RecipeTin Eats x Good Food: How to make the ultimate meat pie

The perfect Aussie meat pie served with sauce, of course.
The perfect Aussie meat pie served with sauce, of course. Photo: RecipeTin Eats

Homemade crispy shortcrust base. Slow-cooked chunky fall-apart beef in a rich gravy. Golden flaky puff pastry lid (buy it, it's OK!).

Meat pies take patience and time to make. But you'll be regarded as a legend by anyone fortunate enough to put one in their gob!

The Great Aussie Meat Pie

This homemade meat pie will rival the best pie makers in town. And it's way, way better than one from an everyday suburban bakery!

INGREDIENTS

Shortcrust pie base

  • 275g plain flour
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 150g unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 4½ tbsp ice cold water (plus more as needed)

Pie lid

  • 3 frozen puff pastry sheets, just thawed (300g)
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
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Filling

  • 1.25kg beef chuck cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 tbsp plain flour
  • 1¼ cups (315ml) reduced-salt beef stock
  • 3 cups (750ml) dry, full-bodied red wine (see tips)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 2 bay leaves

METHOD

  1. For the filling, sprinkle beef with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy-based pot over high heat. Add one-third of the beef and brown aggressively all over, then remove. Repeat with remaining beef, adding more oil if needed.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium-high. Add garlic and onion, cook for 3 minutes. Add flour, stir through. Slowly add beef stock while stirring constantly. Once flour is dissolved, add wine, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and bay leaves.
  3. Return the beef to the pot, cover with lid and adjust heat so it's simmering gently. Simmer for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Remove lid, increase heat slightly and simmer for a further 30-45 minutes, stirring regularly, or until the beef is fork tender and the liquid has reduced to a thickish gravy, that is just about covering the beef. Remove from stove, cover and set aside to cool.
  4. For the shortcrust, place flour and salt in a food processor. Briefly whiz to combine. Add butter then blitz for 10 seconds on high speed until the largest lumps are pea-sized. With the motor on low, pour the water through feeder. Blitz for 15 to 20 seconds until it comes together into a ball, adding more water if required. Turn out onto lightly floured work surface, briefly knead together to form a smooth ball then pat into a 2cm-thick round disc. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Roll out dough 3mm-thick on a lightly floured work surface. Cut out circles and line 6 individual meat pie tins. Prick bases with a fork, cover with cling film and freeze for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced (200C conventional). Cover each pie base with a piece of baking paper and fill with baking beads (or large dried beans). Bake for 20 minutes, remove beads, then bake for a further 5 minutes. Set aside to cool before filling.
  7. To assemble the pies, fill each pie base with cooled filling. Cut rounds of puff pastry. Brush around the edge of the shortcrust with egg, then top with puff pastry. Brush lid with egg and cut a 1cm cross in the centre.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes until deep golden. Serve with tomato sauce!

Makes 6

TIPS

  • Red wine – contrary to popular belief, there's no need to use expensive drinking wine for slow-cooked foods. It rarely makes a noticeable difference. I use heavily discounted end-of-bin bottles. Merlot and cabernet sauvignon are ideal.
  • You could use ramekins or large muffin tins if you don't have individual pie tins.
  • Freezing the rolled out shortcrust before baking helps prevent shrinkage.
  • If using store-bought shortcrust, thaw the pastry, line the tins and place in the freezer before blind-baking as per the recipe.

If you like this recipe try my slow-cooked kangaroo pie.