Welsh pasties are a welcome change from Cornish pasties – having moved from Cornwall to Wales a few years back, once I saw Welsh pasties for sale I had to try a few – and they are different to Cornish pasties. As pasties they are still mostly made and sold in the same shape and style as Cornish pasties.
Which is best depends on your personal tastes of course. The taste of a Cornish pasty still brings back memories of many sunny days on beaches in Cornwall, but Welsh pasties are a change occasionally.
So I’ve tried a few Welsh pasties, all in the course of research you understand, to find out how they differ.
One fundamental difference between a Cornish pasty and a Welsh pasty is that the Cornish version has a very specific geographically protected recipe. This means the recipe and presentation have been absolutely nailed down and written down and very specific. Any variation means it doesn’t qualify as genuine. To be a Cornish pasty it has to be made IN Cornwall as well. The official recipe states the precise ingredients and shape and location of its manufacture.
Welsh pasties are much more fluid in that they can contain a variety of ingredients, all being equally valid and acceptable.
Many Welsh pasties contain Welsh lamb, Welsh leeks, redcurrant jelly and currants. Another variation contains Welsh lamb with redcurrant jelly, currants and mint.
It has to be Welsh lamb to be a proper Welsh pasty of course, Wales is known for its lamb in the UK. The leek is the national flower of Wales too, so Welsh leeks are the correct way to go. However, I appreciate that not everybody is an OCD Foodie, so lamb and leeks would be fine.
Other variations of the Welsh pasty that’s closer to the Cornish pasty is an old recipe containing Welsh beef, Welsh leeks, potato, onions and gravy.
So, there’s no real answer and no absolute Welsh pasty recipe at all. Many bakeries will bake their own secret family recipe, handed down from their grandmothers (or, by now, their great-great-grandmothers!). If you are in Wales, then there will be many of these for you to try.
As for a Welsh pasty recipe, I like to go with lamb rather than beef, as lamb is more traditionally a Welsh ingredient. However, beef is cheaper than lamb these days, so if you’re a bit strapped, why not try a beef pasty.
To Make a Welsh Pasty Recipe:
All you do is
- Make, or buy, your pastry. Roll/cut it out to shape.
- Gather your preferred ingredients together, chopping/slicing/dicing so they’re in small chunks.
- Place the ingredients onto one side of your pastry – you can either layer the ingredients (my preferred style) or mix them together. Fold the pastry over and seal, or crimp, the edges. Make sure it’s a tight seal/crimp so the filling doesn’t spill out.
- You can use an egg-wash if you wish, or even a milk wash, it’s not compulsory.
- Poke a couple of small holes in the top, to enable the steam to vent a little (although the steaming is part of the cooking process).
- Place your Welsh pasties on foil or parchment, on a baking dish.
- Bake at the bottom of a pre-heated oven at 180C (160C fan oven) for 40-50 minutes, until the pastry’s cooked and the colour you like.
- Remove from the oven and allow them to cool 5-10 minutes before serving.
Storing & Freezing Welsh Pasties:
Once cooked, if you put these pasties (once cooled) into a lidded container they’ll keep fine for 3-4 days. Alternatively, just wrap them in a freezer bag or foil and pop into the freezer.
To reheat bake for 15-20 minutes in a pre-heated oven (180C) from defrosted/cool, or you can cook from frozen by cooking them for 25-30 minutes in a pre-heated oven (180C)