This week was a busy, crazy week. Thanksgiving was a wonderful day spent with my hubby, my kids and my inlaws. I took some local freezer slaw that I put up months ago and homemade cranberry sauce that I canned last weekend along with a pumpkin cheesecake. I plan to do my own “Dark Days” Thanksgiving but I didn’t pick my turkey up until this morning and I don’t have the time to deal with him, so that will have to wait a week or two.
Instead, I needed a way to utilize my exciting new local ingredient! Thanksgiving morning my friend, Michelle, deliverd a 50lb. bag of freshly-milled, organic spelt flour from Organic Bean and Grain in Caro, Michigan. I’ve been looking forward to using it ever since I learned about it and I had just the recipe in mind.
When I was a kid, my mom used to make pasties. Much to my mother’s chagrin I ate them doused in ketchup. As an adult I fell in love with pasties all over again when I started making them myself. My husband, once a chef at both The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa and North Peak Brewing Company, and I started making our own pasties years ago. While most pasties are simple meat and vegetable pies, Hubby and I experimented with pasty recipes for a long time until we found the perfect recipe. Pasty purists might disagree, but they’ve never tried mine!
Angela’s Homemade, Local Pasties:
For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups cold, homemade butter
3 cups organic spelt flour
1 1/2 cups organic spelt flour
1 1/2 T. yeast
1 1/4 cups milk or buttermilk (leftover from making your butter)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup organic spelt flour
Cut butter into chunks and stir into the flour until coated and separated; chill. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour and yeast. Heat buttermilk, sugar and salt until warm (120-130°) and add to flour/yeast mixture along with the egg. Beat on low with an electric mixer 30 seconds and then on high for 3 minutes. Stir butter/flour mixture in with a spoon.
Sprinkle a board with a quarter cup of flour. Turn dough out onto the floured board and knead gently about eight times. Roll dough into a rectangle and fold into thirds, loosely wrap and put in freezer for 20 minutes.
Roll dough again, fold into thirds, turn 90° and roll again. fold and roll two more times, wrap dough and refrigerate for four hours.
Remove dough from refrigerator and cut into quarters. Return three quarters to the fridge. Roll the remaining quarter until it is about 1/4″ thick. Cut the rolled piece in half. These pieces will be used to make two pasties. The process will be repeated with the other quarters as necessary. You will probably have one or two quarters left over to freeze for later.
For the filling:
1-2 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 1/2 lbs. buffalo stew meat or roast cut into bite-sized chunks (tenderloin is preferable, but quite pricey)
salt, pepper, garlic
1-2 T. flour
water to cover
2 smallish carrots or 1 large one, diced
4 baby, 2 small or 1 large turnip(s), diced
1 medium potato, diced
1 small rutabaga, diced
shaved homemade cheddar
Drizzle a little olive oil into a preheated skillet. Add onion and stir to carmelize. Season buffalo with salt and pepper then dust with flour. Add buffalo to skillet and saute ’til brown. Cover with water and simmer until the meat is tender. Add vegetables and cook until the vegetables are al dente and most of the sauce has simmered away.
Spoon filling onto one half of dough semicircle. Sprinkle shaved cheese onto filling and fold pastry in half. Fold, pinch and crimp edges of pastry to seal filling inside. Bake in a 375° oven. Check after 15 minutes; you may need to cook them one or two extra minutes.
I served the pasties with a salad of mixed greens and carrots from Providence Farm, diced tomato and my old stand-by dressing: yogurt, minced garlic, homemade feta and cracked pepper. Even though we didn’t really need bread with our pasties, I couldn’t help myself and tried out my new flour on homemade spelt bread. Dinner was pretty labor intensive, but it was so good that it was worth every minute of prep time I put into it. Plus, I have leftover croissant dough stored in the freezer now to use another day.