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Upper Peninsula Pasties Recipe

Upper Peninsula Pasties Recipe

Meet the Cook: I grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where many people are of English ancestry and pasties - traditional meat pies often eaten by hand - are popular. Home is now a bush community. My husband and I have four children. -Carole Lynn Derifield, Valdez, Alaska
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. + chilling Bake: 1 hour YIELD:12 servings


  • 2 cups shortening
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 large red potatoes (about 6 pounds), peeled
  • 4 medium rutabagas (about 3 pounds), peeled
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Half-and-half cream, optional


  • 1. In a large bowl, stir shortening and water until shortening is melted. Gradually stir in flour and salt until a very soft dough is formed; cover and refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours.
  • 2. Quarter and thinly slice potatoes and rutabagas; place in a large bowl with onions, beef, pork and seasonings.
  • 3. Divide dough into 12 equal portions. On a floured surface, roll out one portion at a time into a 10-in. circle. Mound about 2 cups filling on half of each circle; dot with 1 teaspoon butter. Moisten edges with water; fold dough over filling and press edges with a fork to seal.
  • 4. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Cut several slits in top of pasties. Brush with cream if desired. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Serve hot or cold. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 12 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 950 calories, 49g fat (16g saturated fat), 72mg cholesterol, 1130mg sodium, 92g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 9g fiber), 32g protein.

Reviews for Upper Peninsula Pasties

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heather5278 User ID: 8269847 264637
Reviewed Apr. 13, 2017

"The dough recipe is good, but this is waaaay too much filling for 12 pasties. I made another half batch of dough for a total of 18 pasties and it was still too much filling. Got annoyed and threw the rest of the filling in a baking dish with a sheet of puff pastry on top. Next time will start with 2 lbs of meat and 2 lbs of potatoes and see what happens."

kping User ID: 7157325 263788
Reviewed Mar. 23, 2017

"I am originally from the UP too. I make these every so often. I have not made this recipe but close to what I make. I use round steak instead of hamburger. Just a helpful hint . . . use a cover of a pot to cut out the dough for pasty like a cookie cutter."

sugarcrystal User ID: 5836839 247757
Reviewed May. 1, 2016

"Great recipe. I grew up eating pasties, & every family has their own take on how they should be made...apparently some people on here believe their way is the only way. I believe that the pasty was invented to use up leftovers, or whatever suitable ingredients you have on hand, which is what we often did. We also frequently used venison or a combination of venison with pork."

Lcorynmu User ID: 8638548 238168
Reviewed Nov. 26, 2015

"The are not UP Pasties they are Finnish pasties. Pasties came to the UP from Cornwall England that were a staple of the miners lives. Never was the meat ground. That's just for starters,"

81chains User ID: 8624854 237614
Reviewed Nov. 18, 2015

"Interesting twist on the traditional. And sorry yourmominem, pasties came from Cornwall, UK."

Lisa52270 User ID: 8619395 237463
Reviewed Nov. 16, 2015

"There is No Garlic in the Traditional Pasty or Cream! I've lived in the U.P my whole life,now 45. If you add this you won't have the original.We also don't use Red potatoes,we use Russett,also a lot of pasty makers up here add some carrots"

STraye30 User ID: 8557733 233973
Reviewed Oct. 4, 2015

"Great recipe and dough is perfect for Pasties but this makes way too much filing for 12 of them. You could easily cut it in half and have more than enough."

redduck900 User ID: 8266487 220976
Reviewed Feb. 20, 2015

"The Pasty was brought to the UP via Cornish miners, not Finlanders! The Finns and others adopted them as their own. Being a Yooper all my life, never heard of Garlic in Pasties and they always use Russet Potatoes as that is what they grow there. UP has huge potato farms."

yourmominem User ID: 8218106 218147
Reviewed Jan. 18, 2015

"Great receipe!

The U.P pasty was brought to Northern Michigan via the Finlanders. You English folk can stick to the delicious Fish and Chips claim to fame lol."

tinkerbell40 User ID: 8151552 214573
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2014

"I'm making some today usually make pasty pie but going to hand some out and I usually use butter for my crust I'm going to try yours let you know how it turns out just got done making my pastys crust was awesome will definitely use it again"

vanillablue User ID: 8144954 214314
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2014

"This is my second time making this recipe and I really enjoyed it. I could not mound 2 cups of filling for each pasty if I make 12 pasties. Each pasty takes a heaping 1 C of filling. I made half of my pasties with regular potatoes and half with sweet potatoes. I used 2 # of ground beef and 1 # of turkey. Although I've also had success making them with all ground beef. If you follow the recipe and make 12 pasties they are very large and filling! The dough is really forgiving and easy to work with. I was able to roll it out quite thing without it tearing. I definitely will be making this again in the future. They also freeze beautifully. I let them cool completely and then wrap them individually before freezing. They can be reheated in the oven or microwave."

bigdaddycook User ID: 8121051 13486
Reviewed Nov. 24, 2014

"These were awesome. I did use ready made pie crusts. I will try the crust recipe next time, and there will definitely be a next time. Thanks for sharing."

jfb44 User ID: 8048347 14780
Reviewed Oct. 21, 2014

"we make these all the ntime"

joanmb45 User ID: 8025046 38474
Reviewed Oct. 6, 2014

"I loved the crust recipe. I'm from Houghton MI. I grew up on pasties. My mom makes the best pasties but I could never get her crust right unless she was standing next to me telling me what to do. Well now I finally found a great recipe. Of course I add carrots also. I did cut back on the salt in the crust a little. I make mine with ground beef no pork. I also leave out the garlic. After years of trying different crust recipes and failing. This recipe with the boiled water is so easy. I actually got a thumbs up from hubby after 15 years of trial and error. Thanks again I will pass this on."

doofette User ID: 4231229 14193
Reviewed Aug. 16, 2014

"The recipe was excellent, however, like a true Cornish Pasty I make mine with Lard. Any left over dough I form into discs wrap them in plastic wrap, and place them in zip lock bags. They thaw quickly and are just as good frozen as when the dough is made fresh. So if you feel like making just 1 or more, you only have to remove from the freezer the amount you need. I don't have to tell you that I am a Yooper and born and raised in the Upper Peninsula. If you come from a mining town you know how to make a pasty."

Sandielkb User ID: 7824599 34760
Reviewed Jun. 22, 2014

"These pasties were great. I just got back from Michigan and they were as good or better. The crust recipe I questioned the boiling water but it was great also. The Michigan ones were sorta more bread. I got mine from a shop 20 miles west of the bridge. Thanks for the great recipe!!!!"

l.steele User ID: 4926769 201503
Reviewed Feb. 4, 2014

"I too am a YOOPER now in Alabama. My Mom still makes pasty's. I cheat a bit. I buy premade pie crust and make a whole pie. I also grind my veggies with an old fashion counter clamp grinder. Everyone needs to try a Pasty. My southern hubby loves them. I do Ketchup, he likes brown gravy. YUM YUM."

Lpag2 User ID: 7599858 14779
Reviewed Jan. 11, 2014

"These are absolutely fabulous. I was a bit skeptical about the boiling water for the crust but it is exceptional. The one thing I did, going off others reviews, was half the filling recipe...mistake! I only went with heaping cup of filling, I got 12 and had crust left time, and there will be a next time, I will follow this to the T!!"

sunny-girl User ID: 7586470 14142
Reviewed Jan. 7, 2014

"Like the cook, I also grew up in the U.P. I have made this recipe and these pasties turn out exactly like those that the local U.P. bakeries sell; and they are extraordinary! They roll the dough very thin, though (maybe the reviewers are not and that's why they say "too much filling"). Carole, I don't know how you got a hold of this precious recipe, but thanks for sharing,"

waxeater User ID: 7557515 50649
Reviewed Dec. 25, 2013

"This recipe is great although measurements for the filling make WAY more than the crust makes.. I'd cut the filling recipe in half or at least double the crust recipe. Plus I'm not sure about making the crust with boiling water.. I'd add the lard to the flour/salt and mix until it forms pebble sized balls.. then add cold water slowly until you get the right consistency. You could also add carrots/take away the rutabaga depending on taste.."

patmcdaniels User ID: 7116250 38980
Reviewed Jan. 31, 2013

"Great texture and taste but this filling make enough for about 60 pasties! We halved it and made 19 pasties, then cooked up the left over to add to soup or casseroles."

bfirebaugh User ID: 6061101 20952
Reviewed Nov. 16, 2011

"I work as a demo cook at our local kitchen store. One day this was our featured recipe. One of our customers that day was visiting from England and he kindly remarked that our pasties prepared with this recipe were "Spot on"."

ajwarnemunde User ID: 5758806 14094
Reviewed Jan. 12, 2011

"I had never had a rutabaga before but have found the flavor to be an excellent match with the potatoes and onions!

I halved the recipe and am so glad that I did for my family of 4 as this yields a tremendous amount of food. Plenty of yummy leftovers!!
My only suggestion and this is only due to personal preference is that I would reduce the amount of potatoe by 1 and add carrots for another flavor. I did have a difficult time with the dough-most likely inexperience with pastry. So next time instead of making individual pockets I will make a large cake pan and fit the dough on the bottom, place the filling, and then add another layer of dough on top-A Pastie pie if you will.
I did find the slicing of the vegetables very time consuming. I would recommend a good and large food processor to help you chop them up.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I truly enjoyed it and can't wait to make it again."

lorri_lam User ID: 3866493 13212
Reviewed Oct. 25, 2009

"Finally a real U.P. Pastie recipe!"

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