How to Make Meat Pies or English Pasties

Updated on July 10, 2018
ComfortB profile image

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. | Source

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 time: 1 hour 15 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 1 hour 55 min
Yields: 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, whitting, 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. | Source

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.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Steps 1 and 2: Put meat in saucepan with curry, thyme, pepper, onions. Use your preferred seasonings.Steps 1 and 2: Combine cubed/chopped carrots and potatoes with the meat and sauté until potatoes are cooked.Pie filling ready for the crust!
Steps 1 and 2: Put meat in saucepan with curry, thyme, pepper, onions. Use your preferred seasonings.
Steps 1 and 2: Put meat in saucepan with curry, thyme, pepper, onions. Use your preferred seasonings. | Source
Steps 1 and 2: Combine cubed/chopped carrots and potatoes with the meat and sauté until potatoes are cooked.
Steps 1 and 2: Combine cubed/chopped carrots and potatoes with the meat and sauté until potatoes are cooked. | Source
Pie filling ready for the crust!
Pie filling ready for the crust! | Source

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 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 goodness.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Steps 1 and 2: Combine the flour with soft or melted butter and warm milk. Step 3: Divide the pastry into a dozen or more parts.Step 4: Shape each part into a circular/oval shape. Then fill each with meat fillings.Step 5: Fold over the other half and seal edges with a flour dusted fork.Step 6: Glaze pies with mixed eggs white for that glossy glaze.Step 7: Lay pastries on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degree F.
Steps 1 and 2: Combine the flour with soft or melted butter and warm milk.
Steps 1 and 2: Combine the flour with soft or melted butter and warm milk. | Source
Step 3: Divide the pastry into a dozen or more parts.
Step 3: Divide the pastry into a dozen or more parts. | Source
Step 4: Shape each part into a circular/oval shape. Then fill each with meat fillings.
Step 4: Shape each part into a circular/oval shape. Then fill each with meat fillings. | Source
Step 5: Fold over the other half and seal edges with a flour dusted fork.
Step 5: Fold over the other half and seal edges with a flour dusted fork. | Source
Step 6: Glaze pies with mixed eggs white for that glossy glaze.
Step 6: Glaze pies with mixed eggs white for that glossy glaze. | Source
Step 7: Lay pastries on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degree F.
Step 7: Lay pastries on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degree F. | Source

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.

Author: Comfort Babatola - © 2013

How Would You Rate This Pie?

3.7 stars from 19 ratings of Meat Pie

Questions & Answers

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      • JoannaBlackburn profile image

        Joanna Blackburn 

        5 months ago from Inleside On The Bay, Texas

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

      • profile image

        Jonas Bronck 

        9 months ago

        This looks good!

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        10 months ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

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

      • profile image

        Modupe Ali-Oke 

        10 months ago

        Very good recipe, I tried it.

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        2 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

        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.

      • profile image

        Poproxx 

        2 years ago

        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?

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        2 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

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

      • Francesca27 profile image

        Francesca27 

        2 years ago from Hub Page

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

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

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

        Thanks for the comment.

      • Kristine Manley profile image

        Donna Kristine 

        4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

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

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

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

      • Anamika S profile image

        Anamika S Jain 

        5 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

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

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

        @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. :)

      • kashmir56 profile image

        Thomas Silvia 

        5 years ago from Massachusetts

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

        Vote up and more !!! Sharing !

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

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

      • cathie bridges profile image

        Hamza Arshad 

        5 years ago from Pakistan

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

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

        @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 profile image

        Athlyn Green 

        5 years ago from West Kootenays

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

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

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

      • profile image

        ignugent17 

        5 years ago

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

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

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

      • girishpuri profile image

        Girish puri 

        5 years ago from NCR , INDIA

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

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

        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.

      • dwachira profile image

        [ Danson Wachira ] 

        5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

        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.

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

        @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 inscribed profile image

        Celeste Wilson 

        5 years ago

        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!

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

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

      • drpastorcarlotta profile image

        Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 

        5 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

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

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

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

      • lemonkerdz profile image

        lemonkerdz 

        5 years ago from LIMA, PERU

        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

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

        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.

      • DeborahNeyens profile image

        Deborah Neyens 

        5 years ago from Iowa

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

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

        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.

      • The Dirt Farmer profile image

        Jill Spencer 

        5 years ago from United States

        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.

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

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

      • Deborah Brooks profile image

        Deborah Brooks Langford 

        5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

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

        many blessings

        and thank you for follow

        Debbie

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

        @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.

      • Sharkye11 profile image

        Jayme Kinsey 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma

        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!

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

        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.

      • vespawoolf profile image

        vespawoolf 

        5 years ago from Peru, South America

        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.

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

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

      • lola oyedotun profile image

        Lola Oyedotun-Balogun 

        6 years ago from Calgary

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

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

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

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

        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!

      • profile image

        Deb Welch 

        6 years ago

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

      • Georgina_writes profile image

        Georgina Crawford 

        6 years ago from Dartmoor

        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.

      • Natashalh profile image

        Natasha 

        6 years ago from Hawaii

        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.

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

        @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 profile image

        rjsadowski 

        6 years ago

        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.

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

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

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

        @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!

      • ComfortB profile imageAUTHOR

        Comfort Babatola 

        6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

        @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!

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        6 years ago

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

      • sallieannluvslife profile image

        sallieannluvslife 

        6 years ago from Eastern Shore

        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 profile image

        Sherry Hewins 

        6 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

        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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