Roll out your pastry to about eigth of an inch thick and use a dinner plate to cut a couple of circles out of it, if you are not expert enough to roll out your pastry in a circle. On one side of your circle of pastry put a layer of potato, then turnip, then onion, then meat. Sprinkle a little suet on for extra moistness and season with salt and pepper.
Bring the other half of the pastry circle over the filling and press the edges together. Now crimp your pasty. This is a black art and when I find someone who can explain it fully I will put the info up on these pages. Having seen it done it is sort of a double fold, turn and tuck of the pressed edges producing the familiar rolled finish to the pastry join. Done correctly you end up with a join that looks like a piece of rope running along the edge of the pasty. Poke a hole in the top of the pasty to allow the steam out. You can use spare pastry to put initials on so you know whose pasty is whose!
Brush the top with milk and bake in a pre-heated hot oven (220C) for 15 minutes then lower the heat to 140C and continue cooking for about an hour.
A Cornish tin miners packed lunch, tradition has it that one end was savory (as above) and the other end sweet, containing something like apple. A full meal in a single handy container.
Pasties are great eaten hot or cold.
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