Australian meat pies are, to me, originate from either an inexpensive restaurant, or the freezer. I did make them from scratch two weeks ago, but, ironically, the "real" version to me is the frozen kind I used to stick in the microwave, or the hot, fresh kind I got a Penrith Plaza (or my primary school tuck shop). The Australian meat pies that I knew weren't made with whole-wheat flour or American cows.
So I've decided just to make meat tarts because:
1. I had a pound of minced cow pieces and I didn't feel like making meatballs
2. Tarts use less pastry than pies.
Fortunately, one pound of minced cow filling fit perfectly into 19 pastry shells!
For 19 egg-tart-sized pastry shells:
180 g of butter/1.5 sticks cut into about 320 g whole-wheat flour/2.5 cups and 1 tsp salt, with some water added to make the crumbs stick to each other to form a dough.
The top of the filling hardens/crisps a bit when cooking, while the inside of the tart remains moist and delicious (I'm assuming).
Along with apparently being a good spaghetti sauce...
...INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING:
1 large diced onion
40 ml ketchup
1 tsp Vegemite (optional, since this is not an Australian meat pie, after all)
6 heaping tbsp steak sauce
2 tbsp barbecue sauce
450 g minced beef
1 tsp salt (optional)
1 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
250 ml water (or tomato juice, if you have any)
1. On high heat, cook onions, ketchup, Vegemite, steak sauce, barbecue sauce, and salt for a few minutes.
2. Throw in minced beef and listen to it sizzle for a few minutes.
3. Mix the cornstarch with a little bit of water, then dilute with remaining water. Pour water+cornstarch into saucepan.
4. Simmer on medium heat for around 20 minutes. A little less is fine. Just make sure the mince is cooked. If you are a vegetarian, use your eyes.
5. Scoop about 1.5 heaping tbsp of filling into each pastry shell. The filling will look very liquidy, but the liquid will congeal to a terrifically juicy meat filling thing in the oven.
6. Bake in an un-preheated oven on the lower rack for 15 minutes at 221 degrees C/430 degrees F. Let sit in oven for an hour or so. OR, just let them bake for 20 minutes. Either way, you just want to the crust to be cooked.
Something that's been on my mind recently is Chowder saying "Cuz cows make delicious!" from the episode "The Garage Sale". It goes something like...
Mung: We're going to-
Chowder: gettin' a cow?
Mung: Why do you want a cow?
Chowder: Cuz cows make delicious!
Mung: Delicious what?
Chowder: A garage sale, huh? Why would anyone want to sell their garage?
(this is paraphrased)