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These are the ultimate Cornish Pasties. I made these with my Mum this weekend and I have honestly never had such a good homemade pasty. The pastry was amazing and I’m sure it’s all down to using lard. I’ve always been a little bit reluctant to use lard when baking because it is essentially just animal fat, but after reading a few articles on the Internet, I found that although lard has slightly more calories than butter (who’s counting calories while eating a pasty this size, anyway?), it may actually be healthier in terms of the type of fat and levels of cholesterol. That and the taste of this pastry is enough to convince me but if you’re not convinced you can always swap the lard for butter.

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Makes 4 large pasties. Ingredients for the pastry: 125g lard (saindoux for any french speakers), 100g butter, 500g flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 a pinch of salt, ice-cold water to bind and 1 egg for the glaze. Method: cut up the lard and the butter into chunks. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and use your hands to rub into what looks like fine bread crumbs. Add a tiny splash of water to help bind it into a ball. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

Ingredients for the filling: butter for frying, 1 onion chopped, 1 large potato peeled and chopped, 2 carrots sliced and chopped in half, 500g (marinated) rump-steak chopped into just under 1cm cubes, nutmeg, salt, pepper, a handful of fresh parsley chopped, Worcester sauce and tabasco to season. Method: cook all vegetables in butter, once soft add the chopped meat and brown the meat. Add all seasoning to taste.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Split pastry into 4 equal balls. Roll out into rounds – not too thin. Fill each with a quarter of the filling. Beat 1 egg in a bowl with a fork and using a brush, egg-wash halfway around the edge of the pastry as shown below. Fold the empty pastry over and fold and pinch the edges to seal. Place pasties onto a baking tray with greaseproof paper and egg-wash the tops. Be sure not to leave the pasties to sit long before cooking, fill them, glaze them and pop them straight in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes at 200°C and then turn the oven down to 180°C and bake for a further 15 minutes. Serve warm but be careful, they are piping hot!

Notes: Recipe adapted from Nigela’s How to be a Domestic Goddess

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Now, I’m sure I’ve said this before but if you make anything on this blog – make these! They are pretty fantastic if I may say so myself. xS