Montana Made: Joe's Pasty Shop of Butte - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Montana Made: Joe's Pasty Shop of Butte

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BUTTE - If you worked in the underground mines, the work was long, hard and dirty -- so, imagine how important a good meal would be during a short break.

Finding a way to get a meat and potatoes kind of meal lead to the creation of the pasty. Reporter Chet Layman visited a shop in Butte that's been making pasties the same way for 70 years in this Montana Made report. 

Joe’s Pastry owner Tom Laity has been doing the same thing almost every morning for the past 25 years.

“I'm making some pasties here, we roll out the dough, fill it up with the meat and potatoes and onions, and all that good stuff. Roll it over and get a good crimp and cut off the excess,” Laity demonstrated for us.

It's said that pasties originated in Cornwall with the Cornish Miners. While Tom cuts off the excess crust, those miners had reasons to leave it on.

“The Cornish miners used to do it that way so they could have something to hold on to while they were eating pasties and then throw it away for the goblins that were in the mines,” Laity said.

“They said by also [doing this] they weren't eating the arsenic and other bad stuff that they'd have on their hands,” Laity added.

Joe Novack and family started this operation in 1947 and the pasties of today are no different.

“This is the original recipe that they were using…we've got a lot of the stuff prepared for us now but they used to do it all by hand, but it's still the basically the same recipe for the dough and the filling,” Laity said.

“We use as many local ingredients as we can. The main thing we use are the potatoes from Bausch Potatoes out of Whitehall where they grow and process them. They come in to us all cut and ready to go,” explained Laity.

After stuffing, folding, crimping and cutting...the pasties go through a little brushing and then an hour of baking. Because of that pasties can be eaten cold or warmed up, and the most popular ways are with ketchup or gravy.

If you're looking for a truly meat and potatoes kind of meal -- with a little history to boot -- grab a pasty and leave the crust for the goblins in the mines. 

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