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Meat Pie


This is one of Australia's "icon" dishes. It is traditionally about 15 cm (6 inches) in diameter and eaten in the hands with tomato sauce (or tomato ketchup/catsup, if you are from the U.S.A.) and is usually accompanied by a (cold)  beer.

The pastry is always short crust, with sometimes a flaky pastry cover. This recipe makes one large pie or several smaller ones. The smaller ones, just large enough to hold in one hand, are the most common in Australia, being sold as snack food.

1½ -2 kg chuck steak, trimmed and chopped into small cubes 3 bacon rashers (optional), chopped
2 onions, peeled and chopped 2 cups water
½ teaspoon black pepper ½ -1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried thyme (optional) 1 stick celery, finely chopped (optional)
3 tablespoons plain flour 1 batch short-crust pastry (see below)
Fry the bacon and onion over a low heat until the onion is soft. Add the chopped steak. Pour in the water and season with the salt, pepper, and thyme. Then add the celery. Cover, and simmer for about 1½ hours.

Mix the flour with a little water to a smooth, runny mixture (roux), then stir this into the meat mixture. Stir until the mixture thickens. Pour into a deep pie dish. If you are making small pies, then line small pie dishes with the pastry and fill them with the meat mixture.

Wet the rim of the pie with milk or beaten egg. Place a layer of pastry on top of the pie to form a lid. Trim the lid to the shape and size of the pie dish. Press the edges together with a fork to seal. Make some steam holes in the top and glaze with beaten egg or milk.

Bake in a hot oven for 30-40 minutes (maybe less for the smaller ones).

¾ cup plain flour ¾ cup self raising flour
pinch of salt 100 gm cooking margarine or butter
3 tablespoons of cold water 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
The above ingredients make one batch of the short-crust pastry for the meat pies. You may need to make more than one batch to complete the small pies.

Place the flours and salt into a mixing bowl, rub in the margarine or butter with your fingertips, and mix into a dough with the water and lemon juice. Turn out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead lightly with a little flour. Let it rest for about 20 minutes before rolling it out into a sheet ready for the pie crust.







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