Cornish Meat Pies: Pasteles de Carne
Although undoubtedly made without chile in their native Cornwall, these tasty, filling meat pies have been mexicanized in translation, usually with the addition of serrano chiles, either canned in vinaigrette or fresh. Some cooks incorporate cream cheese into the dough, but the filling is so rich, the pastes do nicely without the extra fat and calories.
For the dough:
- 1 pound flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup white lard or butter
- 1 egg yolk
- ¾ cup cold beer (do not use dark beer)
- Milk for brushing on the pastes
Place the sifted flour and salt in a bowl and work in the lard or butter, using your fingers or a pastry cutter. Add the egg yolk and then the beer, a little at a time, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover it with a cloth and allow it to rest in a draft free place for 1-1 ½ hours.
For the filling:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ½ onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
- ¾ pound beef filet, finely chopped
- ¾ pound potatoes, boiled, peeled and diced
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 3 serrano chiles without seeds, either fresh or canned in vinaigrette, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a large skillet, add onion and leeks and sauté until they begin to soften. Add the beef filet, the potatoes, and the broth. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wide spatula, until the broth has evaporated and the meat is browned. Stir in the chiles and parsley. Remove from heat and allow the filling to cool.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of ¼ inch. Cut it into circles of about 5 inches in diameter.
Place about 2 tablespoons of the cooled filling on each circle of dough, fold over and press edges shut. Flute edges with a fork to seal. Brush the pastes with the milk. Place them on a buttered baking sheet and allow them to rest for 15 minutes.
Bake the pastes in a pre-heated 350º F oven until golden brown. Serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 8.