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Upper Peninsula Pasties


  • 2 cups shortening
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 medium red potatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled
  • 2 small rutabagas (about 1-1/2 pounds), peeled
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 medium onions, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Half-and-half cream or a lightly beaten large Eggland's Best egg, 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. Cut potatoes and rutabagas into 1/8- or 1/4-inch cubes; do not make cubes too large or they will not cook properly. Gently combine ground pork and beef; break into small crumbles. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, rutabagas, onions, meat mixture and seasonings.
  • 3. Divide dough into 12 equal portions. On a floured surface, roll out one portion at a time into a 8-in. circle. Mound 1-1/2 to 2 cups filling on half of each circle; dot with 1 teaspoon butter. Moisten edges with water; carefully 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. If desired, brush with cream or beaten egg. Bake at 350° until golden brown, about 1 hour. Cool on wire racks. Serve hot or cold. Store in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts

1 pasty: 757 calories, 44g fat (13g saturated fat), 46mg cholesterol, 1060mg sodium, 69g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 5g fiber), 19g protein.


Average Rating:
  • Nancy
    Feb 19, 2019
    My grandmother grew up in the UP taught my Mother and she taught me. Use ground sirloin and pork add the spices to the meat! I make 65 a month for friends and family!
  • clmgrose
    Jun 26, 2018

    I searched for this recipe after tasting my first pasty while in England. These were very flavorful, but not quite as good as what I had there. This might have been due to my choice of beef. I also might try adding some butter to the crust. Still, these were a big hit with my family and I will make them again.

  • ms11145
    Jun 14, 2018

    I really really wanted to like these . I directed a tour to UP a few years back and my group at these at Tahquemonon Falls so I was excited to find this recipe. I guess it's me but family and I didn't care for these. I threw them out. "-( I have read great reviews on this recipe, so something went terrible wrong on my end. The filling was good.. That is why it is receiving 4 stars

  • Katy
    Feb 27, 2018

    Standing up and cheering for you, GammyD. It's funny that I saw your response now, because it was actually back in October that I first tasted this recipe. I'm from Michigan, too, but I believe you would call me a troll (I live under the bridge, for you non-Michiganders; I'll forgive that), so I don't have too much experience with pasties. What experience I did have, I wondered what on earth was the big deal. They've always been dry as a bone and bland. So when my daughter was going to do a special class at school that focused on Michigan foods, and they planned to make pasties, I wasn't too excited. However, as I helped out, I realized how easy they are to make, and this dough is amazing. I couldn't believe how easy it is to work with! Still, it's not worth it if they don't taste good. These were delicious. THAT is a good crust. Not the hard-to-swallow dry crusts that I had eaten before. As for the garlic, I can't think of a time when I use ground beef that I don't use garlic powder. So I am totally with you on that. As for all the other criticism....whatever. Yes, we did have lots of leftover filling. And you know what? The teacher took that leftover filling and made a delicious cheeseburger potato soup for the kids' lunch on the last day. It was so good that I am planning on the same thing later this week, so hopefully I have leftover filling once tonight's pasties are assembled!

    People are funny. Especially with regional recipes, people seem to think that their way is the only way. How boring would that be? Of course some small changes get made over generations and within families. I personally have at least 5 various spaghetti recipes. It depends on my mood. Frankly, if I had nothing but the pasties that I had in the past, I wouldn't be making them tonight. So thank you for your recipe. My daughter is very excited for dinner tonight.

  • GammyD
    Dec 31, 1969

    Did it ever occur to anyone that taste of home made some changes to my recipe? I never use cream either geeze bunch of critics. I've never put anything on my crust. I also had in my recipe where i used chopped beef and pork that I did myself which they omitted as well. I don't like carrots in mine so why add them? Also yes I can use all the filling gotta roll that crust thin. If you can't I don't know make another batch of crust. Simple as that. They freeze great. Then you'll have available when you get the craving. I make about 40 at a time. I don't know bout most but we all cook different to our own liking. I learned from the best my Finnish gramma, my mom and other gram both neither cornish or Finn. I was born and raised in Hancock and I've eaten many. I make mine a combo of all 3 how they make theirs because that's how "i" like them! I hate lard it's old fashioned and would never use in this day and age. Don't nitpick using red potato until you try it with some garlic powder flavoring along with alot of salt and pepper is how "i" like my pasties. Ird not garlicky I add enough to add some more flavor cuz I love garlic! I'm sure all the miners wives back in the day used whatever potato and meat, etc. they had. Not many choices and poor. Just an FYI from this Yooper who makes it her way but it's still very much a yooper tradition! I

    don't think i've ever had any two pasties that were the alike in the Yoop and I've enjoyed most except the ones made with heavy old lard! Thanks to those who have an open mind ??

  • Todd
    Dec 31, 1969

    I'm making these tomorrow. Recipe sounds authentic. I'm curious though, what is creating such a high carb count on these? 92 seems like an awful lot for a 10" diameter piece of dough, with a few cubed potatoes. I'm diabetic, so I suppose I can cut it down to an 8" diameter, and take out some of the taters to whittle down the carb count.

  • peanutsnona76
    Dec 31, 1969

    Oh beloved pasties! Grew up a Yooper. As stated by others, they are Cornish, adopted by the Finnish, English, Croatian-even Italian miners of the U.P. The ultimate U.P. comfort food! All of our Grandmas' recipes are the best, yes? This recipe is not close to mine-except for the firm crust using boiling water. Makes the crust firm enough to make perfectly portable pasty. Russet potatoes, no garlic, no cream. (Cream was not something a poor miner's family would use in an everyday lunch.) Double the crust and make more, smaller pasties. Not a true U.P. old-time recipe.

  • heather5278
    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
    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
    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.

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