Urb’n’Spice Freezer Reserve Series
Have you ever had an Australian Meat Pie? If you haven’t, you are missing out on one of life’s great pleasures. We had an opportunity to enjoy several traditional Australian Meat Pies at a ‘footy’ (Aussie Rules Football) while travelling in Australia. Joining the jovial and boisterous (and slightly intoxicated) crowd on the buses to the game was an experience we will never forget.
Each and every footy fan (even the babies) donned vibrant scarves in the colours of their favourite teams. The atmosphere was friendly and the excitement was infectious as fans chanted and waved their scarves wildly.
We typically see in North America hot-dog and taco chip vendors walking up and down the stadium steps. In Australia, the meat pie vendors troll the stadium steps at the footy games selling their pies. Australians eat over 270 million pies every year. That is a lot of pies considering their population is 24.3 million.
What exactly is an Australian Meat Pie? Australian Meat Pies are made of well-seasoned meat packed into pastry shells. They are also commonly known as Aussie Meat Pies. These meat pies could be considered their national fast food.
When I returned home, I wanted to experiment with these savoury snacks. To change things up, I made them into hand pies rather than the typical small pot pies. Instead of the traditional pastry, I experimented with the use of a flakey pate brisée pastry (see recipe following) to wrap the flavourful meat filling. The results are outstanding.
CHEF TALK: The recipe below makes 10 hand pies. I generally double or triple the recipe so that I can have a healthy inventory for my freezer. I bake some of them ahead of time and store them individually for quick lunches or light dinners with a salad. These meat pies freeze well baked or unbaked. Give the recipe for Australian Meat Pies below a try – they will become a popular fast food item in your household, too!
AUSTRALIAN MEAT PIES
Yield: Approximately 10 pies with 100 g filling each
FOR THE FILLING
- 1 ½ lbs. Steak, minced, lean ground (750 g)
- 1 large Onion, diced fine
- 2 large Carrots, diced fine
- 2 stalks Celery, diced fine
- 1 teaspoon Soy Sauce (5 ml)
- 2 Organic Beef Stock (bouillon) cubes
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (15 ml)
- Salt and Pepper To taste
- 1 ½ cups no-salt beef stock or water (375 ml)
- pinch of Nutmeg
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (30 ml)
- ¼ cup water (75 ml)
AUSTRALIAN MEAT PIES
- Place meat into a frying pan, and stir over low heat until the meat is well browned.
- Drain off any fat.
- Add onion, carrot, and celery and stir until softened.
- Add soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, crumbled beef stock cubes, stock or water, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Stir until boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Combine the additional ¼ cup water and flour to make a slurry. Stir until flour mixture is smooth.
- Add flour mixture to meat. Stir until combined.
- Simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes until the moisture is evaporated.
- Remove from heat and check for seasoning, adjusting and tweaking if necessary.
- Allow the mixture to cool completely.
AUSTRALIAN MEAT PIE PASTRY
Yield: 2 – 9” Pie crusts, or two 9.5 to 10” tart shells, Or one 9” covered pie crust)
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter
- ¼ cup Vegetable shortening
- 1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Ice Water
- Mix together flour, sugar and salt.
- Cut in 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter until you have pea-sized pieces.
- Then add 1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
- Work in the butter and vegetable shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces.
- Add 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water. Drizzle over the flour and fat mixture.
- The dough should look rough, not smooth (almost raggedy).
- Divide the dough in half, press each half into a round flat disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, preferably for several hours, or for up to 2 days before rolling.
- The dough can also be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 6 months; thaw completely before rolling.
Assembly of Australian Meat Pies:
- Roll out the Pate Brisée Pastry to 1/16th-inch thickness. Cut 5 to 6” rounds from the pastry. Lay each round on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Place a scoop (50 g) into the bottom half section of the pastry rounds as shown in the photographs.
- Brush the bottom edges with egg wash. Turn the top of the pastry over to the other side, forming a half circle.
- Cut two slits into the top of the pie to allow steam to escape.
- Bake at 375oF/350oF (if using convection setting) for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden in colour.
- Serve immediately, or cool on a rack and then refrigerate or freeze.
Please CLICK the link above to access my UrbnSpice LEARNING TIPS, which are listed alphabetically on the Learning Tips blog post under the following subheadings:
- Oven Temperature Accuracy
- Scoops for Portioning
- Parchment Paper
If you give this recipe for Australian Meat Pies a try, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback.
You can find me on social media – just be sure to tag @urbnspice and #urbnspice so I am sure to see it. Enjoy!
The Urbnspice Chef
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