Yesterday was Australia Day, the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788. In honour of the occasion, I decided to try making a real Aussie meat pie. I went for an unadulterated version, of the sort you would eat whilst sipping a cold beer and watching those lovely men in the tight shorts play Aussie rules football.
But before I digress too much…
This recipe fills four 7″ tins, which will serve eight hungry people or a party of 16 if you’re providing mash/veggies on the side (let people know what you’re cooking and I guarantee you will have a party in no time).
Australia Day Meat Pie, adapted from the Little Aussie Cookbook
2 tablespoons oil
8 rashers bacon, chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 kg beef mince
4 tablespoons plain flour
4 teaspoons dry mustard powder
0.5 cup tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
4 cups beef stock
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
ready-rolled shortcrust pastry – enough to line 4 pie tins
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
ready-rolled puff pastry – enough to make tops for 4 pies
Preheat oven to 220ºC.
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the bacon, onion and garlic; stir over a medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the beef and stir over a high heat for a further 3 minutes or until the meat is browned. Add the flour and the mustard powder and stir for about a minute. Add the ketchup, worcestershire sauce, stock and herbs and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the mixture has reduced and thickened. Allow to cool.
Using a dinner plate (approx 10″ diameter) as a guide, cut four circles from the shortcrust pastry and use them to line your pie tins – I used 7″ foil dishes. Divide the cooled filling evenly between the tins and brush around the pastry rims with beaten egg yolk.
Cut circles from the puff pastry to make lids for the pies. Place one on the top of each pie, pressing the edges against the shortcrust pastry to seal and then using the tines of a fork to make indentations all the way round. Trim any excess pastry. Decorate if desired – but don’t add too many adornments or the pastry won’t puff properly! Brush the tops of the pies with egg yolk, and make a few small slits in each one using a sharp knife.
Place the tins on a baking tray and put in the preheated oven. After around 15 minutes, check the pies and if the pastry is beginning to puff up, turn the oven down to 190ºC and continue to bake until the pastry is golden – mine took about 45 minutes in total.
Serve with extra tomato ketchup.
My (Australian) mother declared these ‘amazing’. Praise indeed :).