The great Australian Meat Pie!! Shortcrust pastry filled with slow cooked chunky pieces of beef in a rich gravy topped with golden puff pastry, this meat pie recipe requires patience but you will be regarded as a bloody legend by everybody fortunate enough to try one!
It’s way better than your everyday bakery and will rival some of the best meat pie makers in town – Bourke Street Bakery included! Bonus: old school beef mince meat pie recipe included.
Australian meat pie recipe!!
From midnight post-pub feasting to footy games, quick lunches on the run to essential road trip pit stops, Aussies never need an excuse to get stuck into meat pies!
That moment when you bite through the buttery, flaky golden puff pastry and the molten filling comes oozing out, and you frantically fan your mouth while mumbling “hot, hot, hot!!!”, cursing yourself for not letting it cool down but on the other hand you just don’t bloody care about third degree mouth burns because the pie is SO SO SO GOOD…..
That moment is something that every (non-vegetarian) Aussie is very familiar with.
And it’s a moment that Aussies who have moved abroad miss so much.
So today’s meat pie recipe is dedicated to all Aussies living overseas. Your hunt for a meat pie fix is officially over!!
How to make meat pies
It’s not the fastest recipe in the world – truthfully, it’s quite fiddly – but I absolutely promise it’s worth it. Here’s an overview – and the video below is quite helpful. 🙂
Pie crust base – shortcrust pastry (homemade or store bought) fitted into pie tins then blind baked so they don’t go soggy once filled. Don’t have pie tins? Use large muffin tins or ramekins, or make one giant pie! I got mine from Woolies.
Meat Pie Filling – just like making a beef stew, it’s cooked long and slow so the beef becomes ultra tender and the sauce develops incredible deep, rich flavours; and
Puff pastry pie topping – the crowning glory of the Aussie meat pie experience is that flaky golden puff pastry topping! Store bought, all the way for me. 🙂
Why two types of pastry?
I use shortcrust for the base because it won’t go soggy and has the strength so you can pick the pie up with your hands. Then puff pastry for that classic flaky meat pie lid we love and know so well!
Meat Pie Filling
Here’s what goes in the meat pie filling. This is for a chunky meat pie – pieces of beef slow cooked until fall apart tender which makes an intensely deep, rich flavoured gravy.
The old school version is made with beef mince (ground beef) but the flavour of chunky beef pies is better because you can brown the pieces beautifully which forms the flavour base for the sauce.
After an old school beef mince version?
For a beef mince version, just swap the chuck beef for beef mince and read the recipe notes for how to tweak the recipe. The sauce needs a flavour bump because it will be missing the flavour boost you get from browning cubes of beef – this step is key to a really great meat pie sauce!
Meat Pie pastry
The base of meat pies is made with shortcrust pastry and the lids are made with puff pastry. For convenience, use store bought for both if you wish. In Australia, shortcrust pastry comes frozen in square sheets. If you’re in the US or Canada, use refrigerated pie crusts (the rolled up type).
I like to make the shortcrust pastry because I feel like there’s high returns for small effort (using a food processor, it’s a 5 minute job).
But I always use store bought puff pastry – I’ve made it once, and it’s probably the only time I ever will in my life!
Meat Pie recipe tips
Brown the beef VERY well – this is key to ensure your filling has a rich complex flavour and is a deep dark brown colour. Brown in small batches – don’t crowd the pot otherwise the beef will stew in its own juices and will never brown! If this happens, just take some out.
Beef mince version – use recipe tweaks in the notes to give the sauce a flavour boost (because mince doesn’t brown like using cubes of beef)
Chunky vs beef mince – no question, chunky is superior in flavour and overall eating experience! Just can’t achieve the same sauce flavour using mince (but still so SO tasty!)
Start the day before – if you can. Firstly, it’s best for the filling to be fridge cold to ensure the meat pie base doesn’t go soggy. Secondly, as with all stews, the filling is even better the next day!
Don’t reduce the sauce too much. Some liquid evaporates while the filling is cooling and liquid gets absorbed by the pie crust. When you cut open the pie, you want the filling to ooze out and be nice and saucy, not dry.
Don’t make the pie crust too thin – if making your own shortcrust pastry, don’t make the base too thin otherwise it will break when the pie is picked up. Still tasty – but very messy!
To smear or not to smear?? To this day, I cannot believe there are people who eat meat pies without tomato sauce. I really try to respect personal preferences….. but I will never understand! 😂
Hands – or knife and fork? Knife and fork?? Shame on you! The Aussie meat pie is made for eating with your hands!!!🤣
Worth the effort!
It will take you the better part of a day to make homemade meat pies. It’s quite involved and they’re especially fiddly because we’re making individual pies rather than one large pie.
But you will be regarded as a bloody legend by everybody fortunate enough to put one of these pies in their pie-hole!
Are they as good as what you can buy? YES. Better than your everyday bakery by a long shot, even using store bought pastry. Way WAY better than the average frozen meat pies from the supermarket.
That moment when you pull these golden beauties out of the oven – you’ll feel both excited AND smug (as you should……)
But then, you smear the still-hot-from-the-oven meat pie with some tomato sauce, and take a huge bite….
There are no words. (But I shall try)
You’ve got a mouthful of buttery shortcrust pastry that literally melts in your mouth, juicy fall apart beef smothered in a rich gravy with flavour money can’t buy, and the flaky crispy puff pastry…..
Be still my beating heart.
There is simply no question. It’s one of the best food experiences in the world! – Nagi x
🇦🇺More Aussie fare🇦🇺
Party Pies (Aussie Mini Beef Pies) – Mini meat pies!
Sausage Rolls – Seasoned pork mixture rolled up in puff pastry. We believe this rivals Bourke St Bakery too!😂
Lamingtons – Vanilla sponge cubes dipped in chocolate and coated with coconut
Anzac biscuits – Crispy, buttery, toffee flavoured oatmeal cookies
Pavlova!! – Crispy meringue on the outside, marshmallow on the inside, piled high with cream and fruit
Watch how to make it
Aussie Meat Pie recipe
Pie Base - Choose ONE (Note 1):
- 1 1/2 batches homemade shortcrust pastry
- 3 frozen shortcrust pastry sheets, thawed (300g/10oz)
- 2 refrigerated pie crusts (US/Can)
- 3 frozen puff pastry sheets, just thawed (300g/10oz) (Note 2)
- 1 egg , lightly whisked
- 1.25 kg / 2.5lb beef chuck , 2.5cm/1" cubes (Note 3)
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
- 2 - 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion , diced
- 4 garlic cloves , minced
- 5 tbsp flour , plain/all purpose
- 1 1/4 cups (315 ml) beef stock, low sodium (Note 4)
- 3 cups (750 ml) red wine , dry full bodied (Note 5)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp black pepper , coarsely ground
- 2 bay leaves
- Sprinkle beef with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large heavy based pot over high heat. Add 1/3 of the beef and brown aggressively all over, then remove. Repeat with remaining beef, adding more oil if needed.
- Turn stove down to medium high. Add garlic and onion, cook 3 minutes.
- Add flour, stir through.
- Slowly add beef stock while stirring constantly. Once flour is dissolved, add wine, tomato paste, Worcestershire, pepper and bay leaves.
- Return beef into pot, cover with lid, adjust heat so it's simmering gently.
- Simmer 1 hr 45 minutes. Remove lid, increase heat slightly and simmer 30 - 45 minutes, stirring regularly, or until beef is fork tender and liquid reduces down to a thickish gravy, just about covering beef (see video). Do not reduce liquid too much - thickens more as it cools & in pie.
- Remove from stove, cover and cool filling (I usually leave overnight).
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Cut out 6 rounds from the shortcrust pastry, then drape pastry into pie tins - don't stretch and pull pastry, causes shrinkage. (Notes 1 & 6)
- Place pies on tray. Top each pie with large sheets of parchment / baking paper and fill with pie weights (Note 7).
- Bake 20 minutes, remove, then use paper overhang to carefully remove pie weights.
- Return crusts into oven for 5 minutes or until base is light golden and dry (can skip, Note 8). Remove from oven.
- Fill pies with cooled filling, push down to fill. Should be slightly mounded.
- Cut rounds from partially thawed puff pastry - cut them slightly larger than the edge of the cooked pastry bases.
- Brush edge of pie crusts with egg, then place lid on filling, pressing edges to seal puff pastry to the shortcrust pastry.
- Brush lids with egg, then cut a 1cm / 0.5" incision in the middle using a small knife.
- Bake 30 minutes or until deep golden and puffed.
- Devour hot and fresh, topped with tomato sauce or ketchup if desired!
- Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, cut sticks/shapes bake until golden. Try garlic butter, sprinkle with parmesan and pepper, or dukkdah or zaatar. Or just bake sticks plain and use as dippers with soups or stews.
- Cook onion and garlic, then add 1.3 kg / 2.6lb beef mince (ground beef) and brown
- Add flour and remaining ingredients per recipe including pepper but DO NOT ADD SALT
- Add 1 beef cube, crumbled
- Simmer gently, covered, for 1 hr 20 minutes
- Uncover and reduce for 20 minutes
- Add up to 1 tsp dark soy sauce to make the sauce colour a nice brown and add flavour (soy has more flavour than plain salt), simmer for 5 min. Add normal salt if you want it saltier.
- Cool then use as filling per recipe.
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