The perfect pie
With its buttery crust, generous filling and warming comfort, it is little wonder the meat pie has entrenched itself as an Australian favourite. Making this golden treat at home is easier than you think and well worth the little extra time in the pot. A s
Step 1: Heat one tablespoon of oil in a heavy- based saucepan over high heat. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Cook the beef, in batches, for three to four minutes each side, or until browned. Set aside. Step 2. Reduce the heat to medium and add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the onion, garlic and celery and cook for three to four minutes, or until softened. Add the tomato paste and cook for a further one minute. Return the meat to the pan with the Worcestershire sauce, sugar, stock and beer. Bring to a simmer, cover with a tightfitting lid and cook for two hours. Step 3. Heat the remaining oil in a large non- stick frying pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for five to six minutes, or until golden. Add the mushrooms to the beef mixture and cook, uncovered, for 25- 30 minutes, or until the meat is starting to fall apart and the sauce has reduced. Remove the meat from the pan and shred with a fork. Remove the pan from the heat and return the meat to the sauce. Refrigerate until completely cooled. Step 4. Preheat oven to 200C. To make the hot water pastry, place the butter, water and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the flour and stir until a smooth dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Divide the pastry in half and roll each portion out between two sheets of non- stick baking paper to 3mm thick. Line an 18cm ( one litre- capacity) lightly greased pie tin with one of the pieces of pastry. Step 5. Spoon the filling into the lined dish and put the remaining pastry on top. Press the edges to seal and trim any excess pastry. Cut out a small round from the centre of the pastry. Brush the top of the pie with the egg, cook for 40- 45 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked through and golden. Serves 4- 6.