How to make beef pasties (Upper Peninsula Michigan Recipe)

A pasty (pronounced pass-tee) is a spiced meat and vegetable mixture in a dough wrapping. The versions beloved in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (UP) are based on the traditional Cornish pasty, an all-in-one meal favored by miners, who could carry the whole meal in a pocket. Other miners carried them in a metal lunch pail, which they turned over and opened, holding the lid over a fire as a pan to heat the pasty inside. This Michigan comfort food traditionally used diced beef and rutabagas, although modern-day recipes often substitute ground meats and carrots.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Sharp kitchen knife
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 5 to 6 large carrots
  • 1/2 cup rutabaga
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large mixing spoon
  • 6 refrigerated round pie crusts
  • 1 stick butter
  • Knife
  • 2 large baking sheets
  • Cooking spray or parchment paper
  • Fork


    • 1

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel and dice the potatoes and place them in the mixing bowl. Dice onion, carrots and rutabaga and combine them in the same bowl. Crumble the ground beef into the vegetables. Add salt and pepper. Mix well with a large spoon. Set aside.

    • 2

      Lay out one refrigerated pie crust round and cut it in two. Spoon 3/4 cup of the mixture onto one half of each piece of the dough. Cut a 1 teaspoon slice of the butter and place it on top of the mixture. Fold the empty half of each piece of dough over the filling. Seal the edges with water and crimp with a fork. Continue with the remaining pie crusts until you have made 12 pasties.

    • 3

      Place prepared pasties on greased or parchment-covered baking sheets. Carefully make two or three small cuts in the top of each pasty to vent. Bake for 45 minutes or until the pasties have a light brown color.

    • 4

      Remove pasties from the oven. Allow 10 minutes to cool before eating. Serve with ketchup or gravy, if desired.

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