The second country in the lineup of World Cup themed dinners: Australia. It took everything in my power not to slather Vegemite on toast. And Daniel might have blocked his ears after a while, but I know I got in at least a half dozen “G’day!’s” before the sun went down. I also may have unintentionally moved our relationship from soulmates to just “mates.” An unfortunate side effect of me playing Steve Irwin for the day.
Blokes and sheilas aside, though, you’re here for dinner. On the menu: Australian meat pies. Savory beef sauteed with onions, garlic, and herbs in a rich brown gravy, neatly tucked inside a buttery crust. These hand held pies are iconic Aussie fare, and I can see why. One bite into the creamy beef pockets and I was in a state of taste bliss. I’d liken them to calzones, but with a more delectable dough. A flaky, golden puff of pastry. I imagine cheese would make them even tastier.
Australian Meat Pies
(makes 4 palm-sized pies)
- 1 sheet of puff pastry (from a standard pkg of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry)
- 8 oz raw ground beef
- ½ cup minced onion
- ¼ cup minced celery
- ¼ cup minced carrots
- 1 TBSP minced garlic
- 1 tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
- dash nutmeg
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp soy sauce or worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup beef broth
- 1 ½ TBSP all-purpose flour
- 3 TBSP water
- 1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 350°. Heat the oil in a large pan set over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Saute for 1 minute.
Add the garlic and ground beef. Stir to break the beef into crumbles. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the beef is just beginning to brown.
Add the salt, pepper, and oregano.
Stir in the ketchup, dijon mustard, soy sauce, and broth.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and water until smooth.
Pour into the pan and stir. Cook until the liquid has thickened into a gravy.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Lay the puff pastry on a clean work surface and cut into quarters.
Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment, leaving one inch of space between each one.
Spoon the meat evenly among the pastry squares, mounding it near one of the bottom corners so that you can easily fold the pastry over to form a triangle.
Using a pastry brush, lightly paint the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg. Pull the pastry over the beef mixture and press to seal the edges into a triangle. Crimp the edges by pressing the tines of a fork gently into the dough.
Brush the tops of the pastry triangles with a light coating of egg. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the pastries are golden brown and puffed.