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Montana Made: Joe's Pasty Shop - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Montana Made: Joe's Pasty Shop

Posted: 12/12/2017 08:58:00 -07:00 Updated:

(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.  

And in the Mining City, there is a shop that's been making pasties the same way for 70 years.

For the past 25 years, Tom Laity, owner of Joe’s Pasty Shop (1641 Grand Avenue), has been making pasties almost every morning.

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.

“Although 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,” said Laity. “Also so they weren't eating the arsenic and other bad stuff that they'd have on their hands.”

Joe Novack and family started this operation in 1947, and not a lot has changed.

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

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

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.

The most popular ways are with ketchup or gravy.

When asked which he preferred, Laity shared a secret. “Gravy when they’re warm, ketchup when cold.”

So if you're looking for a true 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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