Australian Meat Pie Recipe

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Australian Meat Pie Recipe



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The Australian meat pie is a beloved icon of Aussie cuisine, akin to what the burger is to Americans or the croissant to the French. This savory pastry holds a special place in the hearts and stomachs of Australians, often enjoyed at footy games, parties, or as a satisfying meal on its own. Making your own Australian meat pie at home is an adventure in culinary delight, allowing you to capture the authentic flavors of Australia with every bite. Here’s a traditional recipe to bring a piece of Australia into your kitchen.


For the Filling:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
500g (about 1 pound) ground beef (minced beef)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
A pinch of nutmeg (optional)
For the Pastry:

2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed
2 sheets of shortcrust pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten for egg wash


Preheat Oven and Prepare the Pie Tins:

Preheat your oven to 200°C (about 400°F). Grease four pie tins (about 4 inches in diameter) with butter or non-stick cooking spray.

Cook the Filling:

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cooking until soft and translucent. Increase the heat and add the ground beef, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks until browned.

Add the tomato paste, stirring for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle over the flour and stir well, ensuring the meat is well coated. Gradually pour in the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Let the mixture simmer gently for about 15 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Prepare the Pastry:

Cut the shortcrust pastry into four rounds, slightly larger than your pie tins. Press these into the bottoms and sides of the tins, trimming any excess. Spoon the filling into each pie shell until just filled.

Cut the puff pastry into four rounds, big enough to cover the tops of the pies. Place these over the filling, pressing the edges to seal with the shortcrust pastry. Make a small slit in the center of each pie to allow steam to escape. Brush the tops with beaten egg.

Bake the Pies:

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Let the pies cool in the tins for a few minutes before serving.


Australian meat pies are traditionally served with tomato sauce (ketchup) on the side. For a true Aussie experience, serve your pies with a side of mashed potatoes, peas, or even on their own for a delicious snack.

Creating your own Australian meat pies is a rewarding experience, allowing you to enjoy a taste of Australian culture wherever you are. Whether you’re an Aussie abroad longing for a taste of home or a culinary adventurer eager to try new recipes, this Australian meat pie recipe is sure to satisfy.

Customization Tips and Variations:

One of the beauties of the Australian meat pie is its versatility. You can tweak the basic recipe to suit your taste or to explore different flavor profiles. Here are some ideas for customizing your meat pies:

Change the Meat: While ground beef is traditional, you can also use ground lamb, pork, or even a combination of meats for a different taste. For a more gourmet pie, consider using diced beef chuck or lamb shoulder, slow-cooked until tender.

Vegetarian Option: For a vegetarian version, replace the meat with a mixture of mushrooms, lentils, and vegetables. Cooked pumpkin or sweet potato also makes a hearty filling.

Add Vegetables: Elevate the nutritional content and flavor by adding diced carrots, peas, or celery to the meat mixture. For a more Australian touch, try adding a bit of Vegemite to the filling for a richer, umami flavor.

Spice it Up: Introduce some heat with a dash of chili powder, cayenne pepper, or your favorite hot sauce. Mixing in some fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary can also add a layer of depth to the flavor.

Cheese, Please: Before covering the pie with puff pastry, sprinkle some grated cheddar or a slice of mozzarella on top of the meat filling for a cheesy surprise.

Different Shapes and Sizes: While individual pies are common, you can also make a large family-sized pie using the same method. Adjust the baking time accordingly.

Storage and Reheating Tips:

Australian meat pies are great for making ahead and storing for later. Here’s how to keep them fresh and delicious:

Refrigeration: Cool the pies completely before covering them with plastic wrap and refrigerating. They will keep for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 180°C (350°F) until warmed through, about 10-15 minutes.

Freezing: For longer storage, wrap the cooled pies individually in foil and then place them in freezer bags. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen, increasing the oven time to ensure they are heated all the way through.

Serving Suggestions:

Beyond the traditional ketchup side, consider serving your pies with:

Gravy: A rich, savory gravy can be a delicious accompaniment to meat pies, adding moisture and depth of flavor.

Coleslaw: A fresh, tangy coleslaw can provide a crunchy, refreshing contrast to the warm, savory pie.

Chips: For a truly hearty meal, serve your meat pie with a side of Australian-style chips (fries), either on the side or even on top for a “pie floater” inspired dish.

The Australian meat pie is more than just a dish; it’s a cultural emblem that represents comfort, convenience, and community. By making your own pies at home, you’re not just cooking; you’re creating a culinary experience that bridges continents and cultures. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or experiment with your own variations, the Australian meat pie is sure to become a beloved addition to your cooking repertoire.

When considering the nutritional value of an Australian meat pie, it’s important to remember that this savory treat, like many comfort foods, is often enjoyed for its taste and cultural significance rather than its health benefits. However, understanding the nutritional components can help you make informed decisions about incorporating it into a balanced diet. The values provided below are approximate and can vary based on the specific ingredients used and portion sizes.

Nutritional Breakdown (per individual pie):

Calories: A typical homemade Australian meat pie contains about 400-600 calories, depending on the size and specific ingredients used. Commercially prepared pies might be higher in calories due to added fats and sugars.

Protein: Ground beef, the primary ingredient in traditional meat pies, is a good source of protein. An average pie can provide about 20-25 grams of protein, which is essential for muscle repair and growth.

Fats: The fat content in a meat pie largely comes from the pastry and the meat. If using lean ground beef and a moderate amount of pastry, a pie might contain 20-30 grams of fat, of which saturated fats could be about half. Opting for lower-fat meats and mindful use of pastry can help reduce this.

Carbohydrates: Primarily provided by the flour in the pastry, carbohydrates can range from 40-60 grams per pie. This includes a small amount of dietary fiber from the flour and any vegetables added to the filling.

Sugars: Generally low in sugars, meat pies might still contain a few grams per serving, especially if onions, tomato paste, or Worcestershire sauce are used in significant quantities.

Sodium: One of the nutritional concerns with meat pies (and many processed foods) is their sodium content, which can be high due to added salt and sauces. A pie can contain anywhere from 500-1000 mg of sodium, making it important to balance the rest of the day’s intake accordingly.

Vitamins and Minerals: Depending on the variety and amount of vegetables included in the recipe, a meat pie can offer vitamins like vitamin A (from carrots) and iron and zinc from the beef. Adding leafy greens or peas can increase the vitamin C and K content.

Making Healthier Choices:

To make your Australian meat pie a healthier option, consider the following adjustments:

Use lean meats to reduce the saturated fat content. Mixing in ground turkey or chicken can also be a lighter option.

Add vegetables to increase the fiber, vitamin, and mineral content. This can also help fill you up with fewer calories.

Opt for whole grain or reduced-fat pastry options where possible, or reduce the amount of pastry by making pot pie versions without a bottom crust.

Control portion sizes by making smaller pies or serving smaller slices of a larger pie, ensuring you can enjoy this delicious dish without overindulging.

By being mindful of the ingredients and portion sizes, you can enjoy an Australian meat pie as part of a balanced and nutritious diet. Whether enjoyed as a special treat or incorporated into your meal rotation with healthier adjustments, this iconic dish can bring the flavors of Australia to your table while also catering to your nutritional needs.


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