Beef Pasty from Michigan's Upper Peninsula | Turkish Eats

OK, there is absolutely nothing Turkish about this recipe but this is the kind of recipe Turks would dig for had they known it.  How do we know? Because we lived in Houghton, MI for two years in the early 80s where there was not even the slightest hint of Turkish food anywhere and we discovered the beef pasty and we loved it.  This was our substitute for Turkish meat pies eaten fresh out of the oven.  We have recently went back to Houghton after thirty years and we have loved it again.  Before we put together this recipe, we have done our research to find an authentic recipe and we believe we have.



  • 3/4 lb sirloin, cut into 1/4" or smaller pieces,
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, equivalent to about 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 medium rutabaga, equivalent to about 2 cups diced rutabaga
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 8 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Makes 10 small pasties


  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F.
  3. Start by cutting the sticks of butter into 1/2 inch cubes and placing in the freezer for at least 15 minutes (preferably an hour or longer) so that they become thoroughly chilled.
  4. In a food processor, combine flour and salt and pulse to mix. 
  5. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add water 1 tbsp at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it is ready, if not, add a little more water and pulse again.
  6. Remove dough from machine and place on a clean surface. Knead the dough into a ball but be careful not to over knead! You should still be able to see little bits of butter. These bits of butter are what will allow the crust to be flaky.
  7. Divide the dough into 10 pieces and shape them into 1/2 inch thick discs.
  8. Sprinkle each disc with little flour on all sides, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  9. Remove the disks from the refrigerator. Let them sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. 
  10. Roll out each disc to a 8-9 inch, paper thin circle.
  11. Place approximately 3/4 cups of filling in the center.
  12. Fold over and seal edges.
  13. Place it on the oven tray (preferably non-stick aluminum)
  14. Use a sharp knife to open 2-3 tiny slits on each pasty.
  15. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes on the center rack.
  16. Reduce the temperature to 350F. Continue baking for 30 minutes.
  17. Set the oven to low broil and brown the pasties for 3 minutes.

© Mehmet Ozturk 2017