Aussie Meat Pies

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The Z

Head Chef
Jan 22, 2005
* Area 51 *
I lived in Australia for about 11 years and have been living back in the U.S. for about 4 years now.

ONE thing I miss about living in Oz is the availability of great neighbo(u)rhood Pie Shops...

Does anyone know of a good web site or have any particularly good recipes for meat pies? I like most flavo(u)rs, but was pretty partial to:
Steak and Kidney (haven't seen any kidney in local stores here)
Bacon and Mushroom

Help me... I'm jonesing.
Heh, not to make you feel bad but that is exactly what I'm having for lunch :).

Recently they actually passed regulation on how much 'meat' a meat pie had to have. So no more lips and a***holes, sawdust etc etc :P.

Here is a stock standard meat pie recipe, havent made it for ages so I have forgotten how they compare to your store bought ones (Love my Mrs. Mac's pies)

750g minced steak
2 beef stock cubes
1tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp plain flour
salt and pepper
1/4 cup water (extra)

Pie base
2 cups plain flour
2/3 cup water
1/2tsp salt
1tbsp beef dripping

Pie top
1 ready made packet puff pastry
1 egg yolk
1tsp water

For the filling, place meat in a saucepan,stir over low heat until meat is well browned,drain of any surplus fat,add crumbled stock cubes,water, salt and pepper,nutmeg.Stir until boiling,reduce heat,cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes,remove from heat.Combine extra water and flour,stir till smooth,add the flour mixture to the meat,stir till combined,return to heat, stir till meat boils and thickens,add soy sauce,mix thoroughly.Simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes,rmove from heat and allow to cool.

For the base, Sift the flour and salt together in a bowl.Place water and dripping in a saucepan,stir till dripping melts,remove from heat.Make a well in the centre of dry ingredients,add the liquid,stir till combined.Turn out on a lightly floured board,knead lightly.Roll out pastry to line 8 greased pie tins(around the same size tin as a pot pie comes in )cut off excess pastry from the sides of the tins,fill the base with cold meat filling.

For the pie lid, roll pastry out on a lightly floured board,cut into rounds for top of pies (use a saucer as a guide for size) wet edges of base pastry and gently press tops into place,trim edges with a sharp knife.Brush tops with combined egg yolk and water.Bake in a hot oven for 5 minutes until golden brown,reduce heat to moderate and bake a further 10 minutes.

And of course, top with tomato sauce. Or put some mashed potato on top of a cooked pie and place it under a grill to brown the top, then add sauce :).

For a curry version, simply add an amount of curry powder in with the beef mixture, probably around a tablespoon or so (but I'm estimating, so go by your own preference/opinon)

For a chicken pie, they are generally not made with mince but small chunks of chicken meat (breast or thigh) and follow the same directions for the stock-standard meat pie.

For the bacon and mushroom, I would say reduce the amount of mince beef slightly and add a suitable quantity of cooked bacon and mushrooms to the mixture.

Thanks, Haggis...

I haven't made them before so I think the stock standard variety (along with the variations as you suggested) will do me just fine.

Where do you live, anyway? I think I saw that you're in the Hunter Valley somewhere... Most of my time was spent in that area. I had a house at Warners Bay then, later, another up in Thornton and did a lot of work in the Maitland/Cessnock area (as well as Newcastle of course).

Great wine area. I used to love going to the Hunter for tastings/picnics, etc...
This is an interesting recipe. Do the meat pies from England also use soy sauce or do you guys think this is something only in Australia/NZ?
So basically, the recipe is braised beef/chicken/whatever thickened with flour with pastry dough on bottom and puff on top. I'll have to try this out someday.
Here in the states, we call them Pot Pies. I've never made it but I would think the whole thing is made with pastry dough. And for some reason, every pot pie I've had has peas in it. Weird. But I like the puff pastry for the top. I think I'll make some of this sometime.
Generally the only time you see peas with a meat pie is in a pie floater. It involves putting a meat pie in a bowl and surrounding/covering it with a thick pea soup.

A speciality of Melbourne and South Australia.
Scottish pies are great! Mutton pies, steak pies, Forfar bridies. I suspect the Aussies and Kiwis pinched the recipes from us... (Ducking, to avoid the pies from other posters)

Some use a cold water pastry - ie the famous 'Scotch pies' (Scotch is allowed to be used in the context of food or drink, it's just the natives who get indignant when we are called Scotch!) aka mutton pies (although they use lamb today).
We make our meat pies with ordinary pie crust, top and bottom. The filling is comprized of diced potatoes, diced carrots, chopped onion, and goround beef. Thre is no gravy, but these are yummy with a butter and a bit of ketchup on top. Sometimes, my mother would throw diced rutabega in the pie as well.

Pot pies, here in the U.S., have a gravy in them and are about 4 inches in diameter. My meat pie is a full sized pie from which wedges are cut and served.

I gotta think that there are as many meat pie recipes out there as there are cooks. Mine is just another version of a meal loved 'round the world.

Wonder what my version would taste like with chunks of grilled steak in them? Wish I had lots more time and money. I'd make some tonight. But if I spent all my cash on goodies, I'd never get enough cash saved for a trip to San Diego in June.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
Goodweed of the North said:
Pot pies, here in the U.S., have a gravy in them and are about 4 inches in diameter.

I have to admin, sometimes I have a big craving and my local grocery store (Trader Joe's and Alberson's) have Pot Pies for $1.00. Better than a .99c burger at McD's
I would say that most meat pie recipes use a 3-2-1 pastry or something very similar (or cold water pastry as Ishbel calls it), generally it would be a fairly 'mealy' type of dough, rather than flakier dough (which of course results in a flakier crust).

It is just as easy to use a lid of the shell pastry...but then again if you use puff you get that satisfying crispy crunch as you bite down into the meat filling...and of course at least one flake of puff pastry (covered in tomato sauce of course) has to catapult up and cover the tip of your nose/upper lip with tomato sauce...Mmmm meat pies.
My Mom used to do a meat pie with a pastry crust. She would season the ground beef with onions, s&p, and sage then simmer it for hours on top of the stove. Then put the meat in the crust and bake til crust was a nice golden brown. I think this was originally from Canada. I didn't like them as a kid and never got her amounts, now I crave one and I can't get them to taste like hers did. She never had any written recipes so what I don't remember is gone forever.
Well, what I know of as a "pot pie" doesn't use a bottom crust, uses biscuits or biscuit dough for the top crust, and the "gravy" is actually cream of chicken soup and/or cream of mushroom soup.

But then, I grew up eating what my Mom cooked, and she grew up country, so that's what we ate.

That said, I do have a Steak and Kidney Pie recipe. I've never made it.

Steak and Kidney Pie

1 # chuck steak
4 oz ox or sheep kidney
1 oz oil
2 onions, chopped
1 ½ oz flour
2 ½ c water; salt and pepper
8 oz pie crust
1 egg yolk, beating with a little water for glazing

Remove gristle and fat from meat and cut into 1" cubes. Skin and core kidney and cut into small pieces. Fry meat in hot oil in a heavy saucepan until lightly browned. Add kidneys, onions and flour and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add water, salt and pepper and bring to the boil stirring continuously. Reduce the heat and simmer covered, until steak and kidneys are tender. Place in a pie dish and allow to cool. Preheat oven to 400 – 450°F. On a floured board, roll out pastry or use a sheet of bought pastry rolled and cut to about 1" larger than the diameter of the pie dish. Cut to fit pie dish and cut remaining pastry into a strip 1" wide. Place strip on the rim of the pie dish, previously brushed with cold water. Brush pastry rim with cold water and cover with pastry top. Seal, trim and decorate edge. Cut a vent to allow steam to escape and decorate with pastry scraps shaped into leaves, if you like. Brush with egg glaze and bake for 20 – 30 minutes. Serve hot.
The Pie

The Humble pie has been a staple in the iet of mine for as long as I can remember. I have had the pleasure of eating some very good pies and some shockers in my time. Some of my favourite are Steak and Cheese, Bacon and Egg, or Chicken and vegetable.
These haave been made in every way though usually with Fakey Puff Pastry top and bottom.
Well Im taking on this project tomorrow. I already picked up some pilsbury pie crusts (they are suprisingly good for this kind of project), some steak to chop up and the other ingredients. I am leaving out the kidney because my roomie is a total wimp when it comes to organ meats. He cant even eat liver! Still I think I might replace the kidney for about 1inch chunks of this great suthern sausage that I have. It's heavy on beef hearts and other organ meats yet the roomie has eaten it with no prob in the past so that looks like a good substitution.
Daisy: I did a similar pie not long ago but it had a bottle of guiness extra stout in it. You need to give that a try! Its surprisingly good... a nice touch of body and bitter to the meat and it ends up making a very solid gravy once it cooks down, which is kinda weird actually.
English meat pies can be horrible, I so miss a good Aussie meat pie, eaten whilst watching AFL on the telly, and with a cold beer near by. English meat pies are a lot drier, and are made with larger pieces of indistinguishable meat, rather than mince. Often with potato as well. The pastry is different too, as dear Haggis eluded to, it is a cold water pastry - similar to that on Pork Pies, not crispy and flaky like an Aussie meat pie.

I make miniature ones to a recipe too much like Haggis' for it to be beneficial for me to post. They are always popular at work, despite people asking where I caught the kangaroo in the wilds of Lancashire to put in the pie. I tell them I used the neighbours cat instead!!! Joking of course.
G'day Kyles,

Good to see such a well titled thread reopened.

The good ol' Aussie Dog's eye. I'm a pie eater from way back. Although there are many excellent pies shops throughout Oz, the worst I ever ate were purchased from Central Railway Station in Sydney, followed by Mrs Macs massed produced packs of yuck (sorry Haggis). The best were made by a pair of old ladies in Ettalong years ago & they would only bake on Thurs, Fri & Sat, that's all they do. The next best are Blakeys pies from East Maitland & Kurri Kurri then Crofts from Aberdeen (on New England Highway). I don't like the mass produced muck - Big Ben, Sargents, 4 & 20 Mrs Macs etc, when compared to the small bakeries, they are all second rate.

You said you liked sitting in front of the telly watching AFL with pie in one hand & beer in the other. Nah....

On the sideline at the Aussie Rules (or Rugby - go the 'Tahs), in the frezzing rain, stubbie in the Drizabone pocket, hot pie keeping yer face from freezing & jumping around like a lunatic to keep warm, now that's life.

I've copied the recipes, but I cheat with the crusts. I use either commercial flaky or shortcrust pastry for the base & puff for the top. Also use braized steak (or lamb) on occasions for the filling. Braized Lamb with mint gravy is brilliant if you like lamb. All you do is braize up your lamb & in the last 5 minutes throw in heaps of mint & a dose of vinegar & mix it up - don't overcook the mint or it will lose it's flavour.

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