I have earned my stripes as a dinky di Australian. Recently I made my first Aussie Meat Pie. Seriously, I’ve been here nearly 20 years and I’ve never tried my hand at making the iconic Australian food.
It’s Aussie Rule Footy finals and both John and Rob enjoy watching the games. If you’ve never watched Aussie Rules football you’ll be in for a shock. In American football they rest while they huddle and between each play. Aussie Rules doesn’t stop. Ever. They run from beginning whistle to the end or a least that’s how it seems.
During footy matches there are traditional foods. Like baseball and hotdogs, Australian footy gives us meat pies and sausage rolls and both are served with tomato sauce (ketchup). It’s a trick to eat a meat pie with one hand but most every Australian can do it without spilling one drop of gravy.
I ate my first meat pie in the park at King’s Cross in 1994 and I spilled. I was a total pie failure.
Rather than start with minced beef or lamb, I took the high road and slowly braised the beef with some onion, a little bit of tomato paste and beef stock until the meat just fell apart. I dusted the meat with seasoned flour before quickly browning it so once the mixture had cooked down, it had its own gravy start.
Aussie meat pies traditionally have a shortcrust bottom and a puff pastry top and that’s the route I went. With both John and my father-in-law here who’ve eaten their fair share of meat pies, I knew I would be up to tough scrutiny. I wasn’t wrong. They both left me with suggestions for “next time, you could…’s”.
I’m sorry I’ve been a bit absent ’round these parts – my every other day posts have gone to 3 or 4 days. I’ve been a bit unwell and once all the details are sorted out, I’ll share. Suffice it to say that the food police I mentioned a while back was right.
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 small clove garlic finely sliced
- 500 grams beef cut into cubes
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 2 tablespoons oil for frying
- 2 cups beef stock (low salt)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (or ketchup)
- ½ (barely) teaspoon oregano
- 1 pinch of nutmeg – just a hint
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1 recipe shortcrust pastry (or use frozen sheets)
- 1 recipe puff pastry (or use frozen)
- 1 egg beaten
- Mix pepper with flour.
- Remove big chunks of fat from the beef and dust with flour/pepper mixture and set aside.
- Place onion and garlic in a skillet and saute on medium until onion is translucent. Add mushrooms. Do not burn the onion and garlic or it will make the filling bitter. Set aside.
- In a hot skillet with a little oil, brown the beef in small batches.
- Add all the browned beef, the onion, mushrooms and garlic, the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, nutmeg and stock and bring to a low simmer.
- Cook for at least an hour, checking often to see if you need to add water to keep from burning.
- In a jar with a lid, add ¼ cup beef stock and 3 tablespoons of flour and place the lid on shake really hard to combine.
- Add to beef mixture to get a nice gravy then set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven 400F/200C
- Place shortcrust pastry in the bottom of the small pie pans, add cooled beef mixture and wet the edges of the pastry.
- Cut an air vent in the puff pastry tops and cover the pie, pressing gently to stick the pastry together and place in preheated oven.
- After 15 minutes reduce heat to 350F/180C and bake another 30 minutes or so until the pies are golden brown.
- Serve with tomato sauce (ketchup)
- Brush the pie tops with beaten egg and place in
Here’s a video of an Aussie making his meat pie on a bbq!
If any of my Aussie friends have a pie recipe, please link your pie in the comments? I do NOT pretend for one minute to make the best pie. I loved this one but remember, this was my first.