Next to fish and chips (and those horrible so-called burgers), meat pies would have to be one of Australia's national fast foods. All states have different ways of making them and serving them, ie with minced steak, chunky steak, with mushy peas on top, in a bowl of mushy peas, with mushrooms, onions, bacon, potato on top. Whichever way you eat them, they're pretty good, especially in winter. With the warmer weather upon us, they're still a good meal to have, especially if you have a pie maker, like I do. You don't have to heat the whole house up with the oven on. You can make all sorts of pies like Ned Kelly Pies, a crustless quiche, Cottage pies or using leftovers from stews and casseroles. Cooked pies can be frozen, once cooled, and warmed up either in the pie maker or the microwave for a quick meal.
If you've only got a small quantity of meat, fish or chicken, pies are a great way to get a lot out of little. I only had a small piece of rump steak leftover from last night's dinner so I combined it with onions and mushrooms to make the filling for my Beef & Mushroom pies. Also, you can pick up second hand pie makers on ebay and at thrift stores relatively cheaply.
Beef & Mushroom Pies
beef steak, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
1 handful mushrooms, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1-2 tbs plain flour (enough to adquately cover meat mixture)
1 cup beef stock
salt & pepper
2 sheets ready made puff pastry
- Soften onions and garlic in oil, add cubed beef, brown, then add mushrooms.
- Sprinkle over flour, salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
- Add beef stock and stir until thickened.
- Prepare pastry for pie maker or spoon quantities of beef mixture into a ramekin and top with a piece of puff pastry and bake in the oven. Alternatively, make pies in pie maker as per manufacturer's instructions.