Mince and cheese pies are a classic New Zealand meal. We have dairies, bakeries, supermarkets and cafes all over the country with such pies. We have competitions to see who has the best pie in the nation. Men everywhere stop during their working day for lunch and buy a pie – many women too.
One night, Adriano and my sister’s husband hatched up a plan to open a New Zealand pie shop in Italy and then franchise it out. The more empty wine bottles that accumulated on the bench, the more elaborate the plan became. It’s a shame they didn’t follow through. It might have brought about a revolution in the Italians’ way of eating.
I found this recipe in the same supermarket magazine I mentioned a couple of nights ago. I am trying to lose some weight before going back to Italy to see family at the end of next month so I only ate half a pie but it took enormous willpower to stop eating it. If the truth be told, it was Adriano snatching it away that did the trick.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 400g lean beef mince
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
- 3 tbsp of flour
- 3 tbsp of tomato sauce
- 2 cups of beef stock
- Salt & pepper
- ¾ cup grated cheese
- 2 sheets of puff pastry
- Preheat the oven to 370°F/220°C.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the mince, onion and dried herbs.
- saute until the beef is browned.
- Stir in the flour and cook 1 minute.
- Add the tomato sauce and stock.
- Bring to the boil and and reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens. (5-6 minutes)
- Season to taste.
- Spoon the mixture into four ovenproof pots (1¼ cup capacity) and sprinkle with the cheese.
- Roll the pastry sheets a little thinner and cut 4 circles 1 cm larger in diameter than the pie pots.
- Place the pastry rounds over the top of each pot, pressing around the edges to seal.
- Make several slits in the pastry. If desired, brush the pies with a little beaten egg.
- Place the pies in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.