Popular throughout Australia and New Zealand, the meat pie is considered iconic. It is heavily associated with Australian Rules football and Rugby League as one of the most popular items to eat whilst watching a game, traditionally enjoyed with a dollop of tomato sauce and a cold beer.
A generous hunk of Cheddar cheese creates a deliciously oozy centre, with the thick chunks of beef stewed until tender in an ale marinade.
Cook time: 3 hours
1kg stewing steak, cut into 2cm cubes
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 sprigs of thyme
500ml beer or stout
500ml good quality beef stock
olive oil for frying
4 thick slices mature Cheddar cheese (roughly 40g a slice)
Salt and pepper
200g plain flour
1 tsp salt
125g butter, chilled and cut into 1cm cubes
50ml sour cream
Beaten free range egg yolk, for brushing
1) In a medium bowl place the beef, onion, garlic, thyme, a pinch of pepper and the beer. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
2) Next day, take the beef out of the bowl, reserving the marinade. Pat dry the beef and season well. In a heavy based pan with a lid, heat some oil to a high heat and fry off the beef in batches (do not over-crowd the pan), until brown all over.
3) Add the beer/stout marinade and the beef stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and gently cook with the lid on for 2-3 hours or until very tender but not falling apart.
4) Carefully strain the stock through a sieve into a clean saucepan, reserving the beef.
5) Reduce the stock until thickened to a gravy-like consistency. Add the beef, stir and allow to cool, then refrigerate until needed.
6) To make the pastry, place the flour and salt into a food processor, add the butter and combine to a breadcrumb consistency, then add the sour cream and quickly combine until a dough forms. Do not over mix. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill for at least an hour.
7) When ready to assemble the pies, preheat the oven to 180˚C.
8) Fill 4 individual pie dishes with the beef filling, then place a cheese slice on top of each.
9) Divide the pastry into 4 and roll into circles/ ovals 10mm thick, making sure they overlap each pie dish. Top with a circle of pastry, seal and crimp the edges, then trim around the sides to neaten if needed. Brush pastry with the egg yolk and prick the top with a knife. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
From Kenwood Around the World in 80 Plates. Booklet available to download for free at kenwoodworld.com/uk/around-the-world-in-80-plates
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