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Beef Joint Pasty

Pies and Pastries

A pasty made with whole, not, as is more usual, diced, beef. A whole beef joint encased in pastry.

This is a grand dish, and most known versions employ relatively sophisticated preparation, as in the receipts here, and are served with a rich wine sauce, as is the case with the modern Beef Wellington

A modern form of Beef Joint Pasty - the Beef Wellington
Image: Parkerman & Christie

Original Receipt in 'The Queene-Like Closet' (1672) by Hannah Woolley (
Wooley 1672)

21. To make a Pasty of a Breast of Veal.

Take half a peck of fine Flower, and two pounds of Butter broken into little bits, one Egg, a little Salt, and as much cold Cream, or Milk as will make it into a Paste; when you have framed your Pasty, lay in your Breast of Veal boned, and seasoned with a little Pepper and Salt, but first you must lay in Butter.

When your Veal is laid in, then put in some large Mace, and a Limon sliced thin, Rind and all, then cover it well with Butter, close it and bake it, and when you serve it in, cut it up while it is very hot, put in some white wine, sugar, the yolks of Eggs, and Butter being first heated over the Fire together; this is very excellent meat.

Original Receipt in 'The Cook and Housekeeper's Dictionary' by Mary Eaton (Eaton 1822);

BEEF PASTY. Bone a small rump or part of a sirloin of beef, after hanging several days. Beat it well with a rolling pin; then rub ten pounds of meat with four ounces of sugar, and pour over it a glass of port, and the same of vinegar. Let it lie five days and nights; wash and wipe the meat very dry, and season it high with pepper and salt, nutmeg and Jamaica pepper. Lay it in a dish, and to ten pounds add nearly one pound of butter, spreading it over the meat. Put a crust round the edges, and cover with a thick one, or it will be overdone before the meat is soaked : it must be baked in a slow oven. Set the bones in a pan in the oven, with no more water than will cover them, and one glass of port, a little pepper and salt, in order to provide a little rich gravy to add to the pasty when drawn. It will be found that sugar gives more shortness and a better flavour to meat than salt, too great a quantity of which hardens; and sugar is quite as good a preservative.

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