It's the first week of Autumn and to start it off with a bang I thought I would tempt you with a home made 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. Yuck.
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 bitten 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 off perfectly. 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!