The Cornish pasty (pronounced “pah-stee”) is one of the glories of British cooking, an oblong hand-pie with a flaky crust, enfolding cubed potatoes, peas, carrots, and ground beef or lamb.
It was once a meal for miners, carried into the pits of Cornwall wrapped in brown paper, and easier to carry than a lunch box. The pasty makes an entirely satisfying meal.
But it didn’t originate in the U.K., at least not in modern history. As you can see, it resembles an empanada, a pastry common across the Spanish-speaking world that was first invented in Galicia, Spain, as a big round pie. The empanada/pasty is just a portable version of the original
What do Galicia and Cornwall have in common? Both are populated with Celts, which is presumably how the pie got from Spain to England long ago.
You can get it in refrigerated form at Myers of Keswick. In the afternoons, you can sometimes snag one hot out of the oven. Just crane your neck over the refrigerator counter and see if you spot a tray of them sitting there, cooling.