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Feb 2, 2011 06:49 PM

Aussie Meat Pie

Loved, loved, loved the meat pies on my visit to Melbourne. Is it possible to reproduce that great flavor from a home kitchen here in the US? Any recipes, tips you would be willing to share?

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    1. re: mr_gimlet

      Just about anywhere I could find them; grocery store, pub, pie shop etc.

      1. re: Gmaine

        It is a tricky one. I suspect the secret of the pie is to not try to go too gourmet, so relatively cheap beef that is slow cooked, probably corn starch as a thickener so that the pastry doesn't go soggy and some pre-made supermarket pastry. So no garlic, herbs or spices, probably just a bit of salt and pepper.

        There are some "gourmet" pies in Australia which can be very good, but like a hot dog from a NYC cart the secret of a classic pie is to keep it simple, the more market you take it the less "real" it becomes.

        1. re: PhilD

          Thanks for the advise Phil. I do add Vegemite to mine, just gives it that "kick" that it needs. No problem with the "cheap beef", I found when I made it with "lean" beef it just didn't taste as good, guess you need that fat.

          1. re: Gmaine

            Vegemite in your Aussie meatpie? That's interesting :-)

            1. re: klyeoh

              No Vegemite klyeoh? Tell me more.

              1. re: Gmaine

                No, it's just that I'd never had Vegemite in pies before - I liked mine with tomato ketchup on top of the pie.

                To me, at least, Vegemite is a sandwich spread. Since I spent all my schooling & college years in Western Australia, Vegemite tends to remind me of boarding school refectory breakfasts. Eeks :-D

                That said, I absolutely LOVE Aussie meatpies - had them for lunch almost everyday whence in university. But no, never heard of Vegemite in pies as yet. Maybe I should try it.

                1. re: klyeoh

                  In the UK we often used Bovril or Marmite in beef stews to add depth. I assume Vegemite works in the same way?

                  1. re: PhilD

                    Yep, I believe vegemite is added for depth of flavour as well as depth of colour.

                    1. re: PhilD

                      Yes, it should - although Vegemite is waaay saltier than Bovril and Marmite.

                    2. re: klyeoh

                      If you've had a meat pie in Australia, chances are you've had vegemite in your pie. Its supposed to be the 'secret' ingredient in a proper recipe. Oh... how I miss meat pies.

                      1. re: redips

                        Quite likely, come to think of it. Most folks would say the only seasoning they put into meatpie filling are salt, pepper and the "anonymous" dried herbs.

              2. re: PhilD

                Phil, can you suggest a good pre-made pastry? The aussies use a short crust as a base, which I have yet to find here stateside. The only way I can recreate is to make by hand and then top with puff-pastry.

                1. re: redips

                  Sorry can't help - I am in Hong Kong. Here is a recipe though:

          2. I’ve found recipes for meat pies that call for Vegemite and some that don’t. The recipe I use was sent to me by my daughter-in-law in AU, which includes Vegemite. I must confess I haven’t really made a “pie” (with the short crust/puff pastry) as yet; I have just been experimenting with the filling. I want to make a pie you can hold in your hand and eat, like the ones from takeout shops. So far even though my filling is very good it is not the right consistency for a hand held pie.

            8 Replies
              1. re: Gmaine

                I just make a basic beef casserole (mirepoix, tomato paste, cubed shin beef or chuck steak, salt and pepper with a little stock), slow cooked and then bung it in a pie crust, sometimes topped with mashed potatoes like cottage pie...mmm...

                Don't use too much cornflour/ corn starch - it'll be like paste! Blurgh!

                1. re: Jojo9

                  Understood but if Gmaine wants it to be like a shop bought pie, it will need cornflour.

                  1. re: kersizm

                    Agreed, but if you're not sure of quantities, add only a little at a time or you'll be eating the gravy with a fork.

                    I once had a not-so-pleasant experience with a pie I was given...

                    1. re: kersizm

                      I will try more cornstarch (cornflour) and I'll be sure to add it a little at a time.

                    2. re: Jojo9

                      I'll give this a try. When you say "slow cooked" do you mean in a slow cooker?

                      1. re: Gmaine

                        I've cooked it in a slow cooker and also on the stove top on a low simmer (anything from 2 1/2 to 4 hours). You'd use less liquid and oil/ fat in a slow cooker than you would on the stove top. It just depends what easiest for you.

                        If I've got the time to be there and check on things, I prefer to cook it in a pot on the stove so I can adjust it as I need to. I think it also tastes richer as the gravy can reduce down a bit.

                        If you so use a slow cooker, you can just leave the lid off (and stir occasionally) for the last 20 minutes to reduce the liquid.

                        Please let us know how it turns out, Gmaine!

                        1. re: Jojo9

                          Thanks Jojo9. It will be awhile before I have any cooking time again but first chance I get I'm going to give it a try. I think I like the stove top method, there is just something about a simmering pot on the stove that I enjoy. Will definitely let you know how it turns out!

                  2. A more gourmet version and you can do without the mushrooms, but very good, see ink