Family Meat Pie
A Classic Aussie Family Meat Pie is the perfect Friday night or ‘make ahead/freezer meal’ that’s sure to please everyone! A flakey, buttery crust base filled with slow cooked chunky beef and gravy filling, topped with a golden, crispy flakey pastry lid. Comfort food at its best!
I have fond memories of pies as a kid. My mum would make them all the time for us. She had six of us, and as a single mum, she had to find ways to fill the freezer with affordable meal options or to make pies in a flash. Although there’s a couple more steps in my recipe than my mums, it’s still a fairly simple recipe that takes little effort and is big on flavor!
This recipe can be used as a make ahead weeknight dinner option, or a special Friday night treat. Either way, it’s a crowd pleaser!
What is a Family Meat pie?
Not to be confused with mini meat pies, my Aussie style meat pie recipe is essentially a crispy, buttery pastry pie with gorgeous, deep flavored beef stew filling and a golden, crispy and flakey pastry lid!
- Pie Crust Base – This recipe uses short crust pastry that is typically used as a base for pies because it’s buttery, flakey and doesn’t go soggy. You could make your own, but it’s easier to use store bought. If I’m making a list in order of the things I love, and I love every part of this delicious pie, I’m putting this 3rd. Only because my favorite part is the next part!
- Beef Stew – The beef stew uses some simple ingredients to create a gorgeous, complex and absolutely finger licking pie filling. You can learn more about the ingredients used below, but some stand out flavor components are the beef chunks, which when slow cooked come out tender. We use onions, mushrooms and garlic along with dark ale! Guys, it just all comes together to make the very best, gourmet bakery style pie you’ll ever have!
- Pie Crust Lid – this is made of gorgeous puff pastry which is so flaky and buttery. You could make your own but using store bought is so much easier for this recipe!
If you’re looking for more great family friendly meals to try then I’d highly suggest trying out my Baked Orange Chicken Recipe, Easy Spaghetti And Meatball Recipe or my sisters favorite Crispy Chicken Burgers!
Please Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post. Let’s continue!
Why do Aussies put sauce on their meat pie?
Like pineapple on a pizza, which absolutely makes sense and is delicious, it’s basically the law to have tomato sauce on your meat pie in Australia! It’s nice, it’s normal. I mean, are you normal?
Look, (and I don’t mean this as a dig) Aussies will put tomato sauce on anything. I don’t know if that’s really my brand, but on a meat pie, it goes so well because it adds a touch of sweetness to the savory pie and compliments the tomato paste used as a base in the beef stew filling.
Ingredients You Need To Make a Family Meat Pie
My favorite thing about this recipe is how tasty it is. It’s kind of surprising really that a pie can taste this good. I mean, I’m susceptible to a golden and crispy puff pastry lid but the ingredients used for the filling just come together to create this deep, rich and delicious beef stew. You’ll never buy store-bought pies again! That is, unless you’re willing to pay and arm and a leg at a gourmet bakery for one. Trust me, even then, making your own using these ingredients is better!
Chuck steak, is a cut of beef that is ideal for slow cooking to make it tender and fall-apart. It’s idea for things like stews and pies which is what we’ll be making today!
Salt and pepper
I used fine salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
I used extra virgin olive oil.
Freshly minced is always best!
I used a large onion that I thinly sliced.
The tomato paste in this recipe is used to help deepen the beef stew flavor and really acts as the main background flavor of the sauce. This is why Aussies love adding tomato sauce on top!
The BBQ sauce is used to add a little sweetness and tang into the beef stew filling.
The sauce nobody knows how to pronounce! This is used in recipes to help give it a deep umami flavor.
I used a good quality vegetable stock in this recipe instead of beef purely for the flavor. You can se beef instead, but personally I like the flavor of vegetable stock.
Ok, so the alcohol used in this recipe is here purely for flavor, so if you’re worried about getting drunk from a can of ale in your pie, it’s cooked out, ain’t gonna happen. If you don’t want to or can’t use alcohol in your food then replace it with more vegetable stock.
The beef bouillon cube is used to add a deeper beef flavor to this recipe. Yu can leave it out if you wish and use beef stock instead of vegetable to get that nice beef flavor. I highly recommend grabbing a packet of these, you can use them in so many different things!
I used unsalted butter in this recipe. The butter is used to cook and soften the mushrooms when cooked. It also helps form the thickening agent for the beef stew.
I love the addition of mushrooms in the beef stew filling. It helps give it a deeper, earthy flavor. I used button mushrooms, washed them thoroughly and dried them well before slicing.
I used all-purpose flour in this recipe to help create a thickening agent for the beef stew.
Short Crust Pastry
Short crust pastry is used in this recipe because it gives the base a crispy bottom that you can hold! You’ll find this and the puff pastry sold as sheets at most supermarkets in the freezer section. You want to slightly thaw both pastries before rolling.
It’s possible to make your own puff pastry and use that, but you don’t need to. If you’re looking for a quicker option, use store bought pastry. Rolling together two pieces of puff pastry will help you roll it out to the right size. Using puff pastry for your pie lid and not short crust pastry will give you a light, crispy, golden flakey pie lid.
This is made using 1 egg and 1 tbsp of milk whisked together. It’s brushed on top to help the sesame seeds stick on and to give the top of the pie a nice shiny look!
I used black sesame seeds to garnish. Alternatively, you can use poppy seeds, white sesame seeds, or leave them off completely.
How to make a Family Meat Pie!
Let’s break it down in simple terms.
- You make the stew the day before. It cooks in the oven so it’s a put it in and let it do it’s thing type of situation. Once it’s made, let it cool completely.
- Then you lay out store bought pastry on your pie dish
- Place the lid on top.
- Bake and serve!
Tips and Tricks For Family Meat Pie Recipe Success!
- Make the beef stew filling the day before to give it enough time to cool.
- Using store bought pastry makes this a much easier recipe to put together. Find it in the freezer section of your supermarket.
- You can use a glass pie dish or metal one. It’ll need to be 2 inches in height.
- Make sure you cook your meat in 3 batches to give it the best chance of browning on the outside. That way it’ll retain it’s juices.
- Take your beef out of the fridge to thaw for 30 minutes before cooking. Room temp beef always cooks better. Especially when browning.
- Cut an X on the pastry lid of your pie before placing in the oven to allow the steam to escape as it bakes. It’ll prevent it from spilling out the sides.
- If you can’t use dark ale or don’t want to (I highly recommend you do if you can, it adds so much flavor!) you can replace it with more vegetable or beef stock.
- Add some tomato sauce on top of your pie when serving for a truly authentic Aussie experience!
Frequently Asked Questions about making a Family Meat Pie
How do I store this?
- Storing The Baked Pie – Pie can be stored in a container in the fridge for up to three days.
- To Freeze – You can wrap the pie in foil and then wrap in plastic and freeze for up to two months.
- To Reheat – To reheat, simply remove from plastic and place in a fan forced oven for 20 minutes on 180C / 350F or until heated through
Can you turn this recipe into mini pies?
Yes! You can make this recipe into mini pies using muffin trays or ramekins. You can even use this recipe in a pie maker. Use the pie makers instructions on cooking times. For oven baked mini pies, bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden.
How do I add more veggies into my meat pie?
Yep! Feel free to use your favourite veggies in this meat pie. I would recommend adding them in with the mushrooms to ensure they don’t stew and overcook in the pie filling.
How do I prevent my pie crust from going soggy?
This recipe has a crispy bottom crust and that’s because the filling is added when it’s cold. But you can blind bake your crust for 10 minutes to make sure it doesn’t go soggy.
Why are there 2 types of pastry in this recipe?
- Short crust pastry – will help the bottom of the pie remain nice and crispy. It also has enough strength once baked so that you can pick up the pie.
- Puff Pastry – is used for the top to give you a nice flaky pie lid that is yummy to eat and easy lifts off.
How to eat a meat pie?
Ok, this is the age-old question! Are you a lid remover, eat the filling then the crust? Or do you live fast and loose and just pick up and eat potentially burning off your tongue? Let me know in the comments! Personally, I’m all about lifting that lid off first and eating like a human being that doesn’t want their tongue burned off!
Can I Use Beef Mince instead?
Yep! Use 1kg of beef mince and brown in the same way as the chuck steak.
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Looking for more yummy meal ideas? Check these recipes out!
Steak And Onion Pie
Steak And Onion Pie
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs) (2.2lbs) chuck steak beef, fat trimmed, cubed into 3cm pieces (see notes)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic gloves crushed
- 2 large brown onions
- 1/4 cup (60 g) (60g) tomato paste
- 1/4 cup (60 g) (60g) BBQ sauce
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 1/2 cups (750 ml) (750ml) vegetable or beef stock
- 1 cup (250 ml) (250ml)dark ale see notes
- 1 beef bouillon see notes
- 1/4 cup (55 g) (55g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (95 g) (95g) mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup (40 g) (40g) all-purpose flour, plus extra to dust
- 2 sheets frozen short crust pastry partly thawed (see notes)
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry partially thawed (see notes)
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp black sesame seeds optional
Learn How To Make it! [VIDEO]
Steak And Onion Pie
- Just a note: I would recommend making your meat filling the day before making your pie to allow it to cool properly before putting the pie together otherwise it will melt your pastry. Plus it gives the ingredients in the pie time to get to know each other and meld their flavors.
- Preheat a fan-forced oven to 180C / 350F.
- Take the beef out of the fridge to come to room temperature 30 minutes before using. Add the beef into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat.
- Add half the oil to a large, heavy based oven proof pot on medium high heat. Add beef in three batches and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Take out of the pot. If you have burnt bits at the bottom, you may want to wipe the pot with a paper towel.
- Lower heat to medium. Add the remaining oil, onion and garlic and stir until onions brown slightly, about 1 minute.
- Add the tomato paste, BBQ sauce and Worcestershire sauce, 2 1/2 cups (625ml) of the vegetable stock (reserve remaining for later), dark ale and beef into the pot. Stir until combined. Crush the bouillon cube in your hands into the pot. Stir until mixed in. Bring to a boil, then cover with the lid and place in the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender.
- To a medium skillet, add the butter and melt. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes until softened. Add the flour and stir, it will look dry. Add 1/4 of the remaining vegetable stock and stir. Then add another 1/4 and repeat until it’s all in. Stir until a thick and smooth sauce forms.
- Take the pot out of the oven and place on the stove on medium heat. Add the mushroom sauce and stir until well combined. Cook on the stove for 10 minutes, stirring until thickened. The beef should be fall apart tender.
- Take off the heat and allow to cool completely to room temperature. I would recommend making the filling the day before for two reasons. The filling needs to be cool when putting the pie together otherwise it will melt your pastry, and second, the flavors meld together and intensify after 24 hours. If you’re in a hurry, you can put it together after allowing the filling to cool completely for a couple hours.
- If chilling in the fridge overnight, allow the filling to thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes before proceeding. Preheat your fan-forced oven to 180C / 350F.
- Dust your workbench with a little flour. Place two sheets of short crust pastry on top of each other and use a rolling pin to roll out a couple times to help the sheets stick together. Roll over the rolling pin and then unroll over your 9-inch (22cm) pie dish. Add the filling and spread evenly.
- Repeat the same rolling technique with the puff pastry and place over the top of your pie. Crinkle the edges of the pie using a fork. Use kitchen scissors to cut excess pastry off. Cut an X into the middle of the short crust pastry with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape during cooking.
- Brush with a whisked egg and milk and sprinkle with black sesame seeds (optional). Place the pie into the oven and bake for 1 hour or until pastry is golden and filling is hot. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with tomato sauce for a truly authentico Australian experience!
- Storing The Baked Pie - Pie can be stored in a container in the fridge for up to three days.
- To Freeze - You can wrap the pie in foil and then wrap in plastic and freeze for up to two months.
- To Reheat - To reheat, simply remove from plastic and place in a fan forced oven for 20 minutes on 180C / 350F or until heated through.
- Dark Ale
- It cooks the mushrooms to perfection so that they still have a bit of bite. Adding them in toward the end of cooking the filling prevents them from disintegrating and overcooking.
- It helps create a sauce that, when mixed into the sauce, will thicken the filling.