Welcome to Australia, the land of beautiful beaches, barren deserts and the meat pie.
According to the highly reliable and informative Wikipedia, the premier of New South Wales in 2003, Bob Carr called the meat pie Australia’s “National Dish”.
Crunchy puff pastry toppings, generally cover succulent pieces of steak in a rich sauce. Most Australian and New Zealand locals like nothing more than to bite into a steaming hot hand sized pie.
Today I will be creating a slightly healthier version with only a pastry topping in ramekins.
Steak and Mushroom Pot Pies
250 -300g Diced Steak (I used Sirloin but rump would be fine)
8 – 12 White Button Mushrooms quartered
1/2 an onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 tsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Cup of Stock (Chicken, beef or vegetable is fine)
1 1/2 tsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp of dark soy sauce (for colour)
Capful of Whiskey
1 Tbsp Cornflour dissolved in cold water into little more than a paste
1 sprig of parsley, mint and basil
3 Ramekins or dessert bowls to cook these in
2 Sheets of Flaky Puff Pastry
1 tsp of Oil to glaze
1. Turn on oven to 180° then finely dice the onions and garlic and combine with salt and pepper.
2. Add the oil to a small pot or frying pan and heat until the oil is smoking slightly.
3. Add the garlic and onion mixture and cook until fragrant (3 seconds)
4. Add the diced steak and brown briefly. Then add the chicken stock, maple syrup and soy sauce.
5. Simmer briefly for 5 – 7 minutes.
6. Then add the corn flour combined with cold water and stir through. This should thicken the mixture.
7. Pour into the bowls and add herbs on the top.
8. Place the pastry sheet on a board or flat surface and use one of the bowls to trace around and create the topping. Cut enough to cover each of the dishes. Then place them on top of the meat mixture and carefully press to seal.
9. If you want to create pastry plaits, then slice three slim slices of pastry and plait together as you would hair. Twist these around the edge of the bowl.
10. Gently brush oil over the pastry and poke two small air holes at the top.
11. If you are using ceramic bowls, place in a water filled tray and cook the pies in the oven at 180° until the tops are puffed and golden brown (sometimes you may need to turn on grill towards the end).
Tune in tomorrow for another Australian dish.
Ginga Musings out.