Michigan Miners Favored a Good Venison Pasty Recipe, Why Not You?

It’s hearty enough for deer hunters, clever enough for foodies. This venison pasty recipe was inspired by the first pasty recipe on record, written in 1746.
Michigan Miners Favored a Good Venison Pasty Recipe, Why Not You?

Pasties are beloved in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and many other areas in the region. By some accounts — it’s hotly debated — immigrant miners from Cornwall, England, introduced pasties to the state. The pasty looks similar to an apple turnover, but obviously features meat, not apples.

If you trace the pasty back to Cornwall, you’ll learn the first pasty recipe on record was written in 1746 and is currently held in the Cornwall Record Office in Truro, Cornwall. Yet, the pasty isn’t limited to the working man. In 1465 according to The Telegraph, 5,500 venison pasties were served at the installation feast of George Neville, archbishop of York and Chancellor of England. So versatile, the pasty!

First documented pasty recipe. Courtesy of Cornwall Record Office.

Recipe: Venison Pasty

What you’ll find here is a recipe from London’s Blueprint Café. It’s hearty enough to appeal to deer hunters, while capturing the imagination of foodies.  And, as Blueprint Café head chef Mark Jarvis notes, the pasty makes a great choice for cold months, when a warm, filling meal tastes best. But it's also a great choice when warmer days interrupt winter’s chill. Wrap a handful of pasties in newspaper, find a patch of grass and have a summer picnic.

Ingredients: (enough to make 6 to 8 pasties)

Photo courtesy of Blueprint Cafe, London.

 Note: Measurements have been converted to US Standard Units. Original measurements as provided by Blueprint Café can be found here  

1 cup red wine

¾ ounce carrot, diced into small cubes

¾ ounce potato, diced into small cubes

1 ounce white onion, diced into small cubes

1 pound venison haunch or shoulder, minced

½ ounce capers, roughly chopped

½ ounce gherkins, roughly chopped

½ ounce parsley, picked and roughly chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

2 ¼ pound all butter puff pastry*

1 egg yolk, lightly whisked

* If you prefer a pastry type more typical of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, checkout this recipe provided by Lawry’s Pasty Shop, via National Public Radio.


Reduce the 1 cup of red wine to ¼ cup and place to one side. Blanch the carrot and potato cubes in separate pans of boiling, salted water. Fry the onion until soft in a separate frying pan. Now, take a large mixing bowl and stir all three of these ingredients into the raw venison mince along with the reduced red wine, then the capers, gherkins and parsley. Now, fry the mixture off a little in a frying pan to brown the meat and, very importantly, taste to test the seasoning. Once the flavor is perfect, take it off the heat. Leave to one side until cool.

At this point you can place the mixture in the fridge until required or carry on and make the pasties. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Roll the puff pastry to a thickness of 6mm and, using a side plate as a template, cut it into 6-8 discs. Depending on your number of discs, place a sixth or eighth of the mixture in the middle of each pastry disc. Use a pastry brush to brush the edges with the egg yolk to help the pastry stick and seal together. Now crimp between fingers and thumbs. Place on a couple of baking sheets, and brush egg yolk all over each pasty.

Bake for 18 to 25 minutes or until golden. Rest for five minutes and serve immediately.

This article was originally published by Bowhunting360.com. If you're new to hunting and would like to learn more about archery hunting for venison, this website was developed with you in mind. Check it out!


Featured photo: Iron Town Pasties


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