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South African Pies

I've already posted on the General Board but thought someone on this board could help me with info on South African Meat pies. What is the pastry like? What fillings? and any other pertinent info is much appreciated.
thanks in advance

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  1. Not sure where you from so don't know what to liken it to that you may be familiar with. SA meat pies are similiar to Australian meat pies. Steak and kidney is the most popular. Pastry is not heavy.

    1. Sorry to weigh in so late...

      When you say 'pie' to a South African, they automatically assume you're talking about a meat pie. Sweet (fruit) pies have almost no presence here. And given colonial influences in SA, our pie preferences tend towards the British. Chicken, lamb, fish, and of course, the ever-popular steak and kidney. The pastry is pretty much the same as in the UK. Most commmercial pies include a certain amount of vegetable fats with or instead of butter; better, home-made ones will be made out of flaky pastry or puff.

      Other, related foods you might try exploring are bobotie (mince, but with a non-pastry cover), and another immensely popular snack food, samoosas, which also have a pastry crust and often a meaty filling.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gooseberry

        As an ex-pat, trapped in the sweet toothed US, let me agree re the 'pie' question. In SA, 'pie' means a savory thing - unlike the US where it automatically means 'sweet'. So almost every corner store sells fresh or frozen pies.
        As a glutton of note - the standard corner-store (or as they're called in SA, 'cafe's')
        pie fillings are:
        cheese and onion
        beef and onion
        steak and kidney
        curried vegetable

        When in SA - try EVERYTHING :) The foods available are a dizzying mishmash of African, British, Malay, Indian, Dutch, Portuguese, Greek.. as well as the standard 'junk food' of US/Chinese/Italian takeout..

        if the original poster is from the US - then the 'samoosas' mentioned - unlike the bloated potato-filled weird concoction in the US, in Africa, are an extremely delicious treat, which also come in a wide variety of fillings - almost entirely savory.

        Okay, now I'm hungry, damn it :)

        1. apon leaving cape town,driving back to pretoia we stopped at a small villeg,and got some pie's i got a shock they were much better than the one's you buy in england and the pastry was great.

          1. I was in south africa not that long ago and I had the pies there and they were amazing. What is in the pepper steak pies you buy at the gas stations. Is there any recipes for this on the internet.

            3 Replies
            1. re: shawners

              came here looking for a recipe myself, so here you go. this first link is to what looks like the supplier to those gas stions. those pies are truly amazing. the second link is to the site with the recipe. it's the best I could find and IMHO as an expat, I think the secret is the sago.



              Ideal for the lunch box, picnic, or alfresco meals, this delicious pepper steak pie recipe is from the author and food enthusiast, Mariam Jadwa-Omar's book, "Creative cooking-the easy way". Available in most community book stores.

              PEPPER STEAK PIES

              2 large sheets pre-rolled puff pastry
              500g rump steak, cut into 1cm cubes
              1 Tblsp butter
              1 green Chilli, finely chopped
              2 tsp garlic pasta
              1 tsp crushed black pepper
              Salt to taste
              2 cups water
              ½ cup sago
              Egg, lightly beaten, to glaze
              Poppy seeds, to sprinkle
              18 mini foil packs
              Braise green Chilli and garlic in butter
              Add meat, pepper and salt, and cook until meat is tender.
              Boil sago in water until clear and glossy and add to cooked meat.
              Using a round cutter, the same diameter as mini foil pack, cut 18 rounds from each pastry sheet.
              Line each foil pack with one pastry round.
              Spoon filling over base and cover with another pastry round. Press edges to seal.
              Brush with egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
              Bake at 200 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

              Makes 18

              1. re: capetowngirlie

                Thanks for this info! Have been to SA three times and can't find a meat pie in Central Florida and lately I am having bad cravings!
                If you have any more info since this post a year ago please update!
                Thanks again,

                1. re: capetowngirlie

                  hi, do u have any recipe for chicken and mushroom or a good cornish pasty.. the pepper steak was awesome brought back lots of fond memories.. thank

              2. I know it is very late to reply to this, but reading through the posts just got my mouth watering and I wanted to add my 2cents:
                Whenever in Pretoria, get to Varsity Bakery in Lynwood Road and order the pepper steak pie - heck, order two of them. No better pie in the world.

                I'm stuck in the US and just the thought of a pepper steak pie makes me miss home even more... :(

                2 Replies
                1. re: xalamander

                  Thanks for the advice.
                  I'll tell you what - I'll order 3 - and eat one just for you!

                  1. re: PieDesigns

                    We tried the Pepper Steak Pies, after reading the comments.
                    I am glad to have the posted recipe, as they were a great lunch, and although we loved all of the food, we found most dishes were underspiced, so the "kick" of the pie was a wonderful treat.

                2. I usually write about food in Amsterdam, but have temporarily moved by mobile office down to the southern hemisphere. Johannesburg, which seems to be a neglected culinary destination, has a growing number of weekend (food) markets, often in interesting renovated buildings.

                  Markets to try for pies - and a host of other homemade or locally produced items, including biltong, fynbos honey, cheese, beer, raw chocolate and the samosas mentioned in some of the other posts - are Neighbourgoods on Saturdays http://www.neighbourgoodsmarket.co.za/ and Arts on Main on Sundays http://www.artsonmain.co.za/.

                  It's not exactly a pie, but I discovered 'roosterkoek' at one of the food stalls at Arts on Main. An Afrikaans word that translates literally as 'grill cake', these are bread rolls cooked on a braai (bbq) and then stuffed with grilled meats, sauces and the like. They are delicious! This site has a good description and photo: http://www.cooksister.com/2010/05/roo....

                  Eat Amsterdam

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: eatamsterdam

                    At the Rosebank Market on Sunday try the chicken pies from the vendor next to the cheese people in the corner. They are delicious gut-fillers (in the best sense), I think they come from a place called 'The Home of the Chicken Pie' that is on the R512 heading NW out of Johannesburg to Hartbeespoort (the road that also takes you to Lanseria Airport).

                    1. re: barrykm

                      we will be returning to Capetown in January.
                      Any suggestions in the vicinity?

                      1. re: erly

                        'Fraid not, don't know Cape Town at all.

                        1. re: erly

                          There's a stall at the Earth Food Fair Market in Tokai with really good pies.