Week 40. Australia. Meat Pie.

Here are some facts which tie me to Australia.

  • An Australian called Jasmine once lived in our box-room. She never unpacked and the room was so small I think she used the lid of her suitcase as her duvet.
  • I worked in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics and my job was to make sure people in a pub didn’t pass a series of spots on the pavement. They, of course, couldn’t see the spots as they were standing on them so I was paid to argue.
  • I once swam in a Crocodile infested river in Darwin by mistake. I lived.
  • I caught a fish and dispatched it in Brisbane only to be told it was too small to kill and “unless you feed it to that bloody Pelican I’m going to fine you mate”.
  • I ate a lot of food at a lot of sporting events in Sydney…..and this has dictated tonight.
When thinking about what dish to cook for Australia I started with what I thought people would expect people to me to make. Kangaroo, Croc, Wallaby, Snake etc etc. However, when I thought back to my time there, the unusual dishes were associated with the travelling population rather than Australians. Instead I wanted to cook something I saw Aussies eating.
Aussies bloody love sport and so do I, so we shared a lot of time together in arenas across the country – and the food I saw more than ever was pie. . In the UK we eat a lot of pies whilst in stadiums, but one thing we don’t tend to do is pop a dollop of Tomato Ketchup on top using a special dispenser  – which is to my knowledge still exclusive to the southern hemisphere. It is so very clever. A sauce designed especially for a pie!
The brilliance of this dispenser means you can buy a pie at a footie match (all pies must be made to be no bigger than a handful) and add sauce with one quick snap.
I bought aluminium dishes (the ones you get takeaway curry in) and made the pies in these as they were perfectly handsized. I rubbed each dish in butter and then lined them in shortcrust pastry. I added the filling which I will detail below and then added a puff pastry top which I fused to the shortcrust with an egg wash. I then brushed the top with butter and ground pepper.  I baked for 30 mins and it was done.
Meat mix (for in the pie – and this made 2 pies):
1 large onion
500 g mince
1 tsp Vegemite
1 Cup Beef Stock
1 Large Squeeze Ketchup
2 TBSP Worcester Sauce
Gently fry the onion for 3 mins in a tbsp of oil. Add the mince for 5 mins or until lightly brown. Add the stock, ketchup and Worcester Sauce and let it all cook for 5 mins. Add a pinch of salt and all done.

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