Mineral Point, Wisconsin: A little history and an old recipe

Mineral Point

Mineral Point, WI

Mineral Point, Wisconsin

Beautiful and historic yet quaint and full of charm, Mineral Point is an Iowa County city that has received a lot of attention! Founded in the early 1800s, this area attracted miners and their families from Cornwall, England. Imagine working in a mine all day (hard work!) and what type of sustenance would keep you going? The wives of these miners sent their husbands off in the morning with a hearty pasty (that’s PASty with a short “a”, not long “a” as in the other type of “pasty” that we won’t mention in a family column!) A Pasty is a crust wrapped around meat and potato filling. In many instances rutabagas were used in place of meat.

Over the years the recipe has grown and flourished and considered a local delicacy. Schools and organizations will often have pasty sales as fundraising events.

Having grown up across the Mississippi River from Wisconsin, my mother used a recipe she found in a newspaper clipping and in her version, she made it in a 9×13 cake pan with a bottom crust and top crust, much like a large pie. In the early years the crusts were made thick and hard so as to not crumble before the miners had a chance to eat the pasties. Today’s recipes favor a more flaky, traditional pie crust. Either way, these delicious treats will warm you up right quick!

Following is my mom’s recipe for Pasty:

Filling: Dice 3 medium potatoes and 1 small onion. Break up 1 pound of ground beef with a fork and combine the ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.

Crust: Mix 2 cups of flour, 2/3 cups shortening and 1 tsp salt to the consistency of bread crumbs. Add ½ cup cold water and mix. Roll out dough to about 12×8”. Cut into 3 pieces and fold each piece over 1/3 of the filling. Add a few drops of water.

Bake 55-60 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Note: You can substitute some or all of the potatoes with rutabaga, and my mom added bacon for extra flavor. Locally, some cooks like to substitute cubed sirloin for the ground beef. Experiment and enjoy!

Information provided by Nancy K. Smith, First Weber Group Southwest Regional Manager
First Weber Group-Dodgeville , Platteville , Mineral Point , Spring Green , and Muscoda

Thanks for reading the Wisconsin Real Estate & Wisconsin Living blog for a little history and an old Wisconsin recipe. If you haven’t visited Mineral Point Wisconsin before, you should spend a day or two there. There’s a large artist community and many historical sites including Pendarvis and Shake Rag Alley. It is a beautiful small Wisconsin town. First Weber happens to have a real estate sales office in Mineral Point, too!

Photo credits http://www.flickr.com/photos/lydiat/150474905/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/mpwillis/624190362/

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