It's the first week of Autumn and to start it off with a bang I thought I would tempt you with a homemade meat pie with golden kissed pastry and a seriously meaty filling. With this rainy weather going on for nearly two weeks now here in Queensland it was time to pull out all the stops and create the ultimate rainy day comfort food.... A hot pie!
I LOVE a good meat pie but sadly it has been over 5 years since I have sat down and ate one. (It's the dairy intolerance thing). However I have eaten my share of pies in the lifetime before I was diagnosed with being dairy intolerant. I worked in a bakery for 2 years when I was in high school. It was an after school and weekend job and let me tell you I ate my fair share of pies when I worked there. Oh and lamingtons, croissants, apple turnovers, vanilla slices, mini pizza's and danishes just to name a few things I indulged in on a weekly basis.
Anyway back to the pie, I have to say there are some seriously poor excuses for pies going around these days. Bakeries and packet pies alike and don't get me started on what goes into the fillings for these pies. God only knows. With the recent discovery of traces of horse and donkey meat in certain foods I would really hate to think what wonderful things get tossed into these pies that are imported from overseas. blergh.
If I could sit down to a good meat pie I want to know what is going on in the middle of it. I want to see REAL beef, vegetables all held together with a good tasting gravy. None of this strange coloured fillings where there is not a piece of meat in sight. Enter The Perfect Meat Pie.....
This pie hits all the marks in my "perfect pie" book. It has beautifully golden, flaky pastry, chunks of real beef that you can see and taste in every bite and vegetables scattered throughout a nice gravy. The secret to this pie filling is using left over roast beef that has been cooked the day or so before. I cooked a huge roast a few days earlier in the slow cooker and the meat was tender and soft. We had the obligatory roast meal with it but I had that much left over I wanted to use it up some other way. There are only so many roast beef sandwiches and salads you can eat. If you have leftover roast vegetables they would go really well in this filling as well. If you don't have a leftover roast I would suggest using some good quality rump steak for the filling instead. This filling has got enough sauce to hold everything together but will not spew out once biten into. My husband said he enjoyed this pie because the filling wasn't "spewy' (in a good way). Ha
This recipe is not exactly "Clean Eating" but knowing the ingredients that have gone into your pie definitely outweigh buying one - well for me anyway. You know what has gone into it, it's free of nasty preservatives, colourings and who knows what else. Plus the satisfaction of pulling these golden, flaky delights out of the oven is worth that little bit of extra effort than pulling one out of a packet. One cheat I did make on the pie was using store bought puff pastry instead of making my own pastry. I would suggest buying a good quality puff pastry when making these. If you have the time and want to make the effort then a home made pastry would also be delicious and would finish off the "homemade" experience. For a shortcrust pastry recipe click here.
I have an admission to make - I like tomato sauce on my pies. Yes it's full of sugar but a little drizzle just adds that little extra zing and finishes the pie of perfectly. Sarah Wilson's I Quit Sugar cookbook (links on right had side bar) has a sugar free Tomato Sauce recipe which I really need to try. It would just finish this pie off perfectly knowing I'm not consuming teaspoons of sugar in every drop of tomato sauce. Ok I'm off my sugar-free soapbox now.
I used some small disposable foil pie pans that I picked up at my local supermarket. These were really great to use. I think you can buy proper non-stick mini pie pans from your local kitchen shop, although they will be more expensive than buying the disposable version. Alternatively you could make one large pie in a regular pie dish. Oh you must serve it in a brown paper bag - it makes it taste that so much better! ha
The Perfect Meat Pie
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Keywords: bake appetizer main winter summer
Ingredients (6-8 small pies)
- 3 x sheets puff pastry, cut into 4 squares (Or make your own shortcrust pastry)
- 400-500 g cooked beef (from a roast), diced
- (or rump steak or mince instead)
- 1 x medium brown onion, finely diced
- 1 x medium carrot, diced into 1cm cube
- 2 x medium celery sticks, diced into 1 cm cube
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 x clove garlic, crushed
- 5 x springs of fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoon plain flour
- 500ml beef stock
- 1 tablespoon supreme gravy mix, mixed with 1/4 cup of water
- 1 -2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup frozen peas
- 1 egg, lightly beaten - for glaze
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and grease six small pie pans with olive oil or one large pie dish.
- *If you are not using left over roast beef, cook off the rump steak in a large pan. Remove and place into a bowl, place back into the pan when the meat needs to be added later on. Use the same pan to cook the vegetables off in the next step.
- Heat a large pan over a medium heat and place the butter to soften. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic into the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 1 minute.
- Sprinkle the plain flour over the vegetable and cook for 30 seconds. This will remove the flour taste from the gravy mixture. Slowly add in the beef stock stirring the flour into the liquid.
- Add the gravy powder and water, worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, salt & pepper, thyme and frozen peas & beef. Stir to combine all of the ingredients.
- Bring the mixture up to the boil and reduce to a slow simmer. Simmer until the mixture thickens stirring constantly. If the mixture is too thick add a dash of water to thin out.
- Once the mixture has thickened remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool for 30-40 minutes.
- Once the meat mixture has cooled sufficiently place a square of thawed puff pastry in each greased pie pan. Place ¼ to ½ cup of mixture into each pan filling to the top. Repeat until all of the mixture is used.
- Place a second square of puff pastry diagonal to the bottom piece of pastry so that the corner edges don’t overlap. Roll in the edges of the pastry to create a crust edge. Cut a cross into the top of each pie to let steam out while cooking.
- Brush the tops of the pies with the lightly beaten egg. Place the pies onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
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