I lived in Australia for a few years and travel there frequently, entirely for the growing community. And the weather. And the beaches. And the animals. The food, while fairly traditional fare... is AMAZING. Anything you make that tastes good in the US, when made instead with Aussie ingredients, will taste a thousand times better. High wages, low cost of living, great food.. They have a good quality of life over there.
This is one of my favorite recipes from Aus. I walk to the local shops and pick up meat pies allll the time, more often than I really probably should. When I'm away, it's like I've lost a piece of my heart (or my stomach.. same thing really ).
So every chance I get, I'm making one kind of meat pie or another.. sausage, chicken, beef... when you say 'pie' in Australia, no one's thinking 'cherries'. They are thinking MEAT
More often than not, they are small single-serve pies. In this recipe we'll be making a larger, multi-serving pie.
You will need:
- a pie dish
- 1 Tbsp Herb/Hash oil in your strength (we're using a blend, you can use either/or)
- ¾ - 1 Tbsp hash oil (I save some for the crust, but that's optional due to heat/temps)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar (I was going cheese-less, but found a can of condensed cheese soup in the pantry)
- ¼ cup shredded bacon
- 1 ¼ - 1 ½ lbs minced/ground beef
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 2 tsp/cubes beef bullion
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp black pepper or grains of paradise
optional: onion and celery, or other appropriate veggies... I use celery, because my better half hates onions.
For crust (if you're hesitant making your own, buy pre-made frozen, or packet mixes):
- 2 ½ cups flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ cups cold water
- ½ cup butter or lard
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ½ teaspoon beef bullion
- ¼ Tbsp hash oil
In a large pot, brown your beef, with the pepper and garlic, and whatever veggies you plan to use.
Most recipes say to 'discard' the resulting oil... instead I save mine, and reduce the water normally required for the recipe. It may not be very healthy, but it's very tasty If you want to discard your oil, add the garlic and pepper only after you've done so.
Once browned, add your beef stock cubes, 1 cup water, and nutmeg. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, then add a your additional ¼ cup water, mixed first with the 2 Tbsp flour. Simmer and stir gently, until the mixture begins to thicken. At this point, add your soy sauce.
Simmer an additional 5 minutes. Stir in your hash oil, and remove from heat.
Blend your dry ingredients (if your bullion is a powder or cube, crush and blend here).
Now, blend for up to 4 minutes all the ingredients that make up the crust, wet and dry. You want to have your lard or butter soft, but not melted, before you begin this process. If you blend too much, your crust will be too dense.
Once you have a consistent-textured dough ball, separate 1/3 and begin forming it into its own ball. This smaller portion is your base, the larger is the top crust.
This is where I get lazy.. you're supposed to put these balls in the fridge, and use them as late as the following day. I just chill them for an hour.
Roll them flat, one at a time (base first) however you feel is easiest for you. I place it between a lightly floured, folded piece of cling wrap, and (ever since I shattered my rolling pin years ago) I roll with whatever I have handy, usually a can of pam cooking spray.
(this is the thicker top/lid crust)
You kept the top piece larger so you can have a thicker crust, so don't flatten it too much or you'll be left with a lot of excess.
Building the Pie:
Preheat your oven, to 400 f.
Lay the base portion flat in your lightly greased pie dish, carefully removing any excess around the edges with a knife. Bake for 5 minutes until nearly, but not-quite-done, and remove from oven.
You'll want to stop just short of this point..
Pour your filling into the crust in the pie dish.
Spread your bacon over that... (I mix half through the meat before pouring, the other half on top. You can go either way you choose.)
Add your cheese.. rather than sprinkling it evenly over the top, add it heavier and lighter in different sections. This way you can have more meat in some places, and more cheese in others... otherwise, you're left wondering where the cheese even is
Now take your thicker crust, and carefully lay it over the top, leaving or removing as much excess as desired. Fold or fork the two edges together (base and top), sealing them shut.
Finally, make three small slits near the center of your pie.
Bake in your preheated oven for 6 minutes on high heat, then reduce to 320 f, and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the crust is a golden brown.
Allow 10 minutes to cool, cut, serve, and enjoy