Michigan UP Pasty
If you drive anywhere in the UP you are guaranteed to pass by sign after sign advertising homemade pasties. It’s like the equivalent of billboards for Wall Drug in South Dakota (except a much better end result in my opinion). Growing up in the suburbs of Minneapolis I had never heard of pasties, they just weren’t really a thing ( much more hotdish focused region). When I was 16 I helped my aunt drive on a road trip from Minneapolis to just over the Mackinac Bridge, and we were both intrigued over what the hell all of these handmade wooden signs for pasties were all about. It took awhile to track one down because it was the middle of winter and the UP can be a pretty bare place. If you drive along Highway 2 in the summer you will likely hit bumper to bumper traffic from all of the tourists. Drive it in the winter and you are more likely to hit a moose than a car. We eventually tracked some down in Escanaba, and what is not to love about meat and potatoes wrapped in a flaky pastry crust. They were brought over by Cornish immigrants who came to work in Michigans copper and iron ore mines and have become a staple of UP culture, along with Stormy Kromer hats, Gordon Lightfoot songs, Big Boy restaurants, referring to people as “trolls”, and getting drunk playing euchre. It’s really a great place to visit.
6 large Pasties
Most pasties are a simple mix of beef, potatoes, rutabaga, and onions. From theres you can find a lot of variations, some recipes call for finely chopped flank or skirt steak, some ask you to shred the potatoes and the rutabagas, and whether or not to include carrots can be a big debate. I say go with what you like but here is a basic place to start from.
3 c. flour
1 c. butter (cold)
1 c. cold water
1 tsp. salt
1 c. lean ground beef*
1 medium rutabaga 1/4 in. diced
1 russet potato 1/4 in diced
1 medium onion diced
1/4 c fresh parsley chopped (optional)
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 egg whisked
For the Dough
To a bowl add flour and salt
Cut butter into small cubes and add to flour.
Cut butter into flour with a pastry cutter, or pulse in a food processor until mixture is the size of small peas.
Slowly add in cold water and mix until a ball begins to form. Kneed briefly then wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge 1 hour so the dough can set.
For the Pasties
Peel and dice rutabaga and potato into about 1/4 in cut dice (a little smaller than bar dice. Dice onion.
To a bowl add vegetables, ground beef, parsley, salt and pepper and mix together well.
Divid dough into 6 equal portions and roll into balls. sprinkle flour on rolling surface and roll into about 8-9 inch circles.
Take about a cup of filling and place on one half of the rolled out dough. Fold over the other half of the dough. Cut off excess dough and crimp together edges ether with a fork or by hand. Then cut three small slits to release steam while baking.
Whisk egg with a little water to make an egg wash then brush the top with the egg wash.
Set on a baking sheet and bake in an oven at 350 for about an hour until crust is nice and golden brown. Server the Yooper way with ketchup, or with gravy.
I used 90% lean beef which worked great I wouldn't use any less than 80%
A lot of pasty shops use a mix of pork and beef. You could also use venison or moose if you have it.