Great Grandma Johns' Pasties Recipe -
Great Grandma Johns' Pasties Recipe
  • READY IN hrs

Great Grandma Johns' Pasties

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"This recipe originated in Cornwall England, and was adapted by my Great Grandmother Johns. It was originally made for the coal miners and wrapped in butcher paper. The hard pastry shell would keep the juicy contents fresh until the miners were ready to eat. My Grandma would serve with relishes and Coca Cola. If you want to make these more quickly, you can use refrigerated pie crusts instead of the pastry recipe."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr

    1 hr 30 mins


  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cut in butter with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Stir in cold water with a fork until the mixture is able to come together in a ball. Knead a couple of times then divide pastry into two pieces. Pastry may be refrigerated for later use at this time.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll out each half of the pastry into a 10-inch circle.
  3. Place half of the potato slices in a line down the center of each circle, leaving at least 1 inch at each end uncovered. Arrange onion slices over the potatoes, and season with salt, pepper and some of the dried parsley. Place half of the beef cubes over each onion layer, then season again with salt, pepper and dried parsley. Fold the edges over the pastry over the filling, and tuck in the ends.
  4. Transfer the two pastries to a greased baking sheet, and cut a few slits in the top of each one for ventilation.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven, and reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spoon 1 teaspoon of water into each slit on the tops of the pasties. Return to the oven, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve whole, or cut into halves.
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  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 23, 2005

This is very good, and similar to my husband's grandmother's recipie. As my family got larger, i had to find shortcuts because time would not allow. If i am short on time, i use the refrigerator pie crusts and frozen hash browns and i always add a little chopped up carrots. My kids devour them w/ground beef so if using that, brown and drain first. Thanks for the tip w/the water at the end, i never used that and it certainly makes them moist and w/gravy inside! Serve w/gravy or (for the younger ones) catsup on the side! Yum! If you make them smaller, bite or two size, they make a great appetizer too!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 12, 2004

I thought this was good and different. I added chicken bouillon to the water along with a little garlic powder.


36 Ratings

Aug 21, 2008

Looks like a great recipe! I use my great-grandma's recipe who used to make pasties for the miner's in upper Michigan (da U.P., eh!) I am just writing to give a couple of suggestions. To keep the insides moist use lard or butter. Lard is what was traditionally used. You could also try using a 1/2 & 1/2 combination of pork and beef, that is what my recipe calls for. A modern twist to add some great flavor to the pasties (also a secret ingredient of a pasty shop in the U.P.) is onion soup mix. A whole package is a little bit too much unless you are making a huge batch, so go light until you have a feel for how much you like. Hope this helps!

Jul 12, 2007

The true Cornish pastie recipe! However, we do add rutabaga to this, and cut back the amount of shortening. This recipe reminds me of the Cornish pasties we had in Cornwall, wrapped in wax paper and required to be eaten with both hands. A little time consuming, otherwise good for people on a budget and who have the time on their hands to make something like this. Highly recommended.

Mar 21, 2007

This recipe reminded me of my grandma's recipe. For extra enhancement, I seared the sirloin pieces, added minced garlic, sliced carrots and frozen peas. Beef bouillon granules mixed in with the water at the last step adds more flavor. Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories on a North Dakota farm.

May 21, 2007

Great!! I hadn't made pasties in over thirty years, and this recipe tastes just as I remember! I used one more potato than the two the recipe calls for, and I dotted the filling with margarine before placing the pie crust over the top. I also cooked them for 10 more minutes than the 1 hour in the recipe, and I laid a piece of foil loosely over the top once the crusts were brown. I will make this again!

Aug 14, 2009

This is a nice simple recipe. For a busy night shortcut, I used the Pillsbury pie crusts, and serve with Heinz jar gravy. You can whip them up pretty quickly and pop them in the oven.

Aug 23, 2010

I use ground beef in mine, and I tend to make a HUGE batch of these every fall because they freeze so well and are great throughout the colder months. Grew up eating these covered in ketchup and even now that is still my favorite way to eat 'em.


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  • Calories
  • 621 kcal
  • 31%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 57 g
  • 18%
  • Cholesterol
  • 45 mg
  • 15%
  • Fat
  • 34 g
  • 52%
  • Fiber
  • 4.1 g
  • 16%
  • Protein
  • 21.3 g
  • 43%
  • Sodium
  • 186 mg
  • 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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