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Meat pie appreciation

By Tatarigami in Culture
Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 02:29:43 AM EST
Tags: Food (all tags)

As a fairly typical kiwi I like a good meat pie, and feel this ubiquitous foodstuff deserves more attention than it currently gets from the food-eating public. In light of this, I present for your edification a brief guide to appreciating the humble but praiseworthy meat pie.

At the most basic level, a meat pie is a simple dish: a pastry container holding a filling of meat and gravy. However, if you go looking, you'll find this simple recipe provides a basis for an endless number of variations. Alongside the classic beef and gravy meat pie, you'll also see beef mince, mince and cheese, steak and cheese, steak and mushroom, potato-top, and chicken. Gourmet pie lovers can sate their taste for the exotic on teriyaki beef, curry beef, beef stroganoff, thai chili beef, and satay chicken. The New Zealand market, no stranger to pie experimentation, has even seen the meatless pie, although most eaters agree this is a variety whose time has not yet come.

But what makes a good pie?

The components

1. Pastry

Pastry is more than just a means of preventing the filling from leaking over your hands, it's an integral part of the pie experience. A pie designer has to consider diverse factors like who will be eating the pie, where it will be consumed, and what kind of preparation it will have. The pie is traditionally eaten at a service station while you're in a terrible hurry, and while a construction worker or network administrator might not be too concerned if his clothes get grease-stained by flaky pastry, a salesman or bank teller would be dismayed.

Since pies are stored in heating cabinets, the length of time they spend there is also significant for the pastry. Some manufacturers choose to undercook their pies at the factory, betting that the cabinet time will be enough to heat them to perfection (and risking soggy pastry if it isn't), some cook them fully in the hope that the pies will be eaten before the pastry has time to harden into razorcrust.

2. Meat

Having pastry on the outside can hide a multitude of sins, so pies have often been used as a way to serve up a cut of meat you couldn't get someone to eat any other way. Biting into a lump of fat or gristle is an unwelcome surprise, which is why down here, the contents of a meat pie are regulated by law and must be at least 80% pure meat.

Some pie makers add vegetables like peas, beans, carrots and corn. Most pie afficionados regard this as an unwarranted dilution of the goodness of meat and believe that at the very least, the pie should be clearly labelled for what it is.

3. Gravy

Gravy is where much of the pie's flavour comes from, and where a pie maker can safely show a bit of flair by varying the richness and spiciness. A modest amount of salt and pepper are all it takes to appeal to the masses, but cayenne, chili, garlic and a range of others are also familiar spices to the open-minded pie lover.

The pie experience

Aside from bus stops and train stations, the best place to enjoy a pie is your place. The meat pie is traditionally eaten while watching football from an easy chair, but you can substitute the sport of your choice without too much difficulty. Likewise, the can of lager.

A meat pie break is announced with the ritual invitation: "Get us a pie would you, love?", which is met with the expected response: " off!"

Some haggling follows, and the pies will be cooked. The secret to cooking good pies at home is to first microwave them from frozen for two to three minutes, and transfer them to a hot oven to complete the process. This ensures pie perfection by sufficiently heating the filling without baking long enough to dehydrate the pie into razorcrust wrapped around a meat-flavoured rock.

The pie should be served intact accompanied by tomato sauce (not ketchup), leaving up to the individual the choice of whether to apply the sauce immediately or whether to remove the top so it can be applied to the filling.

Pies you might like to try

1. Big Ben

The Big Ben range is the 'bog standard' pie, crafted to favour economy over other qualities. Consequently, the filling is undistinguished and the pastry can tend towards sogginess. However, this brand will weather the conditions of the heating cabinet longest. Big Ben pastry is also thin enough that the eater is never at risk of razorcrust injury.

2. Mrs Mac

Your reviewer's pie of choice, the Mrs Mac range delivers quality without breaking the bank. Notable for good sized meat chunks and an unusually rich gravy, Mrs Mac also makes alternative varieties like chili beef and curry available to the hungry man off the street.

3. Ponsonby Pies

A suburb of our largest city, Ponsonby is widely acclaimed by people in Ponsonby as being a region of sophistication, intelligence, and quality. As far as meat pies go, their local brand has won a matching reputation. The Ponsonby Pies range is undeniably tops in terms of grade of filling and pastry -- not to mention being the highest priced. If these pies have a fault, it's the occasional air gap -- meaning insufficient filling to meet the pastry cap.

4. Bakery pies

Aside from service stations and bus stop news agents, the other big purveyor of pies is the ubiquitous bakery or 'hot bread shop'. These shops can be found on nearly every street corner, supplying grease, starch and sugar to the nation. Many bakeries boast their own home-made pies, which tend to be much larger than the mass-produced variety, and have yellowish pastry (making me wonder who has the home large enough to supply all the bakeries in New Zealand).

My personal opinion is that hot bread shop potato top pies are the only potato top pies worth eating. These artery-destroying wonders are heaped high with scalloped potato, topped with melted cheese and garnished with a single slice of tomato.


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Meat pie appreciation | 163 comments (145 topical, 18 editorial, 0 hidden)
Meat pies aren't known much in the US ... (5.00 / 5) (#1)
by pyramid termite on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 08:08:09 PM EST

... and would be probably be mistaken for those high sodium monstrosities known as Banquet pies or pot pies, in the freezer section of the supermarket. Ick. However in the Upper Midwest, especially in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the Cornish pasty is common and sounds quite similar, except that no pie tin is used - the meat, potatoes, onions and whatever else are wrapped up and cooked and you eat it by hand. Miners could bring them into the mines with them and if they didn't keep warm, they could place them on a shovel and heat them over a fire.

But they're not well known elsewhere in the U.S.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
Yeah, I've never had one. (5.00 / 1) (#9)
by Zapata on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 09:37:14 PM EST

But I sure want one after reading this. Hell, let's FP this one. Anything to do with food is good, especially 100% Iraq-free food.

"If you ain't got a camel, you ain't Shiite."

[ Parent ]
Equivalent item? (none / 0) (#31)
by ti dave on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 12:28:13 AM EST

I can get these fresh at this store, they're pretty decent if you don't burn them.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Cornish pasties in the U.P. (none / 0) (#75)
by danceswithcrows on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 01:52:48 PM EST

Every Cornish pasty I've ever eaten in the U.P. had rutabaga in it. Is this a regional peculiarity? The other comments referencing meat pies never mentioned rutabaga in the list of potential fillings.

But they're not well known elsewhere in the U.S.

Like other people said further up the page, the microwave burrito has pretty much supplanted the pasty/meat pie for Americans. Even in the U.P., pasty quality varies widely, and they're neither easier to prepare nor cheaper than burritos.

Matt G (aka Dances With Crows) There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see
[ Parent ]

What does "U.P." mean? (n/t) (none / 0) (#88)
by DodgyGeezer on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 04:48:12 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Upper Peninsula - made clear in original post (nt) (none / 0) (#92)
by LordEq on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 05:19:13 PM EST


"That's what K5's about. Hippies and narcs cavorting together." --panck
[ Parent ]
Rutabaga in pasties (none / 0) (#123)
by lil on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:52:05 AM EST

In 3/4 of the pasty shops in the UP you have the option of getting a pasty without rutabaga. I don't know if it's a regional thing, having never gotten a pasty outside of the UP/northern wisconsin region.

You're right though -- unless you're adept with pie dough, a pasty is more difficult than a burrito -- considering we usually buy our tortillas pre made. :-)

[ Parent ]

I hope these weren't coal miners. [nt] (none / 0) (#103)
by gauntlet on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 07:29:31 PM EST

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Coal miners (none / 0) (#121)
by katie on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:14:08 AM EST

Cornish pasties are supposed to have a really thick pastry end. It's there to hold onto while you eat it, so you don't get the rest of it grubby. Traditionally, that bit is thrown away, into the darkest corner you can find, to feed the "Knockers"; the spirits that inhabit the corners of the mines and make the strange sounds down there.

[ Parent ]
One Thing (none / 0) (#124)
by lil on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:55:42 AM EST

I'd definitely agree with you for the most part. (I grew up in the UP.) The only thing is that I'd say it's a "dry" meat pie. If you want gravy on your pasty you've got to put it on the top. :-)

[ Parent ]
Do not trifle with your intestinal integrity (4.12 / 8) (#2)
by thom2 on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 08:12:54 PM EST

This story is an interesting and clearly written overview of an exotic foreign foodstuff, however, I simply cannot abide by the author's flippant dismissal of vegetables.

Vegetables are an important part of the human diet, and in addition to providing much needed nutrients, they also contain fiber, which is essential to proper health. Colon cancer is not a joke. Dietary fiber is nothing to be scoffed at. Please eat responsibly.

Heh (5.00 / 7) (#5)
by Tatarigami on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 08:50:16 PM EST

If your diet consists solely of meat pies, you won't live long enough for colon cancer to be a realistic concern for you. :)

[ Parent ]
Who knows? (4.50 / 4) (#10)
by carbon on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 10:00:38 PM EST

Has anyone actually tried eating only meat pies? For all we know, it makes you immortal, at the cost of being forced to contrive and execute stupid world domination schemes before being locked away in some sort of Dimension of Pain.<br

Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
Limes (none / 0) (#89)
by DodgyGeezer on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 04:51:58 PM EST

Sailors used to.  Well, salted (cured?) meat.  It lead to scurvy.  The British found a solution to this, hence their American nickname (which I used to think was reference to their pale colour).

[ Parent ]
rather, had to do with the limes they ate (none / 0) (#95)
by Work on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 06:11:38 PM EST

...to combat the scurvy.

[ Parent ]
Ummm, isn't that what I said? (n/t) (none / 0) (#96)
by DodgyGeezer on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 06:41:42 PM EST

[ Parent ]
ah. (none / 0) (#99)
by Work on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 07:02:10 PM EST

you wrote The British found a solution to this, hence their American nickname (which I used to think was reference to their pale colour).

Now I see the keyword, "used". I thought you still thought that.

[ Parent ]

*chuckle* (none / 0) (#109)
by DodgyGeezer on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 10:02:50 PM EST

It wasn't the plainest piece of English, was it? ;)

[ Parent ]
Yeah, but you haven't said... (none / 0) (#101)
by gauntlet on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 07:28:21 PM EST

what the nickname is. Limeys.

I had heard a joke, perhaps it's based in reality, that someone had told them that oranges would solve the problem, so they sent someone out to get a bunch of oranges, and he came back with limes, and that was how the nickname started.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Vegetables are what you feed food [nt] (4.83 / 6) (#14)
by BOredAtWork on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 10:20:20 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Yeah, exotic foreign food indeed (5.00 / 3) (#43)
by Lord of Caustic Soda on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 03:11:46 AM EST

Just like fish and chips or roast beef...

[ Parent ]
Not when part of a Well Balanced Diet TM (none / 0) (#113)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 12:19:15 AM EST

Most people don't have them as a single meal. Maybe as part of a meal, or when you need something small. I've always thought of them as a snack. Snacks don't have to be healthy unless you have too many of them, or live only off snacks.

[ Parent ]
A well balanced diet... (none / 0) (#143)
by odaiwai on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 11:27:23 AM EST

has a pie in one hand and a pint of beer in the other.

...and none of your Fosters shite either.  A couple of Crownies go down a treat with your pie.

-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]

Wrong country... (none / 0) (#149)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 03:08:32 AM EST

Fosters is an Australian beer. We have our own. Not sure what it is, since I don't drink better. But I'm sure it's better than Fosters ;).

[ Parent ]
Well, (none / 0) (#150)
by odaiwai on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 10:39:56 AM EST

Well, actually, I was referring to the good old Australian Meat Pie, which is best eaten with a nice locally brewed ale, or after several pints of whatever you can afford.

VB and Crown are the two I remember off hand as being nice lagers, and there's also Cooper's which is a nice ale.

A band I was in used to play at Aussie Rules matches in Hong Kong, so we used to get well fed with pies and the nicer beers.

I am sadly ignorant of Kiwi beers and ales, although  there are some really nice wines coming out of both islands.  Perhaps an article on the nicer Kiwi beverages is in order?

-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]

Tortiere (5.00 / 2) (#3)
by tetragon on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 08:24:01 PM EST

One of my favourite types of meat pie is tortiere, but the frozen ones that can be bought in the supermarkets where I live are definitely substandard, the best ones that I have eaten pieces of were in Quebec.

How do the frozen pies compare with fresh elsewhere? (I love pies, I just can't make them)

Ceci n'est pas une sig

Tortieres (none / 0) (#30)
by The Solitaire on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 12:27:04 AM EST

I have to agree with you on this one... they are really tasty! It figures that the best ones are in Quebec, since they're a a french Canadian dish (or maybe just French... I'm not sure). Can't say that I've ever had them frozen - my grandmother cooks them every year around Christmas (they're sort of a traditional winter/Christmas food from what I understand).

For anyone who's never had one, they're about as meaty as they come. Essentially they're made either of ground pork or a mixture of ground pork and ground beef (varies depending on the recipe), cooked with onions, and various spices. Looking up a few recipes just now, I noticed that some recipes also add a mashed potato, but I've never had it that way myself.

I need a new sig.
[ Parent ]

Christmas Standard (none / 0) (#41)
by Vidatu on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 02:59:19 AM EST

Mashed potato's usually go on top, (in my neck of the woods, at least)
With a dollop of gravy, that is.

Insert witty quip here["7734206"]

[ Parent ]
YUM!! (5.00 / 1) (#72)
by mosburger on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 12:05:35 PM EST

I make Tortiere all the time! My family's of French-Canadian descent... here's the gist of it...

1.) Boil and mash a couple decent-sized potatoes.
2.) Dice an onion.
3.) Boil 1 lb. of ground pork with the onion for about an hour.
4.) Add some cloves and poultry seasoning.
5.) Drain the pork and mix the mashed potato with it 'til there's a "good" pork/potato ratio. Throw it onto a pie crust and bake it for (I *think*) 20 mins or so... just enough to brown the crust.

Some people put gravy on it, some eat it with pickles... I prefer ketchup on my tortiere. I think it needs something good and tangy like the pickle or ketchup to make it really yummy.

--- I want to be different, just like everybody else. ---
[ Parent ]

Meat pies are nice... (none / 0) (#8)
by tzanger on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 09:32:12 PM EST

Except I cannot stand the pastry on its own... Mind you I'm the same way about regular (fruit) pies -- so long as there's nothing but crust left, I'll eat it up.

+1 FP (none / 0) (#12)
by VoxLobster on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 10:05:38 PM EST

mmmm...meat pie. I'm going make one tomorrow.

I was raised by a cup of coffee! -- Homsar

+1fp (4.00 / 2) (#15)
by Subtillus on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 10:23:22 PM EST

This made me wicked hungry, could you link us to a kiwi recipe or two?

Australia (5.00 / 3) (#16)
by ComradeFork on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 10:26:18 PM EST

In Australia, meat pies are perceived as a food that the average Australian eats.

Recently, a certain state MP went into a pie shoe and got a meat pie, some reporter asked why not a sausage roll. Sausage rolls, he says, apparently are not Australian enough.

Almost as bad as hugging babies to get votes.

Hmmm... (4.50 / 2) (#33)
by Juppon Gatana on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 01:22:42 AM EST

Can't say I've ever been to a pie shoe before. Then again, with my penchant for eating fabric and rubber, it might be right down my alley.

- Juppon Gatana
(Nou aru taka wa tsume wo kakusu.)
[ Parent ]
Pie Shop (none / 0) (#38)
by ComradeFork on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 02:49:01 AM EST

Really, the "P" and the "E" are right next to each other!

Actually, when I type a word, I often type a more common word which is similar to the word I started to type. No idea why.

[ Parent ]

It's called "finger macros" (5.00 / 1) (#70)
by xL on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 11:30:23 AM EST

Many people have some form of kinetic memory that allows them to quickly recall a sequence of hand movements necessary to perform a common task. Pianists have a good use for it. The problem with finger macros on the computer keyboard rises when you have to type a word that is really close to one your brain already stored. The feedback from your typing of the first few matching characters triggers the macro and the wrong word flaps out. Sort of a kinetic freudian slip.

[ Parent ]
I was drinking when I read that [nt] (none / 0) (#50)
by AtADeadRun on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 05:36:10 AM EST

and damn near snarfed a mouthful of water onto the keyboard. "...penchant for eating fabric and rubber..." indeed! Kudos.

Pain heals. Glory is forever. Keep running.

We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
[ Parent ]
nono what was worse... (none / 0) (#40)
by blisspix on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 02:54:17 AM EST

was brogen claiming that Carr's dislike for sausage rolls would cause damage to roll making businesses. What rubbish. he didn't say that they were unaustralian, but that they were 'disgusting'. I for one generally agree, although I do like the pastry. mmm.

[ Parent ]
Does Brogden seem (none / 0) (#65)
by lucius on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 10:37:30 AM EST

like a complete whore to you?

All I ever see of the man is him raising another asinine objection so something else unimportant, or complaining about the lack of police.

[ Parent ]

indeedy (none / 0) (#148)
by blisspix on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 09:36:56 PM EST

what I hate most about him was his manipulation of the public by putting out that press release about how he cannot have children. What's that got to do with politics you doltbag! Brogden will be visiting my place of work next week, I plan to heckle, or boycott. :) Carr's coming in on my day off. Bummer!

[ Parent ]
Is he sterile? (none / 0) (#153)
by lucius on Fri Mar 07, 2003 at 03:02:56 AM EST

I didn't see that press release.

I have to say, there's something about Carr that I like. I don't know precisely what it is, and I hate the whole Law and Order thing, but there is something that appeals to me.

[ Parent ]

she is. (none / 0) (#156)
by blisspix on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 10:45:23 PM EST

As much as Carr is not as left as I'd prefer, I like him too. Maybe cuz I grew up in WA and all the premiers were horrible except for Carmen Lawrence.

[ Parent ]
Hot Pockets? (5.00 / 1) (#19)
by IHCOYC on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 10:52:48 PM EST

To speak of a "meat pie" to a North American calls to mind what we call a "pot pie," a frozen food which is baked in an aluminium pie tin, and cannot be picked up to eat. It resembles a small pie or large tart, and contains chicken, turkey, or beef stew with diced potatoes, peas, and other vegetables baked in a thin pie crust.

Recently, though, Americans have been able to acquire "Hot Pockets", a trademark for a microwaveable bit of pastry with various meat and cheese based fillings available. None with curry, unfortunately. If anyone is familiar with both kinds, is this one closer to what you are talking about?

Sella fictili sedeo
Versiculos dum facio.

Not like a Hot Pocket (none / 0) (#45)
by nardo on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 03:38:17 AM EST

Let me start by saying that the only place I have ever had a meat pie was at Epcot Center and it's been over 10 years since my last visit but I remember the meat pie well. I always looked forward to the meat pie whenever I visited Epcot. It's also the only food I've ever eaten which contained carrots and has not caused me to carefully pick them out.

That being said, I'm not sure if the meat pie at Epcot is the same as what the author is talking about because the one I've had didn't have gravy, but the characters on the Sopranos refer to tomato sauce as "gravy" which I'd never heard before so maybe the definition tends to be regional and the author is simply referring to the spices as the gravy. The pastry itself is similar to a pot pie but moister, though maybe it's just that way because I'm comparing a restaurant meat pie with a frozen pot pie. The beef is granulated similar to Taco Bell (I'm not comparing the flavor or quality to Taco Bell, just the meat consistency), it was seasoned quite well though I couldn't tell you with what and from the story it sounds like you can pretty much use whatever you want to season it. Hot pockets tend to use much larger pieces of meat than in the pie so the overall consistency is completely different as is the pastry. The pastry of the meat pie was very good, it had a good flavor and consistency to it, while the pastry of a Hot Pocket isn't bad but I wouldn't describe it as having either a good flavor or consistency. The filling to pastry ratio was also much higher in the meat pie than in a Hot Pocket. The meat to vegetable ratio was higher than what you'll find in a Hot Pocket or pot pie.

So, in conclusion, if you're ever in Orlando do yourself a favor and don't visit Epcot unless you've already been to Universal Studios, The Magic Kingdom, and Sea World. If you do find yourself at Epcot then get the meat pie at the Canadian restaurant, I'm not sure if it's the same as what the story is about because of the lack of gravy, but it's damn good.

[ Parent ]
Meat pie? (none / 0) (#58)
by wierdo on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 09:08:00 AM EST

I hate theme parks, and Disney especially, but I have to say, you can get the best turkey legs ever to grace god's green earth at Magic Kingdom. Well, ok, the second best turkey on god's green earth. My girlfriend's mom makes the best turkey.

BTW, if you're ever in Orlando, and you find yourself at the theme parks, shoot yourself. Well, shoot yourself for being there first, since you could have gone someplace with actual culture, as opposed to a corporate fantasy wasteland that is a blight on central Florida. That's not to say there aren't good things there, but you can do so much better. I liken it to eating at McDonald's.


[ Parent ]
Pies & parks in Orlando FL (4.50 / 2) (#126)
by gt2313a on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:53:14 AM EST

Go to blue springs state park & canoe around.  You can see manitees.  

They're slow and easy to catch, and make one hell of a pie filling.  

[ Parent ]

The closest thing I can think of in the US (none / 0) (#22)
by wierdo on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 11:09:33 PM EST

would have to be the Shephard's Pie. Not too shabby if you throw in some plantains. It seems fairly uncommon around here, though.

That Puerto Rican Beef Plantain Omelette that I found on Google while checking my spelling of plantain looks pretty good, btw.


Shepherd's Pie vs Cottage Pie (none / 0) (#77)
by lordpixel on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 02:21:45 PM EST

One mistake a lot of pubs here in New York make is to label any sort of pie with a potato top crust "Shepherds Pie".

Strictly speaking, a Shepherd's pie should have a lamb mince (ground lamb) filling. If its beef, then its Cottage Pie.

Or maybe that's just what they called them where I grew up. Americans don't eat much lamb, so far as I've observed.

I am the cat who walks through walls, all places and all times are alike to me.
[ Parent ]

Thanks! (none / 0) (#152)
by epepke on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 08:07:42 PM EST

I was wondering about that distinction. It makes sense: shepherd = mutton or lamb.

Americans don't eat much lamb, so far as I've observed.

For some reason, American lamb isn't very good compared to English lamb. English lamb is great. Their pork is also generally a little better than American pork. However, American beef is much better, even if you don't consider BSE.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
Pastel de Carne (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by truchisoft on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 11:18:56 PM EST

well we have something that MAY be similar here in my country, its done with potato's puree, chipped meal, chipped boiled eggs and cheese

the fulfill would be the eggs and the meal, on top of it you add the puree and the cheese.
cook on oven for a while until you see the puree take some color, its usually 30 minutes but you never know for sure.
see if the sides get darker, and when they do, take the thing out and eat it.

that would be all :)
--- Saludos de Argentina.

What country? (none / 0) (#27)
by llimllib on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 11:40:07 PM EST

I'd assume it's a spanish-speaking country because it's called a "pastel de carne". I lived in Spain for 3 months and never saw one, so I'll guess Central/South America?

[ Parent ]
Spain also (none / 0) (#106)
by JAM on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 08:48:43 PM EST

The 'pastel de carne' is also happily eated also in Spain, I can assure you. It's just that is not as popular as other meals.
-- Sorry for my engRish (TM)
[ Parent ]
what region? (none / 0) (#115)
by llimllib on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 12:38:39 AM EST

I lived in Sevilla, and have a tremendous bias that way. Where is it popular?

[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#147)
by JAM on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 06:32:43 PM EST

Don't know on what regions is more popular, but I live in Madrid and I've seen (and ate) it on some (tapas) bars and restaurants.
-- Sorry for my engRish (TM)
[ Parent ]
Since we are talking about meat pies... (none / 0) (#26)
by Deus Horribilus on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 11:37:18 PM EST

Somebody has to mention the legendary but now endangered "Pie Floater". I was fortunate to try one at the last remaining Pie Cart in Adelaide, and it was absolutely superb (about the only superb thing in Adelaide, but that's another story...)

For the uninitiated, the Pie Floater is a meat pie, placed upside down in a bowl, covered in mushy pea soup, and topped with a good squirt of tomato sauce. To some people, it is considered quite a delicacy, to others, the idea of eating a red, green and brown mess is quite a turn off.

As for normal pies, we Aussies have the Four and Twenty brand, which makes for a good eat when you are too lazy to go to the bakery. Some of the bakery ones I have had though are quite amazing, including the "Chunky Beef and Guinness Deluxe" from the Bakers Dozen in Canberra, which is a thick beef pie topped with a sweet potato mash. It wins prizes every year, and if you find yourself in that part of the world, it is well worth the trip out to the bakery.

"Beliefs are never concrete, they change direction like autumn leaves in a windstorm..."

Jamaican Patties (4.50 / 4) (#32)
by The Solitaire on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 12:33:49 AM EST

One kind of meat pie that I absolutely love is the Jamaican Patty (perhaps there is another name, but if so, I've never heard it). It's not a normal pie, but more of a pastry pocket filled with spiced ground meat (the meat varies). They're usually pretty spicy too (the hotter the better in my opinion).

I need a new sig.

Cool, junk food from 'round the planet (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by Edgy Loner on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 01:34:28 AM EST

Here in NorAm, that culinary niche is filled largely by the humble burrito. Basically a burrito is simply a flour tortilla (an unleavend very thin flat bread made with lard, salt and flour pressed flat and cooked on a griddle) wrapped around some kind of filling. Fillings can be meat, cheese, beans or some combination. Cheap ones are often made with 'textured soy protein', pretty much a step or below Soylent Green. Sometimes the whole thing gets deep fried, then it's often called chimichanga. Quality runs the gamut from quite good to kind of gross. Buy em frozen, microwave till hot, drench liberally with Tabasco or whatever and eat.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
Unless you're in Louisiana.... (none / 0) (#98)
by Eric Green on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 07:00:10 PM EST

Then you have the famed Natchitoches meat pie, sold at greasy spoons and truck stops throughout the state. Absolutely terrible for you, of course -- but Louisiana being Louisiana, it of course tastes marvelous.
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
I must of missed those. (none / 0) (#133)
by Edgy Loner on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 12:15:49 PM EST

Lived there for for a couple of years, never saw one. Granted this was a few years back, and I was down in the swamps of Morgan City and Lafeyette. Too bad, they sound yummy.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
[ Parent ]
make mine a mrs macs! (4.00 / 1) (#39)
by blisspix on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 02:50:35 AM EST

Being a fair dinkum aussie I don't mind the occasional pie. And I'm a girl, at that.

Of course, the main problem is how do you eat a pie. I usually tip mine sideways so that when I bite into it, I can avoid mass dribblage over my fingers. Sometimes I do resort to a fork however.

My favourite pie these days is from Shakespeare's Pies, it's a creamy corn, spinach and cheese concoction. Delicious.

Mrs Macs chunky beef are fab. mmm.

Last week the Daily Telegraph ran articles comparing the sausage roll and the meat pie as eaten by the two candidates for the upcoming NSW state election. The pie won out. ha!

indeed! (none / 0) (#55)
by liedra on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 08:33:04 AM EST

Shakespeare's Pies are all good. Though the pies from Simone Logue in Balmain (and other suburbs) (Sydney) are top notch. Chicken and leek pies, thai chicken curry, or the best beef and vegetable pie I've ever tasted. I tend to eat these with knives and forks, but the old fashioned school canteen pies (Mrs Macs et. al) must be traditionally eaten with your hands and with a little squirty packet of tomato sauce squished out on top. Yummeh!

 - liedra

[ Parent ]

school canteen pie (none / 0) (#118)
by Liet on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 04:56:12 AM EST

As a matter of fact I had a Mrs. Mac pie just the other day for my school lunch.

[ Parent ]
How does an Aussie order a meat pie with sauce? (none / 0) (#110)
by proletariat on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 10:49:48 PM EST

I met an Aussie in Italy who was telling me how he craved a meat pie. He was telling me the hilarious way they order a meat pie with sauce in Australia. It was like saying "Don't touch my mustache" for the Japanese "Doi-tashi mash-ta" (you're welcome). It sounded the same but if you listened carefully it was completely different.

[ Parent ]
oh yeah... (1.00 / 1) (#140)
by liedra on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 10:40:51 PM EST

it's really hilarious:



So you see, you're hungry and you want a meat pie and sauce. So you go into the shop, sidle up to the counter, take a quick peek at the oven behind the serving person, give them a wink and say...

"Meat pie and sauce please"

... and you get one! simply marvellous!

*wink* Aussies have a great way of ... pulling peoples' legs :-)

[ Parent ]

it's a maggot bag with blood (none / 0) (#144)
by proletariat on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 11:42:12 AM EST

Ok, it wasn't as funny as I remembered it. You had to be there and hear it along with all the other slang.

[ Parent ]
what about the vegetarians? (none / 0) (#42)
by durkie on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 03:02:58 AM EST

so does the meatless meat pie just include plain vegetables, or does it go so far as to include some kind of meat-like substitute?

Now and then (none / 0) (#48)
by Tatarigami on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 04:31:07 AM EST

The first meatless pie I ever came across was something of an experiment by a bakery owner. It was all vegetables (this was in the day before meat substitutes), and while I didn't investigate the item itself too closely, I understand there were several regular customers in the area.

Meat substitute pies are available now, though supermarkets and large bakery chains. I haven't tried those either, so I can't say how much they resemble the real thing.

[ Parent ]

You didn't mention the nuke-able variety (4.00 / 1) (#44)
by Lord of Caustic Soda on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 03:19:44 AM EST

Microwave for 1 minute on high, available in just about every supermarket.

My friend once ate one of those that's been frozen for over three years. Didn't like get sick or die or anything, and apparently tasted no worse for the storage.

Victorian Pies (none / 0) (#47)
by sakusha on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 04:25:48 AM EST

I used to watch the old BBC series "Upstairs, Downstairs" mostly because I liked watching the cooking. It reminded me of the awful cooking my mom used to make. They made lots of meat pies on the series, mostly because in victorian times they didn't have proper refrigeration and the proper way to preserve meat was to cook it in a pie where it was buried underneath layers of fat. But then, this was the uppercrust and a meat pie would probably be pastry over pate de fois gras. I used to drool over those pies. One thanksgiving holiday, I convinced my mom to make one of those old fashioned victorian style mincemeat pies, with real meat and lots of it. I was appalled to see her making it, the ingredients were about 50% suet. Not even lard, just raw hunks of unrendered suet fat. I ate some of the pie, it was delicious but it was just too heavy and fat-laden. I couldn't get anyone else to eat the mincemeat so I got stuck with it all for myself. I must've gained 5 pounds.

Yum (3.50 / 4) (#49)
by cafeman on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 05:22:36 AM EST

I suggest you read this article before deciding to dig into those lovely supermarket pies ...

I won't spoil the lovely surprise :)

"No Silicon heaven? But where would all the calculators go?"

-1, trolling (none / 0) (#69)
by Silent Chris on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 11:27:25 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Not trolling - the truth (none / 0) (#83)
by cafeman on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 03:03:03 PM EST

It was done by choice magazine, our consumer research organisation. Sheesh. Think Ralph Nader. It was all over the news last year.

Just because the truth is actually really nasty doesn't mean it's a troll. If you seriously think I'm trolling, why don't you buy the article I linked to?

"No Silicon heaven? But where would all the calculators go?"

[ Parent ]
Alas it does not deter us (none / 0) (#102)
by mayo on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 07:28:33 PM EST

Great link and quite accurate. However, many of us are already aware of the completely random quality of the "meat" in pies yet still gleefully hoe into them regularly. After all they are still delicious and are somewhat of a national institution. I'm not convinced people would stop eating them even if it emerged that puppy meat was being used in their manufacture.

Bon appetit!

[ Parent ]
Easy solution ... (none / 0) (#105)
by cafeman on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 08:08:01 PM EST

Just don't buy "meat" pies ... as someone else has said, get steak pies instead. In principle, there's nothing wrong with camel, but it's not the greatest meat (far too tough and gamey for my taste). I must admit, I still bought a few pies from Coles after reading the article, but the more I thought about it, the more I just couldn't do it again. I still enjoy a pie periodically, but I tend to stick with "gourmet pies" now (if there's really such a thing).

Out of interest, do you remember the Big Ben sleeping pills fiasco from quite a while ago? Between that and the "meat", I'm sure there's a story somewhere in there about the sordid details of the meat pie industry ...

"No Silicon heaven? But where would all the calculators go?"

[ Parent ]
Food fiascos (none / 0) (#107)
by mayo on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 08:50:21 PM EST

I have absolutely no recollection of any Big Ben sleeping pills fiasco and fully intend to go on consuming my precious pies. :) The last major food scare that springs to mind is when that poisoner was running around and Arnotts recalled their bickies from the shelves. I have a friend who refuses to this day to take the front packet of anything from supermarket shelves on the off chance it's been tampered with. She's a bit silly sometimes...

[ Parent ]
Sleeping pills (none / 0) (#108)
by cafeman on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 09:39:33 PM EST

My memory is failing - it was either Big Ben or Four and Twenty, and there was a problem where either sleeping pills or some form of poison was dropped into the vats. They had to recall a batch from the supermarkets because of fears that people might get sick.

I don't believe anyone actually did get sick, but it was in the news for a while. It was before the Internet really existed in Australia (earlier than 1992, at least), so I unfortunately can't find any references to it.

Have you told your friend about syringes? :)

"No Silicon heaven? But where would all the calculators go?"

[ Parent ]
No syringes (none / 0) (#116)
by mayo on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 12:47:44 AM EST

She'd probably never eat anything again and she's thin enough already! I was food shopping with her once when a mutual friend introduced me to his theory that she's waaaay too impressionable. To demonstrate, he told her that the one at the back's often poisoned too - she hasn't taken a product from the back since then. I sometimes wonder what she does when there are only two left but said mutual friend speculated that she must convince herself the "poisoned" one's probably already been taken.

What can I say, people are strange...

[ Parent ]
A warning on "meat" (5.00 / 2) (#51)
by caled on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 06:02:17 AM EST

Here is the Australian and New Zealand definition of "meat". If you go into a supermarket and see "meat" as an ingredient in a pie, this is what you could be getting...

"The whole or part of the carcass of any buffalo, camel, cattle, deer, goat, hare, pig, poultry, rabbit or sheep, slaughtered other than in a wild state but does not include-

a. the whole or part of the carcass of any other animal unless permitted for human consumption under a law of a State, Territory or New Zealand; or

b. avian eggs, foetuses or part of foetuses."

If you are squemish about any of these things, I suggest getting a "steak" pie instead.

And we all know how safe meat is in the US (none / 0) (#52)
by Lord of Caustic Soda on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 07:08:14 AM EST

Apart from camel, all the others are pretty bog standard food items. Even Shakespeare made mention of a rabbit pie afterall.

That being said, specifying what kind of meat does go a long way from getting any nasty surprises.

[ Parent ]

US lags behind in world meat safety. (none / 0) (#53)
by twistedfirestarter on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 07:48:37 AM EST

4000 USians die every year from shitty meat. Read it in New Scientist.

[ Parent ]
Actually, I read it in the New Scientist as well (none / 0) (#54)
by Lord of Caustic Soda on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 07:57:01 AM EST

Which was why I made that comment in the first place...

[ Parent ]
Cool ;) (none / 0) (#56)
by twistedfirestarter on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 08:36:00 AM EST

Good magazine, eh?

[ Parent ]
No. (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by it certainly is on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 09:39:06 AM EST

It was alright a few years ago, now it's seriously dumbed down and you have to go traipsing on the internet to find the science behind the article and judge for yourself if it's innovation or just a puff piece for old news.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Really? (none / 0) (#64)
by twistedfirestarter on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 10:16:35 AM EST

Maybe I'm just dumb but I have a hard enough time understanding it.

I like it because it covers a lot of ground and it's interesting.

[ Parent ]

Perhaps you're not a scientist, (5.00 / 1) (#71)
by it certainly is on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 11:58:00 AM EST

if none of the magazine seems dumbed down to you. But as a computer scientist, I find quite a lot of the computer "news" and Casti's columns are old hat and overblown. The biology, chemistry, physics, etc. stuff is news to me, but I have a friend who's a chemical analyst and he thinks the chemistry stuff is watered down but hasn't heard of the computing stuff. So it depends on your field of discipline.

Both of us recall when the reporting was a lot more in-depth and included critical analysis, it seems that they've even stopped giving full references to the paper/publication that the news story is covering.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Do any of you guys know how to read? (none / 0) (#78)
by mikelist on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 02:32:14 PM EST

"The whole or part of the carcass of any buffalo, camel, cattle, deer, goat, hare, pig, poultry, rabbit or sheep, slaughtered other than in a wild state but does not include-...". This is the total list of allowed animals that can be considered 'meat' under most circumstances, none of them seem outrageous. Additionally there is a list of things that can't normally be considered 'meat', a and b. You have any idea of what goes into a hot dog?

[ Parent ]
Hot Dogs (3.50 / 2) (#86)
by Maclir on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 04:09:54 PM EST

I always wondered what part of the dog they use.

[ Parent ]
Meat Pie Sighting in America! (none / 0) (#57)
by Ravinoff on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 08:57:30 AM EST

I live in Georgia and within walking distance from my place of work is a bakery run by a couple of Australians who cleverly enough named it the "Australian Bakery".

In addition to really good breads and sandwiches they have a selection of meat pies. I eat there about once a week or so and usually get either the ham sandwich on cheese and bacon bread or a steak and mushroom pie.

I too live in georgia. Where is this place? [n/t] (none / 0) (#67)
by gte910h on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 11:04:19 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Where in Georgia (none / 0) (#81)
by Ravinoff on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 02:56:48 PM EST

Marietta, Georgia

It's on the Marietta Square, next to Eddie's Trick Shop (local costume and magic shop).

[ Parent ]
Must be the Marietta Square. (none / 0) (#117)
by kitten on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 03:22:24 AM EST

My office used to be on Church Street, so I saw that place open, but never went in. Alas.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Yep, Marietta Square (nt) (none / 0) (#130)
by Ravinoff on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 09:38:07 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Aw man. . . (1.00 / 1) (#60)
by Fantastic Lad on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 09:38:00 AM EST

Now I'm hungry.

--And I'm nowhere even remotely near any part of the world where decent meat pies are sold.

Quick question, though. . .

Free range & chemical free ingredients. . ? The word 'Organic' is a new addition to grocery store language bandied about up here in the North West on the good ol' American continent. I don't know if your cutlure has/needs anything similar, but basically 'Organic' means grown clean and clear of any artificial surprises like growth hormones, or genetically modified goods, bug sprayed plants, etc. And yes, if done right, the difference in taste is huge.

Okay. I gotta go now and hunt around my town, (probably in vain), for a decent meat pie.

-Fantastic Lad

Make one (none / 0) (#158)
by Garath on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 04:45:23 AM EST

Here's how to make your own - as taught to me by my kiwi ex-GF, who's an excellent cook. Steak and Cheese pie. Start with stewing meat, dredge in flour and spices (salt, pepper, and whatever else you like - I add rosemary and thyme), brown in a pan. Add the meat to a pot (a crock-pot is best for this), add beer, and stew until the meat falls apart into a paste. Put into pastry shells, add cheese and anything else desired, close lid of pastry and bake until pastry is cooked. You're essentially making a beef stew with nothing but beef and spices, then putting it in a pastry shell. Cheers, Garath

[ Parent ]
HEY!!! (none / 0) (#161)
by phlux on Mon Mar 24, 2003 at 12:46:19 AM EST

Where the heck have you been.. been waiting for you to get back... let me know when you are acutally active (hopefully your not off fighting or anything like that...) anyway - there is somethign i want to discuss with you and have you read... !!

[ Parent ]
What the shit? (1.56 / 16) (#62)
by 187 on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 09:47:21 AM EST

I thought this was about eating pussy. Why don't you keep your fucking kangaroo recipes on the .au sites, homeboy.


Cultural colonisation (none / 0) (#76)
by Tatarigami on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 01:57:08 PM EST

Because my mission is to destroy your way of life.

[ Parent ]
don't knock the kangaroo pie !! [n/t] (none / 0) (#119)
by Liet on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 04:59:40 AM EST

[ Parent ]
It *IS* about eating pussy. (none / 0) (#128)
by Wulfius on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 09:03:05 AM EST

1) The content of 'meat' pies has been know
to contain stray felines.

2) A true blue aussie cobber mate will eat a pussy AND a pie at the same time mate!


"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

Recipe (4.00 / 1) (#63)
by Katchina404 on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 09:57:32 AM EST

How about someone giving us all a recipe ? There are part of the world where ready-made pies cannot be found. And with all these comments regarding what's really inside "meat"-pies, I don't know if I'd want to eat one anyway. But real home made stuff ? I'd give this a try, sure !

Ooh you're killing me (4.00 / 1) (#66)
by ghjm on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 10:52:32 AM EST

As an expatriate Ottawan residing in North Carolina, I *so* miss M&M Meats. They have single-serve microwaveable meat pies in a box with a browning element, so they taste the way they should. Nothing like that exists down here. Except for loathesome "turkey pot pie."


Agreed (none / 0) (#73)
by adrizk on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 12:28:35 PM EST

Yes, M&M Meats is great. As I'm still living in Ottawa, I think I'll make a trip and pick up a couple.. And sorry.. I suppose this post could be viewed as cruel.. but on the bright side, I doubt that it's -25 (C) in North Carolina right now :)

[ Parent ]
They're not all turkeys... (none / 0) (#80)
by fantods on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 02:42:07 PM EST

The "turkey pot pie" covers a multitude of sins. The five-for-a-dollar variety are poisonous phlegm. Just avoid them. Try Marie Callendar's frozen pot pies. Good crust, great filling. I have no idea if they sell them east of the Mississippi or south of the Mason-Dixon line. Stay away from "Hot Pockets" and "Lean Pockets". Sophisticated microwave browning-tube technology lavished on cardboard food.

[ Parent ]
marie callendar's is good stuff. (none / 0) (#87)
by Work on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 04:16:24 PM EST

for frozen food, id say its one of the best brands.

[ Parent ]
they indeed exist here in the NY/NJ metro area (none / 0) (#131)
by shrubbery on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 11:06:55 AM EST

Like you say, they are one of the best frozen foods period.

[ Parent ]
Marie Callender's in DC (none / 0) (#146)
by reeses on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 05:53:20 PM EST

I've seen them here in Washington, at least. Wife raves about 'em.

[ Parent ]
Chicken Pot pies (none / 0) (#93)
by nne3jxc on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 05:20:33 PM EST

Egad man, perhaps you just need to try a "good" one. Stay away from the "Swanson Hungry man dinners" and try a real one.
One of the best (imho) widely available brands is "Mrs. Budd's". Comes in 3 varieties: white and dark meat (red box), white meat only (yellow box) and "fancy vegetables" which has different veggies replacing the standard peas and carrots.

Of course, if you are lucky enough to have a turkey farm nearby, they often have freshly made turkey pies which usually blow away anything from the grocery store.

[ Parent ]
England (4.50 / 2) (#68)
by spakka on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 11:25:11 AM EST

Try ordering a pie nowadays in a pub in England - birthplace of the pie - and more often than not you'll end up with a thing with no walls or floor: just a puff-pastry lid on a deep-sided dish holding the contents. This travesty is typically touted as 'traditional fayre'. (And don't get me started on shepherd's 'pie', which is similar, except you don't even get the fucking roof).

No walls. (none / 0) (#122)
by katie on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:16:34 AM EST

Oh how I hate that sort of thing. Damnit, part of the point of a pie is the pastry.

Mmmm. Good grief, am I hungry now...

[ Parent ]

A joke for UKians and advice for USians (4.50 / 2) (#74)
by Wiggy on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 01:04:56 PM EST

For the Brits, a quick joke:

Q. What is a Wigan Kebab?
A. Two pies on a stick

Anyway, for the rest of you. The best meat pies in the world, bar none are made by "Hollands" and you can find their site here:


You'll notice if you dig around, that they make over 1.5 million pies a week. That's a lot. There is another joke that only Brits will get about who eats them all, but never mind...

The key facts you must know about pies in the UK are:

  • Pies in the South of England generally aren't Hollands. In fact, they're AWFUL. Really, truly, terrible. I wouldn't feed one to a dog. You want to stay in the North of England and anywhere in Scotland to get a decent pie, preferably Hollands pies as well.
  • In the South, Cornish Pasties (so named because they originate from Cornwall) rule the roost. They are a bit like pies except with more "stuff" in them, and easier to eat on a cold day with one hand walking down the street. The cornish pasties in the North are terrible. It's the opposite situation to the pies.
  • They are high-fat, high-salt and bad for you. As a result, they taste fantastic
And that's it. Oh, apart from the fillings. Well, pastry first - there's flakey pastry, firm pastry and suet. Firm and suet are best, but suet based pies are called "puddings". A steak pudding with gravy is sheer delight. Now, the best fillings:
  • Meat, typically pork that has been ground and condensed, typically with some brine/fat that makes it extra juicy
  • Steak, ground up beef, sometimes "Steak and Kidney", always with lots of beef gravy in there
  • Cheese and Onion, sometimes the consistency is a bit poor, and doesn't taste that cheesy. Great with loads of ketchup
  • Chicken and Mushroom, my favourite, loads of chicken and small amounts of whole mushrooms in a juicy mushroom cream sauce.
All other fillings are intruders. If you can't get it in the chip shop, it isn't worth having.

By the way, anybody want to hear about sausage rolls? Now they're the ultimate in meat/flaky pastry snackery... yum..

I'm hungry now.

Yuck! (none / 0) (#85)
by TheMgt on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 03:46:06 PM EST

I remember throwing up the first time I ate a typical British pie ( after moving here from Australia ).

For those who haven't had the 'pleasure', pies here are shaped roughly like a large tin of tuna and have a strange thin crust the consistency of soggy roasted cardboard. The filling tends to be a half inch layer of gray paste topped with another half inch of grease.

My brother used to eat one of these on a bread roll ( to soak up the grease ) for his lunch, a delicacy he refered to as a 'brontoburger'. Just stomach churning.

[ Parent ]
Those are called "Scotch Pies"... (none / 0) (#125)
by gordonjcp on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:30:19 AM EST

Presumably after the huge amounts of alcohol you need to drink in order to eat one. Very few people in Scotland eat them.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.

[ Parent ]
Yay (none / 0) (#132)
by benbrandwood on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 11:14:44 AM EST

lol! I live near the hollands pies factory in Accrington, Lancashire.

There is a little rhyme round our way which goes.

"Hollands Pies, Made with flies
 concrete bottoms and iron sides"

But the cheese and onion ones are great
-- Ben -- 3rd Year Software Engineer -- Durham, Grey College -- UK
[ Parent ]

Accrington... (none / 0) (#136)
by SoulSeller13 on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:23:04 PM EST

... Stanley?? Who're they?? - DRFSR

[ Parent ]
meat pies are cool (5.00 / 1) (#79)
by ibbie on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 02:33:06 PM EST

because they're the perfect gift for all of your vegan friends.

george washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but he also admitted doing it. now, do you know why his father didn't punish him? because george still had the axe in his hand.
meat pie is not as good as hair pie ;-P (nt) (none / 0) (#82)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 03:02:28 PM EST

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Auckland pies (none / 0) (#84)
by marshall69 on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 03:28:08 PM EST

It looks from your article that this story originates from Auckland. I suggest you head down to Wellington and try Trisha's Pies. Unarguably the best pies in the country. Think huge with chunks of meat the size of your fist ;) Mmmmm.... Lunch time!

Alas, I am a vegetarian (none / 0) (#104)
by Holloway on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 07:36:03 PM EST

But I walk past there every day, and have heard they make a good pumpkin pie. Any vege suggestions?

== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]
Where's Trisha's Pies? (none / 0) (#114)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 12:29:40 AM EST

I saw that on the TV a while ago, they wone the best pie in NZ. Where is it? I though it was in Petone/Alicetown. It's a bit to far away to go for a lunch-time pie if you're in Welly CBD.

[ Parent ]
Trisha's Pies in Wellington. (none / 0) (#135)
by styrotech on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 04:17:54 PM EST

Never fear, there is one on Kent Terrace, and another in Kilbirnie I think (or was that Island Bay?).

[ Parent ]
how about a recipe? nt (1.00 / 1) (#90)
by shenanigans on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 04:52:46 PM EST

The Road to Pie-dition. (3.00 / 1) (#91)
by it certainly is on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 04:55:42 PM EST

Meet Britain's Greatest Pie Appreciators, courtesy of Jon Picking.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

Two words: pie floater! (4.00 / 2) (#94)
by Jeebus on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 05:37:46 PM EST

I'm surprised no one has mentioned this -- a pie floating in a bowl of soup. Pea soup seems popular, at least in my experience. Mmmm, pie floater...

The American meat pie (none / 0) (#97)
by Eric Green on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 06:52:59 PM EST

Three words: Natchitoches meat pies. These are a staple of Central Louisiana eating, and are sold at ball games, at greasy spoon cafes and truck stops, and other such low-cuisine venues. They are typically stuffed with highly seasoned meat or seafood. I especially like the crawfish meat pies, that I get at the truck stop at I-49 in Natchitoches whenever I fill up with gas driving through there.
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
All that talk, but no recipes? (n/t) (1.00 / 2) (#100)
by jth on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 07:28:06 PM EST

Make your own... (none / 0) (#111)
by goonie on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 10:50:29 PM EST

Manufactured pies, even those from bakeries, have really really thick pastry, lots of gravy, and virtually no meat (even allowing for the rather broad definition of meat in the regulations) in them.

If you want a decent pie, buy (or even grind, if you have a meat grinder) your own mince meat, cut up some carrot and onion, brown the meat and vegetables, make the gravy (premix stuff will do), pour them into the pie dish in which you've lined with pastry sheets (shortcrust for the bottom, puff for the top). Glaze the top with egg if you like, and bake.

Much, much nicer, and a heck of a lot healthier than a bought one. I'm not claiming it's the ultimate in health food, but much lower in fat and sugar.

But do avoid ... (none / 0) (#112)
by jefu on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 11:16:50 PM EST

... any meat pies from Mrs. Lovett's pie shop. Or from any pie shop located under a barber shop.

For those now left in puzzlement, here's a hint in the form of an excerpt from the lyrics of the musical "Sweeney Todd" :

  Mrs L:
Have a little priest.
  Mr. T :
Is it really good?
  Mrs. L :
Sir, its too good,
at least!
Then again, they don't commit sins of the flesh
So it's pretty fresh.
  Mr. T :
Awful lot of fat.
  Mrs. L :
Only where it sat.
  Mrs. L :
Here's the politician -- so oily
Its served with a doily.
Have one.
 Mr. T :
Put it on a bun
Well, you never know if its going to run.

In the US PBS did a concert version of this last year which is well worth seeing.

what about..... (5.00 / 1) (#120)
by Liet on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 05:02:49 AM EST

Four and Twenty pies, the most famous pies you can get! I can't believe you have forgotten them :(

BLOOD PLASMA (3.00 / 1) (#127)
by Wulfius on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:57:59 AM EST

Well Tatarigami is telling you gentelment porky PIES!

The government does indeed mandate animal content
in the pies. However it is not MEAT that is mandated.
Its ANIMAL PROTEIN that is mandated.
One of the cheaper ways to obtain the necessary
percentage of ANIMAL PROTEIN is not adding meat

In the same way that hamburgers are 100% cow
(ie the WHOLE OF THE COW) Pies are 100% of the cow.
From the horns to the hooves.

The so called 'GRAVY' is mainly artifical
colouring and congealants to mask
the real color and texture of the offal
that goes into the pies.

If you want a real MEAT pie you actually
have to ask for a STEAK pie to be assured
of meat content in the pie.
In that case you will find occasional
chunks of stringy overcooked meat which
can by a strech of imagination pass for meat.

Lets face it, pies were proletarian food
and have not significantly changed.

You CAN buy the so called 'gourme' pies
but they are to the pies what a torte bombe
is to a cookie from a packet.
Ie: Tastes nothing like a pie.
It tastes like meat in a pastry which
is certainly NOT the taste one gets
when one eats a meat PIE.

Beware Australians and Kiwis consider
Meatpies to be a religious relic, an important
icon of their nation-hood and are bound
to wax liricaly about what is in essence
an offal pastry pack for the poor.

"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!

poor you (none / 0) (#162)
by livus on Tue Mar 25, 2003 at 09:57:06 PM EST

Where are you getting your pies from? They sound like pieces of filth. Now, a good kiwi meat pie is 'steak n cheese' and you can see the large chunks of meat in it.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Well I don't know about everywhere else (5.00 / 1) (#129)
by haakon on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 09:09:24 AM EST

But the best pies in Queensland come from the Yattla Pie shop.

This place is so ingrained into the local culture that there was an uprising of gigantic purportions when it was revieled that the store was not going to be easily reachable from the nearest highway after upgrades had been completed. Needless say an offramp was hastely moved on the plans to placate the natives.

Never underestimate the political clout of a good meat pie in Australia.

Yattla (none / 0) (#138)
by Persistence of Penguins on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:03:01 PM EST

It's weird how we all insist on pronouncing it as Yattla, even though it's spelled as Yatala. I just drove through Yatala this morning with a tourist as a passenger and felt a brief moment of pride.

The addition of the drive-through ordering window was smart. Very smart.

"Serve hot... with lashings of butter."
[ Parent ]

Re: Yatala (none / 0) (#141)
by benw on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 11:32:48 PM EST

it's weird that it would be called Yatala - here in Adelaide, Yatala is a high security prison. i had (somewhat funny) visions of a drive-through on the prison wall.

you'd really not want to eat a meat pie produced in a prison ;-)

"vanilla-licking sofa-humpers". funny.
[ Parent ]
Prison pie (none / 0) (#145)
by Tatarigami on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 01:26:21 PM EST

you'd really not want to eat a meat pie produced in a prison

Not without counting the remaining inmates, anyway.

[ Parent ]

You don't take pies to Yatala (none / 0) (#142)
by vegasgirl on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 02:31:59 AM EST

Must agree about those Yatala pies. May drive out of my way for one now. Knew a guy once, just started seeing a girl I knew. He was headed for a party this particular evening and we asked him where his new girl was. He responded with a grin that "You don't take pies to Yatala". A bit off the topic but still very damn funny.
If I've gone mad, it's lonelier than death
[ Parent ]
Maketu Pies (none / 0) (#134)
by bloodnok on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 03:06:46 PM EST

You are forgetting the great Maketu Pie... Bay of Plenty in the North Island is its home, although we get a few over in Hamilton.
--- When you give up freedom for security you get neither.
My pie eating experience... (none / 0) (#137)
by gdanjo on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 07:52:39 PM EST

Wake up and read Kuro5hin. Notice a front page story about pies and get sharp pain in gastoral region. Time to warm up a pie.

Open freezer and see a frozen-over packet of Seargent's pies in the far back. No problem. Take out quantity One, place remaining pies in front of freezer to remind me to eat them more often.

Read Kuro5hin article and nod in acknoledgement to the suggestion that the pie should be microwaved first, then placed in the oven (or grill, if in a hurry). Hear beeping of microwave, go put pie in oven.

Continue Kuro5hin article, midrange pain now a stomach growl. Take note of Tomato Sauce guidelines. One sause smearing method that is missing, however, is to stick the nozzle into the pie and squirt (assuming a squirting sauce dispenser here, the capped bottles won't do). This gives the sauce a much more intense, sour flavour as the pie heats the sauce very quickly. Not for everyone though.

Take out pie, eat it, massive pain in gut region half an hour later. Many visits to the porceilan palace later, go to freezer and put pies into back of freezer. Do not throw away, though, as you may have hungry friends over watching the cricket one day.

Go to service station and eat a Mrs. Mac's Cheese and Bacon sausage roll. Yum.

Thanks for reminding me how much I love sausage rolls.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"

hmmmmmmmmm pies (none / 0) (#139)
by Zameir on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:29:40 PM EST

Meat Pies - The great Australian institution. God bless meat pies :)

Tourtiere (none / 0) (#151)
by tulrumbler on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 01:30:51 PM EST

You want a really good meat pie, try tourtiere, a French Canadian specialty. My mouth waters just thinking about it.

Cajun Meat Pies... (none / 0) (#154)
by bill_mcgonigle on Fri Mar 07, 2003 at 11:04:42 AM EST

...are perhaps one of the finest foodstuffs ever created.

I first experienced them at a Jazz and Heritage festival in New Orleans, where people line up to buy them.  

I'm amazed I can't find a recipe online, but any good Louisiana cookbook will have one.

Basically you want to have equal parts of ground beef, pork, and onions, then half of that of celery and red peppers.  Chop and fry the vegetables in oil or butter until limp then add the meat and brown.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper to taste, and some Accent (MSG) if you're gunning for the real-deal.

Buy a pre-made pie crust if you're lazy, and cut it into 4-5" circles.  Put some of the mixture in the crust, fold in half, and pinch down the edges.  Bake at ~375F for twenty minutes or the pie crust is a nice golden brown.


Louisiana Meat Pies (none / 0) (#155)
by archivis on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 05:40:26 AM EST

I was born and raised in West Monroe, Louisiana. I remember my parents dragging me off to Natchitoches to a festival and having said meat pies. Though I don't recall if I actually liked them or no - the pies not my parents. Got along fine with them :) Enough Cajun seasoning will make anything palatable.

What goes into meat pies... (none / 0) (#157)
by maxmg on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 10:28:21 PM EST

As a German living in Australia now, it took me a while to appreciate the fabulous meat pie. At first, I was put off by the description of the ingredients: "Lips, hooves and arseholes, mate!"...

I've since found my love for meat pies, especially if coupled with national sporting events (Aussie rules football, super 12's rugby matches, etc.). The only problem I have when eating meat pies: Every time I have one, I get really really drunk. Might have something to do with the football matches, but I'm not too sure...

Cornish Pasties (none / 0) (#159)
by treefrog on Wed Mar 12, 2003 at 09:11:36 AM EST

I write in defence of that most fabulous pie, the Cornish pasty.

Originally a meat pie, but these days available with a wide variety of fillings (including many suitable for vegetarians), the Cornish pasty was originally developed as a lunch for the Cornish tin miners.

The thing about the tin mines was that the rock contained a lot of arsenic. So when the miner sat down for lunch at the bottom of his mine, he didn't want to get the arsenic on his hands into his mouth. The Cornish pasty was designed to get round this problem.

The pasty is made by simply placing the meat(or other filling) in the centre of a circle of rolled out pastry. The pastry is then folded over, and the edges wrapped and forked together. It is then baked.

The result is a pie with a hard and crusty edge down one side. The miner was thus able to hold his pie by this crust while he ate it, and then discard the crust (assumed to be covered with arsenic by now) with no adverse effect on his health.

There are many places in the SW of the UK (not just Cornwall) where a good pasty may be had. I recall I particularly fine one on the front in Mevagissy, but that's another story...

regards, treefrog

Twin fin swallowtail fish. You don't see many of those these days - rare as gold dust Customs officer to Treefrog

New Yorkers, you're in luck! (none / 0) (#160)
by Vykuza on Wed Mar 19, 2003 at 05:57:50 PM EST

Last time I was in NYC, family friends thought it would be nice to take me (an Aussie) to an Australian restaurant while visiting. We trekked to a place called "Eight Mile Creek" which, surprisingly, was not as bad as I expected. You can get a cold Victoria Bitter beer, Australian wines, some kangaroo steak (don't bother), emu (yum!), some "bush tucker" flavours and a "dog's eye with dead horse" (meat pie with tomato sauce) oh yeah, and they had ETA BBQ sauce available. Just seeing that brown plastic bottle with the yellow lid brought tears to my eyes. To truly make it an Aussie meal, go a lamington for dessert.

Aucklanders should try Pete's Pies in Queen st (none / 0) (#163)
by livus on Tue Mar 25, 2003 at 10:01:10 PM EST

Seriously Pete's pies, (or 'peters pies' I think it is officially called) has the best pies ever. They were even favourably reviewed in the New York Times.

I feel compelled to add tha I'd always go for steak, mate, never mince. Silverbeet and cheese is right up there, though.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

Meat pie appreciation | 163 comments (145 topical, 18 editorial, 0 hidden)
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