The foodie scene in Sydney reflects the cultural melting pot of its citizens. There, you will find traces of English, Greek, Japanese, Chinese, Lebanese, Indian, French and indigenous cuisine.  From Witchetting grubs, lamingtons and emu to pea and ham soup and macadamia nuts, Aussie cuisine is unique! One dish, however, is intrinsically Australian – the meat pie.  More flavorful than its English cousin and worlds ahead of America’s chicken pot pie, the meat pie in Australia is a staple.  One of the secrets to a truly great meat pie is the crust called short crust. This is no out of the freezer pie crust! It is dense but flaky and makes a wonderful base for all the delicious gravy inside the pie.  The top is very often puff pastry.

Here is a great recipe for Australian style meat pie. Enjoy!

Australian Meat Pie

Savory Short Crust

Yields about 6 individual pies

 Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces (10 Tablespoons) butter, cut into cubes and softened
  • 2 cups flour, chilled
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup cold water

 Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the softened chunks of butter and mix together with your fingers.
  3. Combine the vinegar with the water and add to the bowl. Mix until all ingredients are sticking together.
  4. Place the mixture onto a counter dusted with flour, and knead the dough a few times… only a few.
  5. Divide the dough into 6 balls, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

The Filling

 Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped—optional! (I skipped it)
  • 2 pounds beef cubes or ground beef (I used beef sirloin cubes, which were great)
  • 6 to 8 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry dough

 Directions:

  1. Place the olive oil and onion in a pot. Add the meat and brown it.
  2. Add water until it covers the meat by an inch or so. Bring to a boil and skim the scum off the top.
  3. Add vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper and cook on low for another hour or so.
  4. Remove the meat and add the cornstarch mixed with a bit of water and stir in to thicken.
  5. Once the mixture is thickened, add the meat back in, and taste to see if you like it. If not, adapt to your own tastes!
  6. Set filling aside to cool. Then put your pies together and bake!

 To assemble the pies

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Roll out the short crust and fill individual pie containers.
  3. Add the filling.
  4. Cut the puff pastry for the top.
  5. Use an egg wash (1 raw egg beaten with a bit of water) to glue the top and sides together and coat the top crust lightly.
  6. Poke a hole in the top crust so steam can escape.
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes!