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Butte Irish Pasties

Pasties, savory meat and vegetable pies with a half-moon shape, are a traditional meal in western Europe, including in Cornwall, England, and Ireland. A portable way to carry a filling meal, pasties have historically been popular with coal-miners on both sides of the Atlantic. The pasty’s crimped edge provided a convenient handle that meant it could be eaten with uncleaned hands. The edge was then discarded. Irish immigrants working in the copper mining town of Butte, Montana, during the 19th century brought the pasties recipe with them. They remained popular even after the mining boom waned.

Recipe Servings: 6

Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Total Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1½ cups lard
  • 10 Tbsp ice water
  • 2 pounds top round steak, cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • 5 red potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 turnips, peeled and cubed
  • 1½ cups onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, more as needed to taste
  • 1 Tbsp salt


    For Crust:
  1. Place the flour, salt, and lard in a large mixing bowl. Working quickly, rub the lard into the flour with your fingertips until the texture resembles small peas. Pour in the ice water and shape into a ball. Add more water if needed.
  2. Divide the dough into six equally-sized balls. Wrap the dough balls in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes.
  3. For Filling:
  4. Stir together the meat, turnips, potatoes, onions, salt, and pepper in a bowl, until well combined.
  5. For Assembly:
  6. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  7. Roll a dough ball out to about ¼-inch thickness on a floured work surface. Leave the other balls refrigerated until ready to use.
  8. Trace a 9-inch circle in the dough and cut it out.
  9. Place about 1½ cups of the meat mixture in the middle of the circle. Fold up the edges to meet at the top crimp the dough to seal. Repeat the process with the remaining chilled balls until all the dough is used.
  10. Transfer the pasties to an ungreased baking sheet using a spatula.
  11. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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