Old-fashioned meat pies

Old-fashioned meat pies with tomato sauce, of course.
Old-fashioned meat pies with tomato sauce, of course. Photo: Marina Oliphant

This is a real meat pie. Use cheaper cuts of meat, such as oyster blade or skirt, to provide loads of flavour and benefit from slow cooking. I have used ready-made pastry here, but it would be delicious with homemade shortcrust. Individual aluminium pie tins are readily available at the supermarket, or make one large family pie for dinner.


1 brown onion

1 carrot

1 stick celery

4 tbsp olive oil

750g oyster-blade (or skirt) steak

4 tbsp plain flour

2 cups veal stock (or water)

salt and pepper to season

8 sheets ready-rolled shortcrust pastry (or home-made)

1 egg, beaten for pastry glaze

tomato sauce to serve


1. Roughly chop onion, carrot and celery, put into a food processor and finely chop.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy based pot and fry the vegetables for 5 minutes until softened. Remove and set aside.

3. Cut the meat into two-centimetre cubes and toss in flour to coat. Heat remaining oil in the same pot and brown meat in two batches. Pour in one cup of stock to deglaze the pot and scrape off any bits sticking to the bottom.

4. Return vegetables and meat to the pot, add enough stock to cover the meat, bring to the boil, cover with a lid then reduce heat and cook for 1½ hours. Stir from time to time to make sure the meat doesn't stick.

Season and set aside to cool completely. Preheat oven to 220C.

Use a side plate as a guide to cut 6 x 16cm diameter circles in the pastry. Cut 6 x 11cm diameter circles for lids. Gently place the larger pastry in the bottom of six pie tins. Trim any excess.

Place cooled meat filling in the pie. Before placing on the pastry lid, brush around the pie edges with beaten egg to create a seal. Press the lid down firmly at the edges and cut a small vent in the centre.

Brush the top of the pastry with more egg glaze. Place pies on a baking tray in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to 180C and cook for a further 25 minutes, until golden.