Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pasty Pie

This is a true Michigan specialty from the U.P. (Upper Peninsula). It's pronounced "pah-stee." As opposed to "pay-stee." Miners used to take individual meat pies down into the mines with them for lunch. While this isn't individual, it is easy and just as tasty. You could easily use the filling to make individual pasty pies if you wanted to, although I haven't done that yet. You can either make your own pie crust, or use Pillsbury, whichever you prefer.

I have always loved these whenever we went to the U.P. I got this recipe from my friend Taryn, a long time ago when I was living with her son. =) I don't know how many generations of her family lives/has lived in the U.P., but as near as I can tell, most of them still do!

I feel like I need to clarify this Dad is from the U.P., that means he is a "Yooper." My relatives have lived in the U.P. for years and years (I don't have time to count). So this recipe is really nostalgic for me, I feel like pasties are a part of my heritage. I don't know if my grandma ever made them, she died when I was 7 so I never got to ask her. I happen to have been born in the Lower Penninsula, but that does not diminish my affection for or connection to the Upper Penninsula of Michigan.

It's not like I just "found" this recipe...

Also, there are other ways to make these, naturally. Any kind of ground meat will do. Jimmy Dean HOT sausage simply adds a little flavor, but does not diminish the "comfort food" factor of this dish. We use other types of meat too.

Pasty Pie

1 pie crust (for double crust pie)
1 lb. ground sausage (we use Jimmy Dean HOT)
1 onion, chopped
about 4 carrots, peeled and diced
4-6 potatoes, peeled and diced
1-2 rutabaga, peeled and diced
1/2 to 1 stick butter

Put pie crust in a 9- or 10-inch pie plate.

Cook and crumble sausage with onions until sausage is no longer pink. Place in large mixing bowl. Add carrots, potatoes and rutabaga, stir to mix well. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Pour into pie crust. You should have a mounding heap of vegetables filling your pie crust.

Sometimes I have too much filling and either make another pie or freeze the extra filling. Top generously with pats of butter.

Place second pie crust on top, flute edges and vent. Actually I vented this crust first--with an "R."

Bake in a 375 degree oven for about one hour until crust is golden brown and vegetables are tender.

Let cool a bit before serving, but serve warm/hot.

Pasty pie is traditionally (I think) served with a brown gravy, although some people (not me!) prefer ketchup. My dad uses both, if they're available! This pie is excellent with no accompaniments.

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