Meat pies in Australia and New Zealand are what apple pie is to North America – iconic. Years ago John and I visited Australia and everyone kept telling us to try the Aussie meat pies. Not one to turn down an opportunity to see what all the fuss was, we tried our very first meat pie from a roadside convenience store in Rosebud. Wow! I’ve had meat pies before but none could have prepared me for the down-to-earth flavor sensation of this national dish. Must have been the gravy-like meat mixture that had us hooked as we tried at least six different locations offering meat pies and all were downright scrumptious! They’re a favorite at sporting events (football and rugby) and construction sites. It’s the perfect snack food for on the run.
Makes 10 to 12 pies
adapted from Tobie Puttock
500g medium ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 strips of bacon, chopped
ready rolled pie pastry
Cook bacon with garlic, rosemary, and onion over medium heat. Let this simmer, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent (8 – 10 minutes). Turn heat up to medium-high and add ground beef. Stir to break up chunks. Lower heat to medium and once the meat is cooked, add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine. Then add about a cup of beef stock. Bring to a boil and turn heat down to low (gentle simmer). While this is simmering, take cornstarch and mix it with a bit of water and pour this over the beef. Simmer until the meat sauce has thickened and has a gravy-like consistency. Remove from heat and allow meat sauce to cool.
Preheat oven to 400f. Lay the pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut out 3-inch circles. Grease a muffin pan and gently place the pastry dough inside the pan. Fill with meat sauce. Top with a pastry circle and pinch edges or use a fork to press edges to seal. Place pies on a baking tray and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. To remove from pan, run a knife around the edge and pop out the meat pie. The Australians serve their meat pies with ketchup.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Make sure the meat sauce is cool otherwise it will make the bottom of the pie crust soggy. These are good the next day and can be reheated or served cold. Enjoy!