Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 20: Aussie Meat Pies, Made Quick

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted but kept chilled (recommended brand: Pepperidge Farm)
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 rounded tablespoon tomato paste
1 rounded tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup beef stock or broth
1 tablespoon grill seasoning, such as McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
   Ketchup, for garnish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
   Green salad

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

With a sharp knife, cut the thawed but chilled puff pastry sheets into 4 squares each, 8 squares total, and arrange on a cookie sheet.

Season the squares with a little salt and pepper. Bake the puff pastry according to the package directions, or until golden brown all over, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Let it get really hot so the meat will caramelize when it hits the pan. Add the EVOO, then the butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the beef and really work at breaking it up as it browns - get the bits all nice and tiny.

Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in the flour. Cook the mixture a minute more. In a small bowl, combine the Worcestershire with the tomato paste and brown sugar, then stir in the stock.

Whisk the seasoned stock into the pan. Stir into the meat and combine. Season the meat with the grill seasoning and reduce the heat to low.

When the pastry squares are ready, assemble the pies. Place a square of pastry in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Top with one quarter of the meat mixture and another square. Place a large dollop of ketchup in the center of the top pastry and sprinkle the "pies" with chives to garnish, then serve.


Rachael Ray says, "Australia has these cool meat pies made of pastry crust stuffed with a slowly simmered, finely ground meat mixture. The pies can be topped with ketchup, and man, are they good! They taste like a ritzy version of a sloppy Joe. This is my sped-up version of a down-under favorite."

This was a very quick and easy recipe to make. And with my few changes, it was really delicious. I reduced the amount of fat from 1 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoons butter to just 1 tablespoon of each. And I made the recipe call for lean meat instead of regular ground beef. Last time I made this recipe it was really greasy, but this time it turned out just right - very flavorful! She also says to add a green salad to the pies before the recipe. But I went ahead and put it in the ingredient list. I forgot about it this time. RR's tidbit is that you could also use frozen pie crusts instead of puff pastry. I think I will try that next time. There's nothing I like better than pie!

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