Tuesday, February 21, 2012

meat pie attempt # 2 . . . Filling

Attempt #2 was a winning success in my book! You remember attempt #1, right? We nailed the shortcrust recipe, which is the base of the pies. So last night, I repeated that shortcrust recipe to another perfect result, but I had to fix that filling! This time, I decided to just follow my nose, my taste buds, my memories from the real thing in Australia a few weeks ago... I created my own recipe. I succeeded. And the two Australian boys who did the taste testing agree. So I'm pleased to present to you Recitherapy's very own Aussie meat pie filling recipe: (so exciting saying that! it's been a long time coming)

Start off by making your shortcrust dough and baking your individual pie crusts. This time, I lined the dishes with foil so that when they were done, I could simply lift the pies out of the dish and serve them naked... they're so pretty that way! Here's what I mean:
cute, right?
Now for the filling...

makes 4-6 individual pies, depending on your size dishes.
You'll need:

  • 1/2 pound ground beef (& any extra bits of leftover Sunday roast if you've got it.. just a good way to use your leftovers!)
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, freshly minced
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • a generous amount of worcestershire sauce (i used 14 dashes, if that helps.. classic "me" measurements, i know, i'm sorry) 
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch (or a little less)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and ground pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly olive oil your pan or cast-iron skillet and start to saute your onion and minced garlic, just until starting to smell really beautiful. Like I was saying, if you happen to have any leftover bacon or roast drippings from a previous roast, go ahead and throw that in as well, it'll really flavor the onions nicely.
Once the onions are getting golden, add in your ground beef and any extra roast bits (if you have them) and start to brown it for about a minute. Make sure to press out the clumps with the back of your wooden spoon so that it all cooks evenly. Then add in your beef bouillon cube and about 1/3 cup water. Press the bouillon cube with your spoon until it crumbles and then continue to let that mixture simmer on medium heat for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the meat is all cooking evenly.
Once the meat is starting to brown, add in your worcestershire sauce, some salt and a generous amount of ground pepper. (pepper is one of those sneaky, understated, glorious ingredients in this recipe... it's your friend here. use it.)
starting to look good! (and smell even better)

Once that's been simmering for a few more minutes, let's add in your cornstarch, dashing in a little at a time and stirring it in so you don't end up with clumpy gravy. Nothing's worse than clumpy gravy. Now your mixture is gonna start getting thick and inviting like a giant warm blanket.
Oh man... look at that. Talk about a hearty, soul warming dish. If you wanted to just stop there and not even worry about making dough for pies, no one would blame you. Serve it as is and you'd have happy camper dinner guests. (although serving it in pie form is so much more attractive... let's stick with that)

Generously scoop your filling into the prepared shortcrusts, making sure to put plenty of the juices in there as well, top with your leftover shortcrust dough (rolled thin) and pinch it closed. Then lightly brush the tops with egg wash or butter. Bake them for 25-30 minutes, until light golden. (by the way, this is not the top dough recipe i want, but for now, it works... that will be attempt #3. but hey, i'm 2 for 2 here so far, so i'm believing we'll be successful on the first real attempt at a top dough recipe.)
Look at those little dense beauties! Serve all on their own or with a little side of tomato sauce for a true Aussie experience. Encourage your dinner guests to just pick it up and sink their teeth in... it's so much more fun than using a fork or spoon. And if you're like James, you're gonna want to make some hearty homemade fries (chips) to dip in there. Few things in life taste more comforting than a gravy soaked chip. ENJOY.

side note extra recipe... TARTS!
"what do i do with this little extra bit of dough? i don't want to just throw it away..." Don't throw it away! My mother always used to make these (and still does) with her extra dough.. whether it was apple pie crust dough, chicken pot pie crust dough, whatever, you knew there was gonna be tarts for a little side dessert, because they're just too darn easy and a perfect use of your extra scraps!
Roll your dough out thin, brush it with melted butter and top with cinnamon and sugar.
make sure to coat all the way to the edges!

Roll it up, pinch the ends closed, place it on an ungreased baking sheet and cut it into roughly 3/4 inch slices. Lay them down on their sides, spaced apart.
what a cute little petit cinnamon-y pinwheel!

Now turn your oven down to 350 so they don't burn to a crisp and pop them in for 5-8 minutes. (it should already be really hot in there since you just baked pies) They should be golden and flaky when you take them out. Let them cool for about 5 minutes and then carefully remove them from the pan... just be gentle because they're fragile. Serve after dinner with some espresso or hot cinnamon tea. Careful, they're tiny and addicting.

Lots of love everybody, and thanks for being patients with me while I figure out how to make the very best of Aussie meat pies... you know I'm not gonna serve these if they're not positively delicious and truly our own Recitherapy recipe! ;)
Happy Tuesday to you.

1 comment:

  1. Always makes me hungry reading your blog. How well I remember our very first authentic Aussie Meat Pies on our first day in Sydney! Looks perfect...I could almost smell the onions, garlic and olive oil.