Recipe: Meat pies

Chef Curtis Stone has chosen to share a recipe that is close to any Aussie’s heart, a meat pie recipe. He reckons it’s the ultimate one and will take you back to the days of a classic footy game.

Recipe: Meat pies

“Hot pies, cold drinks, get your hot pies, cold drinks here . . .” When I think of meat pies, I always think of being at an AFL footy game in my hometown of Melbourne. I’m sharing my recipe for the ultimate homemade version so you can bring a little footy spirit into your home. Serve the pies with a simple green salad or go traditional with tomato sauce. Carn the Cats!

Serves 6
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour and 45 minutes*

FILLING
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
60 g prosciutto di Parma (about 5 slices), finely chopped
875 g beef mince
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
90 g chicken livers (about 3), rinsed, cleaned, and finely chopped
1½ tablespoons tomato paste
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup milk
1½ tablespoons plain flour
3 cups salt reduced beef stock

TO ASSEMBLE THE PIES
Plain flour, for dusting
Buttery Pastry Dough (page 147), shaped into 12 discs and chilled
1 large egg
1 tablespoon cream

To make the filling, heat a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not browned. Add the prosciutto and sauté for 2 minutes.

Crumble the beef into the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the beef, for about 5 minutes, or until the meat is just cooked and no longer pink. Add the chicken livers and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the livers are just cooked and no longer pink. Add the tomato paste and allspice and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, or until the tomato paste is well blended.

Stir in the wine and cook for about 2 minutes, or until it evaporates completely. Reduce the heat to medium, add the milk and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, or until the milk has reduced by three-quarters and the sauce is thick and creamy. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, or until well blended.

Add the stock, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened and reduced by one-quarter. Season with salt and pepper. Set the mixture aside to cool. (You should have about 4½ cups filling.)

To assemble and bake the pies, position a rack on the lowest rung of the oven and set a baking tray on the rack. Preheat the oven to 200°C. (Being close to the source of heat will help the bottom crusts bake and brown properly.)

On a floured work surface, roll out 1 disc of dough to a 15 cm round about 2.5 mm thick. Line a 12cm disposable aluminum pie pan with the dough. Repeat with 5 more dough balls and pie pans. Divide the filling among the pans, using about ¾ cup filling per pie.

Roll out the remaining 6 dough pieces to 15cm rounds and lay them over the filling. Trim the dough overhang to 1cm. Pinch the bottom and top crusts together to seal, and fold them under. Crimp the edges. Using your finger, make a hole in the centre of each top crust.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg and cream to blend. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the pies with the egg-cream mixture.

Place the pies on the preheated baking tray in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the crust is deep golden and the filling is bubbling. If the crust begins to brown before the filling bubbles, tent the pies with foil. Let the pies cool on a wire rack until warm before serving.

*Make ahead: The pies can be assembled up to 2 weeks ahead and frozen in an airtight container. Do not thaw before baking, but add 10 minutes to the baking time (50 minutes total).

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