Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Sep 24, 2007 01:06 PM

John Campbell's pasties..

Took a trip to 'You Say Tomato' with the intention of stocking up on a few frozen pies, but the John Cambpell pasties in the fridge looked so much more appealing. Slightly higher price than the frozen pies but after getting home and serving them up with chips and gravy it was definetly worth it.

Chicken and veg, and beef and veg were equallly good, if I had one suggestion it would be for a real cornish (type) pastie - that is something I miss.

Afterwards a pot of washed down a perfect rasin scone - a real scone not what you normally get over here.

Didn't try out the sausage rolls as th woman in the store described everything I dislike about American sausage meat - you don't put enough filler in, why must you pack in the meat, leave room for crap it improves the texture and flavour!!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Link:

    You Say Tomato
    1526 California St, San Francisco, CA

    1. How does the John Campbell's pastie differ from a Cornish pastie?

      John Campbell's Irish Bakery
      5625 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

      6 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        The texture is one big thing. A cornish pasie is a more about chunky pieces of meat, carrot, onion and potato, while John Campbell's seem to use ground meat and much finer vegtables.

        Taste wise, I'm not sure how to put my finger on it, but there is a difference - could be a black pepper thing. Cornish pasties (now I'm not from Cornwall and not an expert in any way) are normally a little less moist and have a little bit of a pepper kick to them.

        1. re: rob133

          Oh, so glad I found a topic about this on this board. I had never been to John Cambell's before yesterday, I didn't even know it existed, we were wandering by after buying pelmeni and piroshkis from Gastronom up the street, and I was pulled in by the pasties. We bought two, a vegetable curry and a beef one. Both were completely fantastic: flaky and greasy dough, very flavorful fillings. I liked my beef one better but my husband preferred the veggie which had a very hot and spicy curry inside. For $5, these pasties are more than worth it. I got a plain scone too, a bit bland for my taste. Needs clotted cream!

          5801 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA

          1. re: rob133

            I'm originally from Butte, Montana, an old mining community, where Cornish style pasties are very common and readily available commercially. When I make them at home I use my mother's recipe which calls for top sirloin, cut into 1/4 inch cubes, potato and onion, cubed similarly, salt and, yes, lots of fresh ground pepper. Top all of that with a few pats of butter, seal the pastry around it all and cook for about 45 minutes. They are drier than John Campbell's and that's the way I like them but my wife puts brown gravy on hers to moisten it. I've never used carrot because I thought it might make them a little too sweet. Maybe I should try that sometime.

            1. re: bobpantzer

              The moistness of John Campbell's was one of the things I liked the most. It was very finely ground beef with a nice brown gravy, peas and carrots cooked to mush. I loved it. The veggie was a bit hot for me. Looking forward to trying the sausage rolls!

              Your recipe sounds wonderful, bobpantzer! what type of pastry do you use? Puff pastry? Meat and butter, works for me!

              1. re: pointybird

                Well, my mother made some sort of a short pastry (whatever that means), but I use regular pie dough pastry. Actually, (hate to admit this) but I often buy some frozen pastry rounds and I think they're called French butter pastry or something like that--two per package--comes in a white box with red lettering. Lately, I have just been rolling out one of those rounds and making one gigantic pastie which we cut in half after baking it. I'd love to have one of those for lunch today. I'm told that sometimes the miners would have a pasty which on one side had the savory mixture and then, separated by a bit of crust, a sweet, fruit flavored mixture on the other side which served as dessert.

                1. re: bobpantzer

                  Oh my, don't hate to admit it! I hate making crust! I want a two-sided pasty now!

        2. I have to say that while John Campell's is a fantastic bakery, the pastys and pork pies are extremely salty. The crust is fantastic, but I can't eat two bites of the filling without needing to drink a quart of water.

          The pork pie isn't like a Mowbray pork pie (or at least the ones I've had). There is no pork jelly (which for me is a good thing). However, it has a lot of pork sausage in the middle -- too much for me, especially with the amount of salt in it. The crust is very good.

          I only had the beef pasty. It is ground beef, not steak. Plus there are carrots (some people don't like carrots in their pastys). I think the proportions are right and the pasty would be perfect if it was just less salty.

          They also have a number of shepherd's pies (or pies with savory filling topped by mashed potatoes). I had a chicken curry "shepherd's pie" which was really good -- by far the best savory thing I had there.

          5 Replies
          1. re: cornflower55

            Have you tried the corned beef?

            I tend to get their sweet things, especially the brown bread, although I do love the Belfast bap too. The blueberry scones are delicious, if not dainty.

            1. re: Windy

              Their sweet things are totally awesome. Sorry to hear about the pasties. Thanks for the heads up everyone.

              1. re: choctastic

                I have no real experience for things English such as pasties. But from a gringo point of view, i've never found them overly salty and i'm salt-sensitive. However, it has been over a year since i've had one, so maybe they changed things.

                1. re: rworange

                  Just salty enough to make me want to run back and eat 7 more.

            2. re: cornflower55

              Yeah, I hear you on the salt - kept waking up later that night thirsty!