A lot of South Dakota communities are known for their food or a particular dish that has been unique to their town or region for many, many years.

I grew up in Lead which was home to the Homestake Mining Company.  One particular dish you will still find there will not be found anywhere else.  I'm talking about a dish called the pasty.  Folks are still making and serving them and a small grocery store in Lead, King's Grocery still makes them from scratch and sells them.

It's pronounced past-ee.  Pay-stees can be found on some female dancers.  Anyway, now that's out of the way, the pasty finds it's origins in Great Britain, particularly among the Welsh.

The dish has been served in Lead since the 1800's.  The pasty is the original Hot Pocket.  It contains beef, pork sausage, potatoes and onions, baked in a tender flaky crust.  They are a meal in themselves and are great hot or cold, which appealed to the miners carrying their lunches underground.

My grandmother used to have pasty feeds for the family as did many other families in Lead.  I lost the recipe my grandmother had, but found a replacement for it recently through a dear old friend in Lead named Evelyn Murdy, who knew a second cousin of mine that used the same recipe that grandma did.  I fixed them for my family to rave reviews.  My step-daughter Kara, two weeks ago was begging me to make them again soon.

Try it out.  You may find a new South Dakota favorite.

Pasty Recipe


  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3-4 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 pound fresh ground pork
  • 1-1/2 pounds sirloin steak
  1. Slice potatoes and onions in a food processor or cut thin slices by hand.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and parsley (fresh or dried).  Cut steak into bite-sized portions and mix together with fresh ground pork.
  2. Place 1 cup potato mixture onto side of rolled-out crust.  Put 1/2 cup meat mixture on top of potatoes.  Place 2 pats of butter on top.  Wet edges of dough mixture and fold over; press edges together.
  3. Place on cookie sheets lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.  Brush melted butter on top and cut two small slits on top before cooking.  Cook about 1 hour at 350-375 degrees, turning the pans halfway through cooking.
  4. After taking out of the oven, brush again with melted butter and cool before wrapping in tinfoil to freeze or store in refrigerator.  To reheat from frozen, bake about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Pasty Crust:

(Double the recipe for four pasties)

  • 2/3 cup of lard or Crisco (do not use butter-flavored)
  • 2-1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ice cold water
  1. Using a pasty cutter or a pair of knives, mix the lard, flour and salt until it is crumbly.
  2. Add cold water until the consistency of pie dough, bu t do not work too much or it will toughen.
  3. Divide dough in half.  Each half should roll out to about the size of a 9-inch pie pan, enough for one pasty.