I’ve been fascinated by Australia for years. Having never visited, I’ve always pictured it as being a cross between Canada and the UK. What is undeniable is that there is a huge foodie culture there (looking at you Melbourne), evidenced by the sheer popularity of Masterchef and the MKR. Recently our household has become slightly addicted to eating the Australian classic; the meat pie.
Indulging in all things Australian
To indulge in all things Australian I’ve subscribed to Coles in-store magazine, read News.com.au daily and occasionally the Sydney Morning Herald, and wherever possible watch Masterchef Australia and MKR. If you have never watched Masterchef Australia, you need too. Of all the international versions they are far superior. Sadly it is only available on a pay TV station here in the UK. Even MKR, a Aussie homegrown success, has proved so successful that Channel4 is making their own version soon of MKR UK. If anyone knows how to watch more Aussie TV in the UK please drop me a line.
In any case, it is hard to appreciate local food without having visited. Instead I’ve had to rely on what Australian imports to indulge. Lets face it, if you’ve ever had TimTams you know how good food from that part of the world is. Well, rely on imports and making Aussie recipes. One that our household has fallen in love with is the Aussie Meat Pie.
To make this I trolled the web and came across a variety of recipes, taking bits and pieces to create my Aussie Meat Pie. For the crust I used Chef Gary Mehigan (and Masterchef hosts) recipe for Sour Cream Pastry, a revelation for any future savoury pie. For the beef filling I used advice from across the web, and my own herb garden. The result was a rich beef and stout based sauce. On the top, I stole from my early Mac and Cheese recipe and added a bacon breadcrumb salt. Finally when fully baked, top with Tomato Sauce (just to be clear, this is Aussie Tomato Sauce, which is actually ketchup).
I made a batch of 10. There were no survivors.
Aussie Meat Pies
Sour Cream Pastry
- 200 g chilled unsalted butter chopped
- 250 g plain flour plus extra for dusting
- ½ cup sour cream
- 500 g lean beef mince
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 large brown onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 3/4 cup beef stock
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 200 ml Guinness Stout
- 1 teaspoon Vegemite or Marmite
- 1 carrot - peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons stilton
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 egg
- Start by making the sour cream pastry. Place the butter and flour in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle or food processor, then blend until the mixture resembles large breadcrumbs. Add a pinch of salt, and then gradually add the sour cream, mixing until the pastry just comes together. Shape into a disc, then wrap in plastic wrap then chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat ½ the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic. Cook for 15 minutes or until onions have started to turn nice and brown (early camarlising). Add the carrots and cook for a few more minutes. Remove to the side, and wipe out the dish.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan and when hot add beef mince. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon, or until browned. Drain much of the fat from the meat. Return the onion mixture to the meat. Stir to combine.
- Mix cornflour and 1 tablespoon of stock to form a paste and then add remaining hot stock. Add stock/paste mixture, ketchup, worcestershire, Guinness and Vegemite to mince. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and chuck in the cheese (if using). Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until thick. Cool completely.
- Heat the oven to 220C, roll out the cold pastry and line your pie dish with the pastry. Leave enough pastry to top. The pastry should be about 3-5mm thick, and Fill each pie with some of the beef mixture, brush edges with water, then top each with a pastry lid and crimp the edges to seal in the filling. Beat the egg and brush the top of the pie. Finally, if you are using it, dust the top with the bacon breadcrumbs. Bake until golden then top with ketchup. Eat warm.