Sunday, March 28, 2010

Meat Pie on a bed of Mash

Feeling a little homesick for an Aussie Meat Pie...... 

So for tonight's dinner I dusted off the Breville pie maker and put together my version of a meat pie, which is similar to my Cottage Pie with a twist on the presentation.

It's been years since I had a meat pie, not the party pies or the mini-pies but a  real hearty pie. The last one I had was about 6 years just outside of the Capital Theatre, down at Haymarket  from Harry's Cafe De Wheels. A Harry's "Tiger" meat pie, mashie peas, mash and tons of gravy!!! ....a real touristy thing but real meat pie icon.

I clearly remember that day because it was also the day of the BIRDs, the day that Ash would remember too.....Here we were eating our pies in the park and down came this huge flock of pigeons and seagulls surrounding us, all chanting like in Nemo, "Mine, MIne, Mine"..............and till this day my daughter can't stand the sight of birds!!

Now with this recipe I also made the shortcrust pastry but you can use supermarket ones or even bread, which I sometimes do for a quick pie.

Meat Pie on a bed of Mash

300 g beef mince
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tsp worcester sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 cup water
1/4 cup red wine
2 tomatoes, chopped roughly
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced thinly and chopped
ground cracked pepper
sea salt to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add onion and garlic to saute. Add the mince meat and gently stir until browned.
2. Add the worcester sauce, soy sauce, tomato sauce, tomato puree, pepper and stir. Add the chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, peas, tomato puree, wine and water. Bring to the boil, simmer covered for about 15mins, until the tomato has soften and add salt to taste. 
3. Remove the filling and cool. You can use this meat sauce to disguise a lot of vegies for the kids and they wouldn't know it!!

Shortcrust Pastry

1 1/2 cups plain flour
90 g butter, chilled and chopped roughly
3 tbsp cold water

1. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and add the chopped butter. Rub in the butter until is resembles breadcrumbs. 
2. Add in the cold water and knead into a ball. It might get a bit too sticky but just work it until it's smooth. Wrap it in cling wrap and place it in the fridge for 30 mins. I normally put it in a plastic kitchen bag as it's easier to handle than using a wrap.
3. Roll the dough onto a floured surface and use the pie cutters or shape it to fit the pie moulds (if you're using pie moulds in the oven).

Pie making
1. Preheat the pie maker for about 8mins or until the light switches off OR preheat oven for 180C.
2. Layer the pie moulds with the shortcrust pastry and fill with the meat filling (about 1/2 cup or more). Don't over fill the pie as it will eventually ooze out at the side!! Cover with the pastry top and seal the edges.
3. Cook in the pie maker for about 8 mins or until the top is browned. I lost my pie cookbook that can with the pie maker so i just check to see if it has browned, all depending on what pastry you use.
For the oven you can egg wash it if you like. Bake it in the oven for about 10-15mins or until it browns.
4. Serve it on a bed of mashed potatoes, topping it off with tomato sauce.

Meat Pie on a bed of Mash (I would have loved  to put mashie peas on the pies but the kids would never eat it)

Mashed Potatoes
This is one of the few cooking tips that my hubby taught me!! Microwaved mashed potatoes.

about 6-7 large potatoes, thoroughly washed and scrubbed
30 g butter
1 1/2 - 2 cups of warm milk
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 microwaveable pie dish (I use a pyrex pie dish)

1. Wash and scrub the potatoes. Prick the potatoes with a fork, making sure it's thoroughly poked. This will release the steam and won't let the potatoes explode in the microwave!!!
2. Arrange the potatoes in a microwave pie dish, cover with a microwaveable cover with a vent for 12mins on high.
3. Remove from the microwave and use a fork and knife to peel off the skin.
4. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and mash it with a potato masher or fork. Add the butter, cheese and stir. Gradually add the milk and pour as much as you need for the right texture of mash. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I would sometimes use a Desiree (red) potato and leave the skin on for a rough mash. The kids can get a little fussy over it seeing the skin but it's lots of fibre and I love the rough texture of the mash this way.

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