When my hubs and I got married, there were a few things I had to learn to cook. Toast with Vegemite and mild cheddar cheese. Ham and cheese sandwiches with butter on the bread instead of mustard. Pea and ham soup like his mum makes. But the thing I had the hardest time getting right was Australian meat pie. My first few attempts, I used short pastry like I’d use for any savory pie and made the filling with sirloin and mushrooms and red wine, and it was yummy. And he ate it and said it was good. But finally after about the third time I made one that way he admitted that while that was a very nice steak and mushroom something or other, it was NOT an Aussie meat pie like he missed. Like the ones you get at a bakery. Like the ones you eat with “sauce” (aka ketchup) while you watch the footie.
So I went back to the internet and the drawing board and discovered an Australian blogger’s recipe that I finally adapted into this. And after a bit more trial and error, he swears this version is perfect. From what I gather, this is to Australians what the hot dog is to Americans–your basic religious experience. And like hot dogs, it’s cheap to make. So, you know, win win.
One helpful hint I wish someone had shared with me: give yourself about an hour and a half to get this done. None of the steps are complicated or particularly time-consuming, but you’ll need to pause between stages.
1 pound hamburger
1 onion, chopped (I have also used dried minced onion in a pinch.)
1 cup water, divided
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
A generous sprinkling black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 generous pinch ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons plain flour
2 sheets frozen puff pastry
Brown the hamburger and the chopped onion over medium-high heat until the meat is cooked through and the onion is translucent. DO NOT DRAIN THE GREASE. I know, it hurts my soul, too, but it completely screws up the texture. Add 3/4 cup of the water, the bouillon cubes, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, oregano, and nutmeg; stir it all together. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, cook for 15 minutes.
Blend flour and remaining 1/4 cup water into a smooth paste. Add it to the meat mixture, stir it in thoroughly. (That’s what does magic with all that grease you left in the meat; it makes a really yummy gravy.) Remove from heat and let cool for about 20 minutes. While the filling cools, thaw your puff pastry and preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Grease a pie dish and line it with thawed puff pastry–roll it out to the size you want. Fill with cooled meat mixture. Brush the edge with beaten egg wash or milk. Top with the second sheet of puff pastry, again rolled to size. Seal the edge by pinching it with your fingers or with a fork; trim off the excess. Cut vents in the top. Brush the whole top with the beaten egg wash or milk.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 25 more minutes or until golden brown.
This makes four Thunder-sized servings or six non-Thunder-sized servings. We eat it with tater tots, and he squirts ketchup all over the top of his. Do with that information what you will. All I’ll say is, it’s pretty darned tasty.