Back in November, I shared on social media that I’d successfully made a low carb pasty, and multiple people told me they needed the recipe ASAP! So now that the holidays are behind us, I finally had a chance to put this together for you. And since it’s still the dead of winter, and we’re all craving comfort food, this is the perfect recipe to make this week.
Now, if you’re not familiar with a pasty (first of all, it’s pronounced like “past-ee” and not “paste-ee”) it’s basically a mixture of meat and vegetables enveloped in flaky pastry. What’s not to like about that?! It originated in Cornwall, England, but is also very common in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My grandma spent some time there growing up and I have relatives who still live there now and pastys have been a part of my life since I can remember. They’re the dish my dad requests for his birthday dinner every year. It’s no wonder I had to find a low carb pasty option.
The Pastry Crust
The filling of our family’s pasty consists of beef, carrots, and potatoes. So not only did I have to find a low-carb pie crust that would hold up, but I also needed to make some adjustments to make the filling more appropriate for a ketogenic diet. Luckily, rutabaga (or swede) is both lower in carbs and a traditional vegetable to find in a pasty, so that part was easy.
The pie crust was a little more difficult, but I came across this recipe from Gnom-Gnom that seemed promising. And while I haven’t changed any of the ratios in her recipe, I doubled it and changed the instructions a little to help make sure it works for you.
When I followed Paola’s instructions as written, I ended up with a lot of large chunks of butter in the crust, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it was very hard to work with and fell apart all over the place. My modifications may make the crust slightly less flaky, but it’s still flaky enough for me and doesn’t make me want to throw things when I try to work with it. I provided photos above to show you what the dough should look like 1: after the butter has been incorporated; 2: after the cream cheese has been incorporated; and 3: the final product.
If you have a smaller food processor, I’d suggest making the dough in two separate batches. You could also do it by hand with a pastry blender.
This dough has egg in it. It stands up incredibly well to a heartier application like this one, but it is slightly sturdier than what you might like for a regular pie.
The downside to this recipe is that it must be refrigerated for at least an hour, and is the best if left overnight. I find it easier to make this a day ahead because it’s too hard to start dinner an extra hour ahead in our schedule. But you do what works for you. Paola also says this can stay in the fridge up to 3 days, so go ahead and make it even earlier if you like.
While the dough is in the fridge, you can turn to your vegetables. I used carrots, rutabaga, and onion. Now, these veggies are not the most low-carb– they’re all root vegetables which mean they’re automatically higher in starches. But in the amounts in this recipe, they’ll still easily fit into your ketogenic diet. I included this photo to help you get an idea how much of each of these to use, but I highly recommend using a kitchen scale for accuracy. I use this one.
For best results, you’ll need to dice the vegetables pretty small. I diced them smaller than I used to when I made regular pastys because it keeps the pastry crust from breaking as easily when assembling and also because the crust browns more quickly so I want to bake it for less time while still getting the vegetables cooked.
Once the vegetables are chopped, mix them together with one pound of ground beef. Season with salt and pepper.
Here’s where my next tip comes in. Even after being refrigerated, this dough is softer than regular pie crust. And if you don’t want to end up swearing, throwing things, and cursing the day you were born, here’s what you need to do. You must roll each crust portion between 2 sheets of parchment paper. But this is not enough. It will stick like crazy. So sprinkle the parchment with oat fiber before you roll the dough out. I chose oat fiber because it’s very very fine, like regular flour, and it doesn’t add any flavor. However, if you don’t wish to use oat fiber, I’d suggest coconut flour.
Roll the dough into an oval shape.
Put a portion of the filling on one half of the dough. What you see above is a little excessive. I can never get it just right. By my eighth pasty, there was not quite as much filling as I’d like. Also, overfilling the pasty makes it harder to close it up without breaking the dough.
Fold the dough over the filling and crimp the edges. This works best if you fold it over using the parchment, and then peel the parchment off before crimping. Then, I just cut off the excess parchment and place the pasty on a baking sheet with the remaining parchment underneath it.
This will hold up best if you can put your baking sheet back in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. But I’ll understand if you can’t.
Bake at 375°F for about 45-55 minutes, or until the outside is golden and the inside temperature reaches at least 170°F. If you notice the outside getting too dark before the inside is cooked, you can cover with foil partway through.
Mmmm. Flaky, meaty, vegetable goodness all up in there. Comfort food to the max.
And while I never eat my pasty without ketchup, most conventional ketchup is loaded up with sugar. There are multiple recipes out there for making your own keto ketchup, but let me tell you how excited I was when I found this unsweetened ketchup at my local health food store! And my kids will even eat it! Hashtag winning!
Come to mama.
OMG guys! I didn’t even tell you about the best part. YOU CAN FREEZE THEM. So when I make up a batch of these, I bake 4 of them right away, and freeze 4 for another meal later. And you can bake them right from frozen! Just cover with foil and increase the baking time to 1-1.25 hours. Two meals for the work of one. My favorite thing.
Low Carb Pastys
For the crust:
190g almond flour
80g coconut flour
1 tsp xanthan gum (optional, but helps a lot)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
200g | 14 T butter, cold
110g | 4 oz cream cheese, cold
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
oat fiber for rolling (or more coconut flour)
For the Filling:
200g rutabaga (swede), diced small (about the size of one softball-sized rutabaga)
95g carrots, diced small (about 2 medium carrots)
60g yellow onion, diced small (about 1/4 of a large onion)
1 lb ground beef (I use 80/20)
salt and pepper to taste
Make the crust: Place dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add cream cheese and pulse again until it looks like wet sand. Add eggs and vinegar and pulse just until incorporated. Turn dough onto a length of cling wrap and form into a disc. Wrap tightly at refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight (up to 3 days.)
When ready to make pastys, heat the oven to 375°F.
To assemble the filling, mix chopped veggies with beef, and season with salt and pepper.
Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a round, and place on a piece of parchment liberally sprinkled with oat fiber. Sprinkle more oat fiber on top, then place another piece of parchment on top. Roll between the two sheets of parchment to 1/8 inch thickness, in the shape of an oval. Peel off top piece of parchment. Place 1/8 of the filling on on one half of the oval, then use the parchment to fold the dough over the filling. Crimp edges. Trim off excess parchment and place on a baking sheet (or two, if baking all 8 at once.) Repeat for all pieces of dough. Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before baking.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until outside is golden and inside has reached 170°F. If they start to brown too quickly, cover with foil for the rest of the baking time.
Assemble the pastys, but do not trim excess parchment. Instead, fold parchment over the pasty, then wrap in foil. Freeze in zip top bags for up to 3 months. To bake, unwrap foil and trim excess parchment. Place on baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake at 375°F for 1-1.25 hours or until they have reached an internal temperature of 170°F.
Nutrition Facts: (for 1 pasty) Calories: 550 kcal; Total Carbs: 12.2g; Fiber: 5.5g; Net Carbs 6.7g; Protein: 20.6g; Fat: 48g
Want to learn more about a ketogenic diet? You can sign up to get my free Keto Made Easy guide, with all my tips on how to start and make it work for you!