Aussie Meat Pie

For those who have been askin' and askin' for an Easy-as-Pie pie recipe, I got you covered. Sundays with family, after all, are made for meat pies with onion, cheese, and all the fixins'.

Why hello there! I've been running around these past few days, trying to reorganize home and work life as I had just arrived from Australia. But I'm thrilled to be back in our cozy, quirky home, cooking new and exciting dishes for my loved ones and for my dear readers out there.

I was blown away by the wonderful sights and sounds of down under, and truly, deeply inspired by the vibrant food culture. The trip was short but sweet, and I'll definitely be back. If only for a cuppa flat white!

When people think of Aussie food, they usually think of Vegemite. But there's so much more to outback cuisine than meets the eye.

Ever the adventurous eater, Mr. Flintstone had suckered me into trying out exotic food, such as kangaroo meat (tastes like venison) and crocodile meat (tastes like chicken). I drew the line at koalas, because the kids might cry!

It's definitely a paleo wonderland down under. Every day of our stay, Mr. Flintstone ordered organic, grass-fed Aussie lamb, whether it's served as a breakfast sausage, grilled burger, or roasted with root vegetables.

The holidays also allowed Mr. Flintstone and I to relax, unwind, and savor every meal with fantastic wines from Australian vineyards. Mr. Flintstone takes a few sips because he has read somewhere that wine aids digestion and is good for the heart. As for me, I drink it because it tastes good with food, period.

My kids, on the other hand, loved devouring meat pies, especially when they're swathed in gravy and mushrooms. And TimTams. They ate it for dessert after each meal, and I may have turned a bit jealous when my eldest said it's her "favoritest dessert ever".

I must say, one of my favorite dishes from our Oz trip is crumbed barramundi, Australia's take on the quintessential British nosh, fish and chips. Barramundi is creamy, flaky, and just plain wonderful.

This month's recipes are inspired by the bounty from Aussie's deep-blue oceans, free-range lamb from its grassy hills, and amazing wines from its world-class vineyards. Luckily I ran into Rustan's Supermarket's wine specialist last weekend. She told me that Flametree Chardonnay complements the buttery, nutty flavor of barramundi, while Flametree Cabernet Merlot goes well with the subdued earthiness of Aussie lamb.

I'm bent on starting 2015 on a right note. Marketplace is teeming with fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits from Australia, and I intend to make a crunchy, tangy salad with fresh fruits from down under.

The sinful holiday feast has forced me go easy on deep-fried, sinful food. But, I have to admit. I love me some crunch, so instead of deep-frying fish, I'll be making baked fish and crisped chips.

For my meat-loving man, it's definitely roast lamb with caramelized market vegetables.

And because I love me a good challenge, I'll be serving up a batch of homemade TimTams. Thankfully, it won my eldest child's approval.

Oh, and for those who have been askin' and askin' for an Easy-as-Pie pie recipe, I got you covered. Sundays with family, after all, are made for minced meat pies with onion, cheese, and all the fixins'.

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NOTE: I used Pyrex custard cups; a custard cup is twice as big as a muffin tin.

Ingredients:

750 g beef round, sliced into strips, blotted dry with paper towels
Sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Puff pastry:

1 package Kawan Puff Pastry
1/4 cup melted butter

Gravy:

1/2 can Campbell mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk
Freshly cracked black pepper

Fixins:

Sauteed button mushrooms
Sauteed onion
Cheese

Procedure:

BEFORE BAKING: Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 375°F.

1.    Heat up a cast iron pan until smoking hot. Beef must be cooked in batches in order to ensure even browning. Quickly sear beef in high heat, season with salt and pepper, remove from pan.
2.    Simmer 3/4 cup milk, whisk in 1/2 can Campbell mushroom soup. Season with black pepper.
3.    Grease Pyrex custard cups with melted butter. Layer custard cup with puff pastry (bottom crust). Prick puff pastry with fork. Brush melted butter. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
4.    Spoon beef, gravy, and fixins on cooked puff pastry. Cover with puff pastry (upper crust). Brush with melted butter. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
5.    Serve!

Tags: beef, australian food
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