Day 201: Pie and a pint (minus the pint) (and the pie glue)

July 20, 2007

This evening we were a bit late getting started on dinner so Baby A missed out on a puff pastry treat, which was a shame because she does like the puffy stuff. L and I made Aussie Meat Pies, Made Quick, which are the perfect fare for a cold wet night, sitting in the pub by the fireplace, drinking a cold beer. This recipe is supposed to be a speedy version of the popular Australian meat pie, which has a finely ground meat filling which has been simmered over a long period of time. It is relatively speedy, but the process is also quite weird. When I first skim read the recipe, I thought that the puff pastry was going to be shaped into a pie shape in the bowl. Before reading the recipe, I assumed that the pies would be made by sealing the filling into the puff pastry, to make a self-contained pastie of sorts.

That would be no and no. The “pies” are assembled by baking squares of puff pastry, seasoned with salt and pepper, until golden. One square is then placed in a bowl, the filling spooned on top, then another square forms the “lid” of the pie. A dollop of ketchup on top and some chives tops off this pie sandwich. Very classy. The filling is ground beef fried with onions. A spoonful of flour is added, followed by a mixture of Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, tomato paste and beef stock, and the whole lot is simmered until cooked.

The “pie”, served with a green salad on the side, is actually remarkably tasty. It tastes like British pub food, which is always a winner in the nostalgic sense. It’s not spectacular by any means, but it is certainly solid. What we couldn’t fathom was why it was not assembled into an actual pie or pastie. Working with frozen puff pastry is so easy, it simply doesn’t make much sense that the squares of pastry remain unconnected. Also, serving the pie in the bowl just made it really difficult to eat. We may make this meal again, maybe next February, but we would make far less of the meat mixture and seal it into little self-contained portable units.

Tomorrow we are planning to take A to the beach for more splashing around. I’m sure that by evening we will all be in the mood for Fall Minestrone.

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