Ahh, the famous Aussie meat pie. For my international readers pie is minced/ground beef and gravy encased in pastry. Nothing beats a great game of AFL, Rugby League or Cricket while eating this famous Australian dish. There is nothing in the world quite like a pie; it’s as synonymous with Australia as kangaroos, Holden cars, the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Here's my take on the humble Aussie pie to give you a taste of what all the fuss is about.
1 onion, finely chopped
500g (1.1 lb) lean beef mince (ground beef)
1 1/2 tbs cornstarch
1 cup (250ml/8 fl oz) beef stock
1/4 cup (6oml/2 fl oz) tomato sauce (ketchup)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Pinch of nutmeg
1 sheet G-Free puff pastry (or if you have left-over mashed potatoes, use that instead like a Shepard’s Pie)
1 beaten egg, for glazing
In a medium sized pan, cook both the onion and mince (ground beef) until well browned. Sprinkle over corn starch, mixing well to incorporate. Add stock in 3 batches, stirring well in between each.
Add the tomato (ketchup) and Worcestershire sauces, bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for a further five minutes, stirring frequently. Season with a good pinch of salt, a good grinding of black pepper and oregano. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 230C/450F.
Choose your desired dish or bowl. If using pastry, invert over pastry and cut pastry rounds, allowing an extra 2cm larger than the top of the dish. If using mashed potatoes, make the potatoes now.
Fill the dish with the meat mixture, leaving a bit of space at the top. For pastry, brush the rim of the dish and lightly press the pastry round on top then brush with the egg. If you are using mashed potatoes, spoon a layer over the top of mixture and spread evenly, about 1/2 inch thick. Bake 15-20 minutes, until pastry is well risen, or until the potatoes have browned. Serve with a bit of tomato sauce (ketchup).
This is a great "prepare ahead dish" where you can have everything done, except for the baking. You can be a good day ahead with the pies sitting in the fridge. It’s important to remember that if the pie filling has come straight from the fridge, it will take a bit longer to heat in the oven so turn the heat down a bit or let the filling come to room temperature.