How to Make Northern Michigan Pasties (With Pasty Recipe)

I love cooking for my family and am excited to share my recipes with you.


If you travel to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, you can't miss the restaurant signs for pasties. Pasties are a food that was brought here from Cornwall, England, by Cornish miners. The pasty was an easy meal for the miners to take along when working. They could be eaten without a fork and easily heated so that the miners could have a hot meal. The pasty was just put on their shovel and then heated over the overhead lamp in the mine.

As time went on, other ethnic groups added their own ingredients. Most pasties are made with rutabagas, but the recipe here uses potatoes instead. I've included ingredients that you probably already have on hand.

How to Make the Pastry Dough


  • 3 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c. + 2 T lard or shortening
  • 7-9 T ice water


  1. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  2. Cut in the lard or shortening until it resembles a coarse meal.
  3. Add the ice water, toss together, and gather the dough into a ball.
  4. Go back to the instructions above.

How to Make the Filling and Put It All Together


Makes 6 pasties

  • 1lb round steak, cut into ½” cubes
  • 2 c peeled, diced potatoes or use rutabaga or turnips
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Pastry (recipe and instructions follows)
  • 1 ¼ c chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • Beaten egg for glaze


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the steak and the potatoes. Set this aside.
  3. Now add to the steak and potato mixture the onions, parsley, salt, pepper, and thyme.
  4. Now divide the pastry into six different balls.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll each individual ball into a 7” circle.
  6. Spoon ¾ c of filling in a strip across the center of each circle.
  7. Bring both sides of the dough up over the filling, forming a seam.
  8. Pinch the seams to seal.
  9. Brush with the egg glaze and then place on baking sheet.
  10. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.

These are great to serve immediately hot as a meal or use later and heat up.

Enjoy the good eating!


Motorhome RVR on June 25, 2019:

Tried to make the pasty. Baked it as stated in instructions. The pastry turned out hard, not flaky at all. Any suggestions as to what might of went wrong?

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on March 21, 2018:


Mike Hardy from Caseville, Michigan on March 21, 2018:

I'm going to link to this recipe in my hub.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on November 08, 2014:

Lady_E, You should. These are good. Thanks for viewing.

Elena from London, UK on November 08, 2014:

Awesome Recipe. I would love to try it.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on May 19, 2013:

moonlake, My son and I love pasties. Yes, you should try the recipe. Thanks for viewing and voting it up.

moonlake from America on May 18, 2013:

I love pasties we live not far from the UP. There is a pastie shops in our town. My friend use to make them all the time I never tried. One day I may try your recipe. Vote up.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on February 20, 2012:

Fred, Thanks for your comments. I added your suggestions. I've always heard rutabaga was a main ingredient, but we trolls under the bridge have more potatoes available than rutabagas. I'll try it with rutabagas instead.

Fred Jack Miles on February 20, 2012:

It is not a pasty without turnips or rutabaga and gobs of butter inside to act as 'gravy'. FJ Miles, Sault Ste. Marie Michigan

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on December 14, 2011:

InTune, Thanks.

InTuneWithCooking from Australia on December 13, 2011:

I love a good pasty, great hub!

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on November 11, 2011:

Danette, Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'm happy to hear that is brought back good memories.

Danette Watt from Illinois on November 10, 2011:

I just came across your Hub and it brought back memories of growing up in MI and eating pasties. Am bookmarking your hub so I can come back and check it out again.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on December 16, 2010:

Actually, I have used leftover meat. I've never tasted a pasty that didn't have tender meat though. Maybe using leftovers is a good idea though.

Karen Metz from Michigan on December 16, 2010:

I have seen the signs for pasties when we have gone north. I am from southern MI. I have always wanted to try pasties! Now I can. I do have a question, does the steak get done enough and not tough? Thank you so much for sharing.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on August 15, 2010:

LillyGrillzit, Happy to hear I passed on a recipe that you will enjoy. Thanks for posting. Barb

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on August 15, 2010:

reddog1027 We've got it a lot hotter than usual here in Michigan this year too. I'm happy to hear that someone can use the recipe. Barb

Lori J Latimer from Central Oregon on August 15, 2010:

OMD! My stomach started growling the minute I opened this Hub! Pasties!!!Oh Yeah, sharing and bookmarking for further use! Yummy, Thanks

reddog1027 on August 15, 2010:

I am from Michigan and love pasties. Every year our church made pasties to sell as a fund raiser. How I miss them. Have added your recipe to my stash and will be trying them as soon as it cools down a little in Georgia. It sure is hot down here.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on August 15, 2010:

Daddy Paulm Mmm that sounds good. Thanks for commenting. Barb

Daddy Paul from Michigan on August 14, 2010:

Not a bad recipe.

I like beef pastys with mushrooms and a touch of garlic. I like pork pastys with peas. They look nasty but taste great.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on August 14, 2010:

Case1worker, I've never heard of swede. I did read that different nationalities changed the ingredients though and I'm sure it would be fine to add any extra vegetables or meats we have on hand to it. Thanks for commenting.

CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on August 14, 2010:

yes that is an authentic recipe! sometimes my mum says they used to put swede in ( a sort of turnip) really useful when there was rationing and everything had to go that bit further.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on August 14, 2010:

Starglade, My son can't go to Northern Michigan without eating these. When you say that about Wisconsin I remember seeing one of those restaurants there.

Starglade from behind the Cheddar Curtain on August 14, 2010:

These sound fantastic. I first encountered pasties in Stevens Point, WI, which was also settled by the Cornish. A little restaurant at the foot of Shake-Rag Street served pasties and figgyhobbin. Delicious!

Related Articles