Preheat the oven to 400F. Using a pastry brush, coat a large baking sheet with the 1 Tablespoon of softened butter, set aside.
6 -8 cups all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 lb lard, chilled and cut into ¼ inch bits, (do not use shortening)
1 egg and enough ice cold water to make up 1 cup
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
In a large chilled bowl, combine the flour, salt & lard. Working quickly rub the flour and lard together with your fingertips until they look like coarse crumbs. Lightly beat the egg in a 1 cup measure and add enough ice cold water to make up 1 cup, add the vinegar also. Pour in all at once into flour/lard bowl, toss together and add up to 2 tablespoons of water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until particles adhere. Do not add too much extra water or the dough will be sticky and tough. Dust the pastry with a little flour and wrap it in wax paper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile make filling.
1 cup coarsely chopped white or yellow turnips (do not leave out as is traditional)
2 cups finely diced lean boneless beef, preferably top round
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
2 cups finely diced carrots
2 cups finely diced potatoes
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Water to moisten pastry rounds
1 egg lightly beaten, for glaze
With a large spoon, toss the turnips, beef, onions, potatoes, salt & pepper together. Refrigerate till pastry has rested for 1 hour.
On lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle about ¼ inch thick. With a pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut the dough into 6 inch rounds using a small plate or pot lid as a guide. Gather the scraps together into a ball, roll it out again, and cut it into 6 inch rounds as before.
Place about ¼ cup of the mixture in the centre of each pastry round. Moisten the edges or the rounds with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, then fold the rounds in half to enclose the filling completely. Press the seams together firmly and crimp them with your fingers or the tines of a fork. Place the pasties on the prepared baking sheet, and cut two slits about 1 inch long in the top of each pasty. Brush lightly with the beaten egg and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350F and bake for 30 minutes, or until the pasties are golden brown. Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes 16 six inch pasties
These were traditionally carried in the Cornish tin miners lunch buckets, a meal in themselves.