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Cornish Pasty Calzone

Cornish Pasty Calzone

The humble British pasty originates as far back as the 13th century, enjoyed by royalty and the otherwise wealthy. The fillings varied and the flavours were rich, meaty, and luxurious. It wasn’t until the 17th century that pasties started to catch on with Cornish miners, who enjoyed them as practical and sustaining meals during a hard day’s work. Legend has it that the thick, crimped crust served as a handle for miners so they could avoid contaminating their food with dirty hands. In practice, the miners enjoyed the crusts so much, they started toting the pasties underground in bags!

A traditional Cornish miners’ pasty typically included beef, potato, onion, and yellow-fleshed swede (known in Cornwall as turnip, or rutabaga in North America); when cooked together, it formed a gravy. Meat was expensive and sometimes hard to source , so additional vegetables were often substituted to make ends meet. The pastry itself is a thick shortcrust made using lard or shortening, which might explain why miners were keen to eat the crust. (In our opinion, it’s the best part!)

We asked Cornish recipe developer Grant Batty (@grantbatty) to create a riff on this classic comfort food (and a few other iconic British dishes) using his Ooni pizza oven. As a Cornishman, Grant was keen to develop a pasty-inspired calzone, though he was careful to note (so as not to be disowned by friends and neighbours) that the two dishes are not the same. After several tasty experiments, he settled on a deeply satisfying calzone filled with a hearty beef sauce and a touch of crumbled Cornish blue cheese for a creamy, salty accent.

Notes: Bake the filling well in advance and make sure it’s at room temperature before placing it in the dough. The filling should be well cooked but not runny, otherwise the dough won’t cook sufficiently.

TIME
4 hours total; 40 minutes active (excluding dough preparation)

YIELD
Makes one calzone

Equipment
large casserole pot or Dutch oven
Ooni pizza oven
Ooni Infrared Thermometer
Ooni Pizza Cutter Wheel
Ooni Pizza Dough Scraper

Ingredients
1x 250-gram pizza dough ball
3 tablespoons (45 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
188 ounces (500 grams) braising steak
2 tablespoons (16 grams) flour
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
4 fluid ounces (125 millilitres) red wine
5 fluid ounces (150 millilitres) beef stock
1 teaspoon (5 grams) Marmite
1 tablespoon (15 grams) Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons (30 grams) tomato purée
2 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
3.5 ounces (100 grams) potato (preferably Cornish new potatoes, but any waxy alternative will do)
3.5 ounces (100 grams) swede
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 ounce (30 grams) Cornish blue cheese (or your favorite substitute)

Method
This recipe would suit a variety of pizza styles, but we think classic pizza dough, sourdough, or neo-neapolitan would be a great fit. Make sure to prepare your dough ahead of time to ensure it rises at room temperature before firing up your oven.

Preheat your conventional oven to 160°C (325°F). On the stovetop, warm two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a large casserole pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the beef until each piece is golden and caramelised. Cover with two tablespoons of flour and cook in the oil until each piece is brown on all sides.

Add the chopped onions and sautée until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the red wine, beef stock, Marmite, Worcestershire sauce , tomato purée, and garlic. Stir until combined and cook for 5 minutes to reduce.

Add the chopped potato and swede and stir well, scraping any burnt bits off the bottom of the pot. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for approximately 3 hours, stirring once every hour.

The beef is ready when it falls apart when pressed with a fork. Remove from the oven and let it reach room temperature.

When you’re ready to cook your calzone, fire up your Ooni pizza oven, aiming for 450°C to 500°C (850°F to 950°F) on the stone baking board inside. Use an infrared thermometer to quickly and accurately check the temperature of the stone.

Place a dough ball on your lightly floured work surface. Push the air from the center out to the edge with your fingers, or alternatively, use a rolling pin for more uniform thickness. Stretch the dough out to a smaller, 9-inch-round base of approximately a quarter inch (5 millimetres) in thickness, then lay the stretched dough over your lightly floured pizza peel.

To the center of the pizza, add a ladleful of the beef stew. Crumble your cheese over the top. Fold one half of the dough over the other to create a calzone shape. Crimp the edges as demonstrated here.

Give the peel a shake to check nothing is sticking, then launch the calzone into the oven for approximately 2 minutes, turning every 30 seconds or so, until it is thoroughly cooked.

Remove, slice in half if you like, and serve hot. Enjoy!

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