As a regular school tuck shop and bakery staple, the meat mince pie has filled my belly countless times. Sometimes the pastry is too hard, sometimes there’s a lot of gravy and not very much else, sometimes I feel as if I’ve just eaten a giant ball of fat.
Crispy golden pastry that gives way to a flowing, molten gravy of well-seasoned mince – that’s what a mince pie should be like. Once eaten, it should sit comfortably in the stomach, leaving only crumbs of pastry and a warm, satisfied smile on your face.
That’s what I was aiming for when I made my mini mince pies but unfortunately I missed the mark slightly.
I found a recipe on Taste.com.au and made some adjustments to it:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 brown onion, halved, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 500g lean beef mince
- 1 carrot, peeled, coarsely grated
- 25g (1/4 cup) powdered gravy (Gravox Traditional brand) – I used equal amounts of beef stock instead of powdered gravy and water
- 250ml (1 cup) boiling water
- 2 sheets (25 x 25cm) ready-rolled shortcrust pastry, just thawed
- 2 sheets (25 x 25cm) ready-rolled puff pastry, just thawed
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- Tomato ketchup, to serve
- Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until onion softens. Add the mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until mince changes colour. Add the carrot and stir until well combined.
- Meanwhile, place gravy powder in a heatproof jug. Add boiling water and whisk with a fork until combined. Add to mince mixture and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes to cool.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut the shortcrust pastry sheets into 24 even squares. Line twenty-four 40ml (2-tablespoons) capacity mini muffin pans with the shortcrust pastry squares. Spoon mince mixture among pastry cases.
- Cut puff pastry sheets into 24 even squares. Top each pie with a pastry square. Use a small sharp knife to trim excess pastry. Brush tops with egg.
- Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside in the pans for 5 minutes to cool. Serve pies with tomato ketchup.
The filling of my little pies turned out a bit under-seasoned and very dry (no flowing molten gravy of mince here), which was probably caused by my adjustment of the recipe. It also lacked the wonderful depth of flavour I found when I made a Guinness and steak pie last Christmas.
I love pie so I’m going to keep working on this recipe, especially with winter settling in. Nothing better than a hearty meat pie to fill an empty belly on a cold day 😉