Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cornwall on My Mind

After becoming disenchanted with "Weeds" (which I'd been watching on DVD), our local librarian recommended Doc Martin, a British series about a London surgeon who gives up his practice after developing haemophobia (a fear of blood) and moves to rural Cornwall to become a small town's GP. 

The scenery is breathtaking, the characters richly varied and charming, and the many misadventures Doc Martin gets into hilarious! Think James Herriot without the people skills. There are all the eccentric rural folk you could hope for, a smart, lovely schoolteacher as a romantic interest, and lots of unusual medical emergencies. 

I'm one of those people that is susceptible to food suggestions. When a book I'm reading mentions that the characters were eating hot buttered toast, or tea, or whiskey, I have to get up and make myself something similar. When I read The Outlander series, I think I lived on oat cakes with honey.

So, as Doc Martin is set in Cornwall, what else would I crave but Cornish Pasties? Please don't confuse the name with those little circles burlesque dancers wear (and twirl). The word "pasty" rhymes with "nasty".
I found this recipe online and tweaked it a bit. 

In a small pot, boil 2 chopped potatoes and 2 carrots till just tender. Dice into small pieces. 
Mix these with a diced onion and about one pound ground beef.
Add salt and pepper, and some Worcestershire sauce. You could also add a bit of beef stock or dried beef bouillon powder.

For the pastry:
2 1/8 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup water.

Whisk the dry ingredients together, then add butter; crumble with your fingers till it resembles coarse oatmeal.

Add water and stir till just moistened.

Divide into 6 equal pieces, and make into balls. Roll into approximately 5-6 " circles.

Place a pile of the beef/veg mixture in the middle of the circle, and moisten the edges of the pastry with water.
Fold pastry in half,
and press together with a fork (we rubbed water along the edges first, to make them stick).

Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes, then at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes.

YUM! These are delicious cold, and are perfect for taking on lunches to work or school. We made some gluten-free pastry for Jude's pasties, and he gave them the thumbs-up, too.


  1. It's so funny that you posted this today. We were at the grocery store and my husband turned to me and asked (completely out of nowhere) "Mel, when are you going to make pasties again?" I then proceeded to explain to him that he was pronouncing it wrong and that I'd be happy to make them any time he wanted. So yes. Weird universe aligning thing here. (:

  2. I love Doc Martin series! We just finished watching the last season.

  3. Oh Yum! I love pasties (having spent 7 years in Australia) but have always been a little intimidated...Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Isn't Doc Martin wonderful? Some of the characters are such a hoot!
    I make turkey pasties from an old recipe of my grandmothers. My goodness, I need to make some today!

  5. I love the Doc Martin series. I am waiting patiently for Series 5 to come on DVD to the local library. I watched the first 4 on Netflix, but have since cancelled since I don't have time to watch anything right now.

    1. I'm afraid I'll have to wait for Season 5 to come out on DVD too!

  6. I'm so happy to hear I'm not the only one who is inspired bake and eat what she reads! I think I had the most fun (and the mst full belly) when reading Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe...who doesn't live breaks from good books for fried green tomatoes and biscuits!?

    1. Oh, yeah!! Fried Green Tomatoes is definitely a must, after reading the book or watching the movie. Or artichokes after watching Antonia's Line...

  7. I am reading this whilst on holiday in Cornwall - weird!!! We'll be sure to try out your recipe when we get home :-)

  8. When I was 19-20 (eons ago!), I lived in England for 6 months, and I fairly lived off cheese and onion pasties. I managed to hitchhike around Cornwall with a friend, and then I devoured the Cornish pasties. Cornwall was wonderful, and I recall the trip from Lizard Point (with scones from the Most Southerly Cafe) to Land's End (a bit touristy). I hiked on foot a good bit of the way, too, and it is one of the most beautiful places on this planet.

    I've got to make those pasties soon...and I think I need to rent Doc Martin!

    1. I assure you, you'll LOVE this series...I haven't been to Cornwall and know it's idealized in this series (the village looks like a postcard and the sun always shines) but I can almost smell the sea air when watching it.

  9. Funny, I just made wild blueberry pie yesterday, following your recipe and suggestions. Now I want to make THESE too. Will have to wait until the weekend though. Oh, and I LOVE that wooden cup!

    1. That's our salt favours from a friend's wedding (the bride's mother turned many many of them on her lathe and everyone got to choose a few to take home)...I love it too!

  10. Just started getting into the Doc Martin series after borrowing the DVDs from my it! :) Those pasties remind me of making homemade perogies with an older Ukrainian woman I used to know. yum!


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