Australia: Aussie Meat Pie

meat pieThe first time I had an Aussie Meat Pie was when our Australian friend, Simon, invited us to an Australian charity auction at a pub in Baltimore. There was a drawing at the door for a handful of prizes, and we actually won one of them: a case of Aussie Meat Pies. This was a decade ago and I had never even heard of them before that moment. Simon told us that the meat pies were the best of all the door prizes and that we should consider ourselves very lucky. He was right. There were about twelve of these little delights in miniature pie tins and I must have eaten one a day for the next few days. They are THAT good. One problem is that they are very hard to come by, so you have to make them from scratch. The ones I make have yet to live up to the memory, but it gets me half way there, which is close enough for me and cheaper than flying to Australia.

Origins. According to Wikipedia, an Australian meat pie is a hand-sized meat pie containing largely ground beef, gravy, and sometimes onion, and often consumed as a takeaway food snack. It is considered iconic in
both Australia and neighbouring New Zealand . It was described by former New South Wales Premier Bob Carr in 2003 as Australia’s “national dish”.

Kid Approved. I made some the other night for Little Boy G. I had a craving for some mussels, so that’s what I prepared for myself. When I was making the meat pie, LBG asked me what it was and I told him. He said, “I don’t want it!” I said, “Oh, it’s not for you. It’s for Daddy. You and I are having mussels.” He looked over at the bag of mussels and responded sweetly and quietly, “Mama? Can I have the meat pie instead?” 🙂 So I reluctantly agreed and made one for him, too. He LOVED it. First he said he only wanted to eat the crust, but when I looked at his plate, the meat was gone too. And then those words: “May I have some more, please?” Hah! He even asked for the same dish the next night for dinner. VICTORY. (As an aside…he took one look at the large bowl of mussels in front of me at the dinner table and said, “Mama, you’re going to get a little bit heavy if you eat all that.” I laughed and told him I’d take my chances. They were sublime.)

What hamburgers are to the US, Aussie Meat Pies are to Australians…

My version follows…

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4-1/2 cup ketchup (to your taste)
  • Onion flakes
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 prepared pie shell, 8-inch
  • (4) 8″ individual mini pie tins
  • 2 Pre-made pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425F (a toaster oven is easier and quicker and uses less energy!)

Prepare the pie tins with the pie crust, and bake for about 10 minutes.

Brown the beef in a medium size skillet. Add the ketchup to your taste, it shouldn’t be too overpowering. Add the Worcestershire sauce and the onion flakes. Add the milk. Mix completely and then taste. It shouldn’t be too salty, but it should have a little flavor.

Transfer the beef mixture to a food processor or blender. Blizt until smooth. Fill each crust in the pie tin with a serving of the beef and cover the top with a circle of pie crust. Slice the top of the pie crust so it can breath. It should look like a little two-crust apple pie.

Bake on 425 until browned. Serve with ketchup and your choice of veggies. Enjoy!

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6 Comments

  1. Nessie said,

    June 27, 2008 at 7:10 am

    Wow! I haven’t thought about meat pies in years! When I was an exchange student in 1983 in Canberra I think I had one for lunch nearly every day! I don’t remember there being tins though, just crust and big enough to warm your hands. I remember my hands being cold a lot in the winter. Central heat was not common even in the school. Now that I think about it, that is probably why I started wearing fingerless gloves. (And all this time I thought I was being trendy!)

  2. FoodyMom said,

    June 30, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Wow! Real meat pies! In Australia. Now that I have never done. Lucky girl.

  3. Bob Harper said,

    July 11, 2008 at 4:04 am

    You Beauty! Aussie tucker by the handfull! Meat pies are an Aussie working man’s lunch in many parts of Australia. On a cold day when working outdoors there’s little that can beat a hot “pie’n’sauce” which is pretty much what you made in your recipe. You’d keep an Aussie bloke well fed!
    Often the pie is served with a spoonful of boiled “dried peas” inside the pie, known down under as mushie peas. If a spoonful of mashed potato is added you get “Pie’n’2’Veges”. That’s your Aussie lesson for the day…
    Good’on’yer, mate!
    Bob.

  4. Warren T. said,

    October 15, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    I am a 60 yo ex-pat Ozzie, now living in Texas USA. I NEED a couple of bloody pies!!! 🙂
    I have been looking for appropriate pie shells to make my own … most times I just get some guy scratching his bloody head, wondering what I am talking about. Does ANYBODY know how (besides making them myself), I can get hold of these appropriate shells around here?

    Warren.

    I feel your pain, Warren! But here, in the US of A, you won’t be able to find the mini pre-baked pie shells. You can buy the larger ones, for say, apple pie or something. The only option, really, is to buy the pre-made crusts, cut out two circles–one to fit the bottom of the tin, and the other, a little smaller, to cover the top. The mini pie tins can be found at most grocery stores in the home supply section of your grocery. I hope that helps–Those pies are so darn good!

  5. jackinthebean said,

    May 30, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Hi, I was just working on my site and saw yours come up under my pies. I love how you got your little one addicted to the Aussie meat pie.

    Please check out my site, wandjinagourmet.wordpress.com. A lot of it is still under construction, but as an Australian living in New York and working as a personal chef, I make and sell Aussie meat pies. Everything from scratch. I’m willing to work something out with delivery via UPS or something, if anyone is interested. (of course to send them out of state, I would have to make them then freeze them for the transportation, but I know special freezer bags are available).

    I used to sell them at a bar in the East Village and they couldn’t keep them in stock. In fact, one man came in asking for a curry pie. When told they were out and asked what he wanted to drink he replied, “Nothing thanks. I always come in on Wednesdays for my pie.” And left. Yes, they’re very addictive, and I make great ones, too, according to reviews. People have told me they even dream about them.

    Thanks & keep on blogging!


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