The Aussie Meat Pie
"The Aussie Meat Pie - Another truly Australian eating experience!"
You can't come to Australia and not indulge in one of these pies! You'll find them in every good takeaway outlet and most cafes, petrol and convenience outlets.
Essentially its a pastry case filled with beef and usually gravy but there are plenty of other ingredients that can be added including mushrooms, cheese and different types of meat.
You should also add a layer of tomato sauce to the top of the pie to get the full Aussie experience although I find this pretty messy and difficult to eat!
History of The Meat Pie
It's a little contentious as to which race is responsible for the humble pie.
Many claim it to be the Greeks (pastry topped with meat) followed closely by the Romans (a top and a bottom of pastry filled with meat) but it was the french chef Guillaume Tirel being one of the first to write an actual recipe down - it was an eel pie!
The English were the first to combine Steak and Kidney together in a pie and clearly with the close ties between Australia and the UK, it was the first settlers that introduced the meat pie to Australia.
The meat was usually mutton and before long special carts would tour the streets selling the pies in Melbourne and Sydney...this progressed to horse drawn carriages and even utes, which allowed wider distribution outside of just the main cities.
Today the Aussie pies are still closely associated with sporting events, particularly Aussie Rules Football games but you'll see many eating them for lunch or as an afternoon snack.
Some of the most well known mass produced pies which started in the 1960's, include FourNTwenty (closely linked to Australian Football), and Mrs Macs. But the more regional pie makers are well worth a try - Kings in Victoria or National Pies in Tasmania. Try the local bakery in some of the more regional towns and I'm sure you won't be disappointed!
The Great Aussie Pie Competition is held annually and is for the commercial made pie rather than individuals. It is a well known competition with hundreds of the best pie operators from across Australia entering.
Make Your Own Aussie Meat Pie
I found this recipe on www.taste.com.au and it makes 4 good sized individual pies.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
500g lean beef mince
1 tablespoon cornflour
3/4 cup beef stock
3/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon Vegemite
2 sheets frozen, ready-rolled shortcrust pastry, thawed
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
Method Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Add mince. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon, or until browned.Mix cornflour and 1 tablespoon of stock to form a paste. Add remaining stock. Add stock, sauces and Vegemite to mince. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 8 minutes or until thick. Cool.Preheat oven to 220°C. Place a baking tray into oven. Grease 4 x 8cm base measurement pie pans.Cut 4 x 15cm circles from shortcrust pastry. Use to line bases and sides of pans. Fill with mince. Brush rims with water. Cut 4 x 15cm circles from puff pastry. Place over meat. Press to seal. Trim. Brush with egg. Season.Place pies onto hot tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Serve.
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