Coming from Cornwall, I have a real weakness for a properly seasoned Cornish pasty, although to my mind they taste their best when eaten by the sea accompanied by the sound of seagulls! The pastry here is unusual because it’s made with strong bread flour, which results in a sturdier crust to support the robust filling.
To make the pastry, add the flour, butter, lard or shortening and salt to a large bowl and stir together until the fats are completely coated in flour. Gradually add just enough ice-cold water to bring it together into a firm dough that is not too sticky. There should be no loose pieces of fat or flour left in the bowl.
Turn on to a lightly floured work surface and roll into a rectangle about 1cm thick. With the shorter edge facing you, fold the top third towards you into the middle, and the bottom third up and over it, just like folding a letter. Turn the pastry by 90 degrees, roll out again to a 1cm-thick rectangle and repeat the folding, adding a little more flour as necessary to stop it from sticking. Repeat this turning, rolling and folding process 4 or 5 times. Wrap tightly in cling film and chill for an hour.
To make the filling, combine the beef, potato, swede and onion in a large bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside while the pastry chills.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6. On a lightly floured worktop, cut the pastry into 8 even-sized pieces. Shape into a ball and then roll each piece out to a circle about 5mm thick. Add a little pile of cooled filling to one half of each circle, leaving a generous 2cm margin around the edge. Bring the empty half of the pastry up and over the filling, encasing it completely. Press the edges of the pastry together, then twist along like a rope to crimp and seal. Brush with a little beaten egg and scatter over a few flakes of sea salt, if you fancy.
Spread the pasties over two baking trays and put into the hot oven. Reduce the heat to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4 and bake for 45 minutes until deep golden brown. Best served steaming hot from the oven.