Where: Pug Mahon’s, 3011 First Ave. N.
History: Holly Axtell, the chef at Pug’s, tweaked the original recipe when she arrived to cook there 22 years ago, just eight years after Pug’s opened in 1984. Pasties are actually a Cornish or Welsh meat pie developed to be a meal-in-one for hungry miners. In Butte, pasties were made with an extra flap of dough on the bottom so the miners could hold it with their greasy hands and then throw the dirty flap out when they were finished with the pie.
What makes them special? Axtell won’t divulge her exact recipe but she did say she uses cream and eggs to keep the pasties moist and to help all the ingredients mix together. The crust is flaky but substantial. Axtell doesn’t rely exclusively on salt and pepper to flavor her meats pies, but uses a combination of spices. She serves them with gravy on the side. This year, she’ll make 200 pasties over the weekend leading into St. Patrick’s Day, which is on a Monday this year.