aussie meat pies

With a shortcrust pastry bottom, a puff pastry top and meat filling in thick gravy, the Aussie hand-held pie holds iconic status in my homeland.  Visit almost any small town or large city in Australia and you’re likely to find a pie shop. They’re sold almost everywhere. And we (Aussies) all love them. Now I’m not talking the frozen pot pies sold in grocery stores here in the US. No. Aussie meat pies are different. And good.

aussie meat pies

once the pies are cooked, let them sit for 10 minutes in their tins, this helps them from falling apart and stops you burning your mouth on the nuclear hot filling

I miss the obvious things from home: family, friends who’ve known me forever, familiarity. I also miss the sounds of an Aussie morning, butcher shops and really good bakeries that sell, you guessed it – pies. If I had my way they’d be good pies shops all over the US because creating good, (almost) from scratch Aussie pies at home take a little work. The efforts are well worth it though. I say “almost” from scratch because I didn’t make the puff pastry top, not this time. The store-bought frozen stuff works fine.

Aussie meat pies

Aussie meat pies

The bottom of the pie is a hot water shortcrust pastry. This pastry browns nicely and holds the filling well when the pie is cooked. Store-bought shortcrust pastries will have a tendency to not cook properly or fall apart so take the time and make the pastry bottoms from scratch. Both ground meat and small cubes of meat are used in the typical Aussie pie but I prefer ground meat as do many of my countrymen so that’s what I went with.

aussie meat pie

I like my meat pies served with lots of tomato ketchup – or “sauce” as it’s called in Australia

These pies are most commonly eaten at lunch time. Although there are some pie shops that stay open late so partiers leaving the bars can indulge.

Harry’s Cafe de Wheels is pie shop icon that late night party goers love. Growing up, there was a little old lady who had a bakery not far from my house. It was a treat to get one of her pies with my nana, especially on a blustery winter’s day. That pie shop is gone now but thankfully I can still find a really good pie almost anywhere when I’m back home. And until I make the long trek across the Pacific Ocean again this spring, I will just have to make them myself.

aussie meat pies

MEAT FILLING

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 1/4 lbs (1kg) ground (minced) beef
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2/3 cup tomato ketchup (sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

SHORTCRUST PASTRY BOTTOMS

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, chopped
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

PUFF PASTRY TOPS

  • 1 x 17.3 oz (490g) store-bought puffed pastry, thawed according to package directions
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Tomato ketchup (sauce) to serve
  1. To make the filling, eat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook onion for 5 minutes or until softened; remove from pan.
  2. Add ground beef to same pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes or until browned. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat from pan.
  3. Add cooked onion, flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring 1 minute to cook flour.
  4. Stir in broth, ketchup, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until thickened; cool.
  5. To make shortcrust pastry, place butter and water in a large saucepan over high heat bring to the boil, stirring until butter is melted. Remove from heat; gradually stir in flour and salt. Stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface; gently knead until smooth and elastic. Cut dough in half.
  6. Roll out dough between 2 layers of parchment paper until 1/8 inch (2mm) in thickness. Cut four, 5 3/4-inch circles from pastry; set aside. Repeat with remaining pastry half. Line eight, 4 1/2-inch, lightly greased pie tins with pastry circles; set aside.
  7. To make puff pastry tops, place a sheet of pastry on lightly floured surface. Cut four, 5-inch (12.7cm) rounds from pastry; repeat with remaining sheet of pastry.
  8. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Divide beef mixture between the pie tins. Place puff pastry rounds over beef filling. Press the edges together with a fork to seal. Brush with egg. Cut a slit in top of each pie to allow steam to escape. Bake on bottom rack of preheated oven for 30 minutes or until pastry is cooked through and golden. Serve with ketchup. Makes 8.
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Comments

  1. Lawrence says:

    Super delicious treat, fun to eat

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