When to make a Pasty

So here’s the thing: I love a good pasty.

What is a pasty, you ask? Am I leaving out an ‘r’, and talking about pastry? No.

I am talking about pasties. Delicious hand held pies, filled with meat and root vegetables. Don’t skip the potatoes, don’t skip the carrot, and what ever you do please don’t skip the rutabaga. You probably shouldn’t skip the onion and celery either. Just don’t skip any ingredient.

Pasties on a plate

So here’s the other thing: making pasties is pretty time-consuming when you do it right. You should really make your pie crust from scratch, because the crust add so very much to the pasty eating experience. They keep beautifully, and freeze well after cooked, so when you make a big batch the time investment pays off.

But here’s the other… other thing: there is rarely a good time to make a pasty. It’s a time investment, your home gets heated up by the oven, and after you cook them they need to cool completely before you can wrap and store them.

Is a weeknight ever a good time to make a batch of pasties? Absolutely not. I knew I had a hankering for these, because every time it even occurs to me to make pasties I get the hankering. I thought of them last week, and I’ve held off as long as I could. In theory, I really should have made them over the weekend. Unfortunately I was too busy taking it easy for Mother’s day, and wasn’t motivated to spend the better part of a day preparing a large batch of food. This next weekend would be a good time to do it, but I have to dedicate some serious time to the yard work I’ve been putting off. Sigh.

In theory, a clever person can break up the prep for this recipe. Pie crust one day, most of the chopping the next, and assembly/baking on the third day. My friends, this week I am going to attempt to be clever. So! here is my weekly menu plan, with pasty prep-steps included.

  • Monday Chicken in creamy pesto sauce, served over rice. Like this recipe, but I add the broth first to get the brown bits off the pan, and also add a touch of sour cream. Sautéed green beans on the side.
    • Prep & assemble tomorrow night’s lasagna while making tonight’s dinner. It’s a lot of multi-tasking, but not too bad.
  • Tuesday Bake the pre-assembled lasagna layers of ricotta cheese, chard sautéed in garlic and butter, meaty-marinara, and mozzarella cheese. Sautéed broccoli and garlic bread on the side. Revel in as much kid time as possible.
  • Wednesday Greek Chicken Salad! Yes, this is happening again! It’s really all I can do to not eat this daily. Sautéed chicken thigh with lemon pepper seasoning/garlic, rice with lemon/dill/feta, sliced grape tomatoes, cukes in tzatziki-ish sauce, green onions, and pre-fab greek dressing. Topped with more feta & pita chips for croutons.
    • Day one of pasty prep: prepare the dough. My favorite recipe is not exactly traditional, but I use this cream cheese pie dough from lovely and talented Lucinda Scala Quinn. Here’s her video on making it into a pocket pie, I make mine a bit larger than she does. After making the dough, I’ll roll it into small, individual pocket pie sized balls, and stash it in the fridge til it’s ready to be rolled and baked.
  • Thursday Skillet Sausage and cabbage. Pretty much the same as this recipe, but I made with fire roasted pobalnos instead. I use about half the cabbage than is called for, so I also serve this with green beans and boiled red potatoes.
    • While slicing and dicing for this meal, cut up carrots, celery, and rutabaga. NOT onions or white potatoes, because those really don’t keep well after cutting.
  • Friday Pasty day! Right when we get home, kids and adults get a snack of apple slices with peanut butter to tide us over, because dinner will be later than 6 by a long shot. Bring out the beef, dice up potatoes and onions, toss in the other prepped veggies, roll the dough, fill, and bake for an hour. Once they’re out of the oven, they’ll need to cool for a good 15 minutes,  so cook the side of broccoli after they’re pulled from the oven.
  • Saturday/Sunday I’m going to wing it, and see what happens. I’m sure there will be leftovers, my only real plan is to bake some bread and throw together a soup with whatever I have in available. I’m hoping for potato broccoli cheese at some point, but we always seem to run out of broccoli.

So there you have it. If all goes according to plan, I will have my coveted pasties. What are some of your favorite, most craved meals?

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