start our pastries!

Ingredients for meat pie pastries include:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour ( you can also use self-rising flour. In which case you will omit the salt and baking powder in this ingredient list)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cup shortening, or 1½ to 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup warm water or milk
  • 1 tablespoon milk, (optional, for glazing)
  • 1 small egg. Egg white will be used for glazing pie crust.

Low Sodium Pastry Mix

I sometimes use a combination of both all-purpose flour and self-rising flour for a low sodium recipe. That's 2 cups of each. The unsalted butter option also helps.

Directions for Making Meat Pie Pastry

  1. Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in shortening/butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Gradually add water/milk, tossing with a fork, or working it with your fingers until it forms a ball when molded between the palm.
  3. Divide dough into twelve portions; roll each into about 5 in. circle (around).
  4. For each dough circle, place as much of the filling as you can fit into the center of each circle.
  5. Fold pastry over filling and seal edges tightly with a fork (you may need to dust fork with some flour, or dip each time in some water to prevent it from sticking).
  6. Poke the top of each filled and sealed pie with the fork to make some holes. For a glazed effect, brush top of each sealed pie with some egg and milk mixture.
  7. Lay pies out on a greased and floured baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30–35 minutes or until golden brown.

You should be able to get about a dozen or more of these tasty goodies.

Storing or Re-Using Your Left-Over Pie Filling

Freezing Pie for Future Baking: After the pie has been prepared with fillings and glazed with eggs, it is okay to store them in the freezer to be baked for later. Pies should be stored in an air-tight plastic container layered, with parchment paper under every layer. This can be stored for up to a month until you're ready to bake it.

Storing Left-Over Filling: Any leftover filling should be stored in the freezer using freezer bags or plastic containers/wraps. Use fillings within a week of storage. You can use them in any casserole or soup mix.

Re-Using Left-Over Filling: A great way to reuse it as a breakfast burrito's filling.

Here's what to do:

  • Scramble some eggs.
  • Mix in the leftover filling. Stir together in pan.
  • Heat up a/some floor tortillas wrap.
  • Spread the inside of the heated tortillas with cream cheese. You can even spice it up with a layer of mild or hot salsa.
  • Top with the eggs and left-over fillings.
  • Wrap and enjoy a hearty breakfast of eggs, meat, and veggies.

Your Signature Meat Pie—Make It Your Way!

When it comes to making these pies, feel free to experiment! I often add a teaspoon of curry powder, and half a teaspoon of thyme to give it that taste of Africa. Meat Pies can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Just re-warm in a toaster or regular oven when ready to eat. You can also use a microwave to warm, though it may alter the texture of the pastry.

How Would You Rate This Pie?

The History of Pies

© 2012 Comfort Babatola


Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on August 14, 2020:

Thank you Ayomide for visiting and commenting. Hope it turns our good.

Ayomide on August 13, 2020:

Yummy meetpie am gonna make it

Joanna Blackburn from Texas on March 31, 2018:

I'm trying this tonight. Will let you know how it goes.

Jonas Bronck on December 01, 2017:

This looks good!

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on November 15, 2017:

@Modupe Ali-Oke - I'm glad you tried it and find it to be good. Thank you for stopping by, very much appreciated.

Modupe Ali-Oke on November 15, 2017:

Very good recipe, I tried it.

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on November 02, 2015:

Absolutely! I sometime do that Just like those pie crusts in the grocery frozen section. Just be sure to wrap it in a good plastic wrap, that keeps it soft and ready to mold.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciated you reading and commenting.

Poproxx on October 30, 2015:

I'm making these tomorrow they look so delicious! I was just curious though could I make the dough today and sit it in the fridge overnight?

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on October 18, 2015:

@Francesca27 - Thank you, for stopping by to read and comment.

Francesca27 from Hub Page on October 18, 2015:

Good recipe, will give it a try. Thanks for writing this hub.

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on June 18, 2014:

@Kristine Manley - Love that too with Curry Goat! It actually tastes better that way.

Thanks for the comment.

Kristine Manley from Atlanta, GA on June 18, 2014:

Just give me some Curry Goat to go along with my Beef Pattie and I am good to go. Great Hub!

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on June 19, 2013:

You're welcome Anamika S. Try making yours. You'll like it better. Thanks for the read and comment.

Anamika S Jain from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India on June 19, 2013:

A meat pie sounds delicious. I often buy it from the Bakery. Thanks for the recipe.

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on June 19, 2013:

@kashmir56 - I'm glad you find this and awesome recipe. Thank you. It was so nice of you to stop by, comment, and vote. Very well appreciated. :)

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on June 19, 2013:

Thanks for sharing this great article and awesome recipe, sounds easy to do and delicious . Well done !

Vote up and more !!! Sharing !

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on May 01, 2013:

@cathie bridges - It really is yummy, and I bet you'll like them too. Thanks for the read and comment. :)

Hamza Arshad from Pakistan on May 01, 2013:

comfortB that looks yummy... i am gonna try it for sure :)

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on March 24, 2013:

@Athlyn Green - "A letter from 'ome". That's interesting. Never heard that one before. Pastries are always a delightful meal. Glad you loved it.

Thanks for the read and comment. :)

Athlyn Green from West Kootenays on March 24, 2013:

I made Cornish pastries and just loved them. They are also called " a letter from 'ome." Very interesting hub.

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on February 20, 2013:

@ignugent17 - Yes, and they taste as good as they look too. Thanks for reading and commenting!

ignugent17 on February 20, 2013:

They look so good. Thanks for sharing the recipe. :-)

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on February 16, 2013:

@girishpuri - You're welcome anytime. Check out my other recipes.

Girish puri from NCR , INDIA on February 16, 2013:

Very nice suggestions for meals and very nice recipes, thanks.

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on February 06, 2013:

Yes dwachira - these pies would make a good meal anytime, breakfast, lunch or dinner. Thanks for reading, commenting, voting and for sharing! Very much appreciated.

Danson Wachira from Nairobi, Kenya on February 05, 2013:

Hi ComfortB,

It is breakfast time here and seeing these Meat pies makes me want them, i would like to try this Meat Pie recipe some day, the instruction are fairly easy to follow. Voted up, useful and shared.

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on January 28, 2013:

@celeste inscribed - I'm glad you like this recipe. It is a favorite of mine and I'm always looking for new ways (fillings) to keep it interesting, especially for my teenagers.

Thanks for the read, votevand comment. :)

Celeste Wilson on January 28, 2013:

I grew up with Cornish pasties and Steak an Kidney Pie served with gravy and fries (we call them chips). I will try your recipe and serve it up to my parents. They are going to be in heaven. Thank you. This brings back memories. Voted Awesome!

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on January 27, 2013:

Thank you, drpastorcarlotta. Your visit and comment is very much appreciated. Stay blessed!

Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC on January 27, 2013:

Yummie, YUM!!! Great easy to understand instructions! Thank you so much! Voted-Up!

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on November 17, 2012:

@lemonkerdz - You're welcome. From one pasty lover to another. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. :)

lemonkerdz from LIMA, PERU on November 17, 2012:

love pasties!!!!

being from england we always had cornish paties, the most famous in england. now living in peru we have the empanada, peruvian pasty. once you have a basic recipe you can adapt it to the choice of your country with flavours.

thanks for the hub

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on November 16, 2012:

O, you're so welcome DeborahNeyens!

Yes, they are popular in many parts of the world. In Nigeria, no party menu is complete without these pies.

Thanks for the comment.

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on November 16, 2012:

I ate these every day when I was in Cornwall. Didn't realize they are popular in Michigan, too. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on October 28, 2012:

Hello The Dirt Farmer - Yeah, I've read that too about the miner's two course meal-in-one. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Appreciate it much.

Jill Spencer from United States on October 28, 2012:

Your pies look delicious and neat as anything! I read somewhere that miners would eat pasties filled with meat at one end and fruit filling at the other, sort of like a meal in one that included dessert. Glad to get your recipe! I think these would be fun to make.

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on October 17, 2012:

@Deborah Brooks - I'm honored to have you stop by and comment on my hub. Thank you. :)

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on October 17, 2012:

this looks absolutely wonderful thank you for sharing.. i will share for all to see.

many blessings

and thank you for follow


Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on October 10, 2012:

@Sharkye11 - Wait till you actually taste one. It'll be hard not to get addicted to these wholesome goodness.

Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on October 10, 2012:

These look so delicious! I've seen meat-pies mentioned in books, but have never seen one. Now I can't wait to try making some. They would be great holiday treats!

Thanks for the great hub with terrific instructions!

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on October 08, 2012:

Thanks vespawoolf - It wouldn't be African without the curry. Empanadas probably do have some similarities to meat pie. Differerent cultures have different names for it, and the fillings are all so similar.

Thanks for your comments and votes, very well appreciated.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on October 08, 2012:

I was excited to see this recipe...what a nice job with all the step-by-step instructions. When we went to visit friends in England a few years ago, they gave us pasties right as we got off the plane. They reminded me a lot of the empanadas they make and sell here in Peru. I like your use of curry and thyme for an African flavor. Voted up! Thank you for sharing.

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on July 04, 2012:

@Lola - Thanks I'm sure yours is as yummy. You know how you can't go wrong with meat pie.

Lola Oyedotun-Balogun from Calgary on July 04, 2012:

Yummy....i just made some yesterday........quite different recipe though but I love your own recipe..... I will definitely give it a go.....

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on June 12, 2012:

@Deb Welch - Thanks. Now that you know what it is, go ahead and make it. No doubt you'll love it.

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on June 12, 2012:

Thanks Georgina_writes for your great input. You are right, it all started as a simple meat and potato filling, but can be filled with pretty much anything that appeals to your taste.

I never knew you can make it with the 'mains and desert' in one. That's something I'll like to try.

Again thanks for stopping by and commenting. Very well appreciated!

Deb Welch on June 10, 2012:

I had always wondered what an English Meat Pie was. The recipe seems really great. Thanks.

Georgina Crawford from Dartmoor on May 24, 2012:

Sacrilege - the only thing that should be in a pasty is skirt beef, onion and potato! It's a poor man's meal, and Devonians think it originated in Devon rather than Corwnall. That's a real hot debate, sure to start an argument in the Southwest UK - people get very uptight about their pasties and cream teas. Originally, the pasty had the meat/potato filling at one end and fruit/jam at the other - mains and desert in one. It was taken to work by tin miners and the thick, crimped crust was made so that the miners could hold this part with their dirty hands while they ate the rest. The crust was then discarded. Great hub though, and I love your recipe. Rated up.

Natasha from Hawaii on May 24, 2012:

I like pasties and find them keep pretty well and are delicious cold the next day (at least, I think so!)Thanks for the awesome recipe! I really like the idea to add some curry powder.

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on May 24, 2012:

@rjsadowski - I bet you've tasted some Meat Pies or Pasties in your lifetime. It's good to have you stop by.

Your comment is appreciated. Thanks!

rjsadowski on May 24, 2012:

A verry fine recipe. I lived in Michigan for more than 40 years and pasties are a specialty in the Upper Penninsula where it originated with the Miners there.

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on May 24, 2012:

@teaches12345 - As always, thanks for stopping by. Your comments are appreciated.

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on May 24, 2012:

@sallieannluvslife - Yes, Meat Pie(Pasties) should be easy to spot over there in London. The English introduced it to us in Nigeria, and it's been a favorite with our people and others elsewhere.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on May 24, 2012:

@Sherry Hewins - Meat Pies really are a tasty treat. They'll make a full meal, at least, for me.

Thanks for stopping by and for your comment!

Dianna Mendez on May 24, 2012:

Wow, this is a great suggestion for meals. Thanks for sharing. I love your photo enhancements in the hub.

sallieannluvslife from Eastern Shore on May 24, 2012:

These look delicious!! In my many reading adventures, I have come across numerous characters eating these pasties on the streets of London, etc. and have always been fascinated by them...I am so going to give these a try! Thanks for sharing!!

Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on May 23, 2012:

OMG Pasties! These are a local treat here in my town in the California Gold Country. The Cornish miners used to take them for lunch down in the mines. I'll have to try your recipe to see how it compares with the ones our local shops sell.

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