An ode to my Ma’s savoury mince pie


This is a meat pie that would make my mother proud.

I have said more than once that my mother was not the flashest of home cooks, and she is OK with that and still sends me birthday cards etc, etc, etc, but she could definitely throw together a damn fine fish fry, great meat with three (veg) and a cracking savoury mince. The latter would oft find it’s way into a cosy little fluffy jacket of golden brown puff pastry (with a few of those slightly-over-done-but-not-even-over-done-because-it’s-puff-pastry bits), much to our childhood delight.

Yup. She could make a pie.

And she would sure be happy with this pie. She would truly be happy with the filling. I mean, she wouldn’t have used beer, but it would certainly look the part. That coupled with the love only a mother can have for a child would be enough to ensure we could happily sit down and enjoy this together.

Aw.

Ahhhh, the savoury mince filling. you could pretty easily stop right here and just eat that on toast… maybe with a fried egg or two…

Make the pie.

Eat the pie.

SAVOURY MINCE PIE

(serves 4)

500 g beef mince
1 onion (brown, red, yellow, whatever), diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
½ zucchini (regular shop sized zucchini, Lucas)
1 cob corn, kernels removed (or ½ cup frozen corn kernels)
½ cup frozen peas
1 ½ tbls plain flour
1 can (375 ml) dark beer
Salt and pepper
2 sheets puff pastry (or enough to line a 25 cm pie dish)
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with a splash of milk), to glaze
Tomato ketchup, to serve

Heat a splash of oil in a pan / pot on a medium heat.
Sauté onion, carrot and carrot, with a pinch of salt and pepper, until starting to brown.
Add mince and sauté until that is starting to brown too. Break it up with a wooden spoon as you go so it doesn’t get all clumpy and meatball-esque.
Add flour and cook out for a minute, stirring to avoid burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add remaining vegetables and beer and cook out, stirring constantly, until a nice gravy is holding that meat and vegetable ménage together.
Check seasoning, adjust if necessary and then set aside to cool.
Pre heat oven to 220 C (430 F).
Line (or butter and flour) a 25 cm pie dish and use one sheet of puff pastry to cover, using off cuts to press into any extra gaps.
Fill pie base with cooled savoury mince.
Place the other sheet of puff pastry over the top of the pie dish and trim roughly to shape using a paring knife or something similar.
Pinch pastry together along the edge of the pie dish.
Make a little hole in the middle of the pie so the steam might escape.
Glaze top of pie with egg wash and bake in pre heated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown (and a little bit darker in places).
Serve with tomato ketchup, chips, salad, peas, mashed potato, extra gravy, etc, etc, etc.

Pie.

PS If you’re the kind of person who gets pretty busy in the week with work and kids and all of the extra-curricular activity you participate in for the united gerbil appreciation association, then it is a really good idea to double or triple the recipe and make two or three (respectively) of these pies and freeze the extra down for easy busy-times dinner.
Just cook them for only 15 minutes or until lightly coloured to allow for the rebake and then wrap and freeze once cooled. Defrost it in the fridge overnight and it should be good to go by the time you get home from work the next day. Whack it in a 180 C (355 F) oven for 15 minutes or until it’s hot. Dinner’s up.

Humour, Australia Day and Hipster by proxy

IMG_9246
Um, I have a question.

Have people, like the total generalization of the human race, just lost their fucking sense of humour? Did we all just get so damn middle aged and serious? Have we all forgotten how much fun it can be to just have a good goddam laugh at our own selves, or even the small child who might fall over a hit his face on the concrete. Oh how we would laugh; ha ha ha, he he he, and all the while our mouths would be turned upwards, saluting the gods of funny and happy with the technique commonly referred as a smile…

Sam Kekovich being a lambassador
Sam Kekovich being a lambassador

And then this Sam Kekovich bloke comes along as the newly appointed “Lambassador” and champion of the lamb industry this Australia Day (Happy Australia Day PS), and upsets the shit out of the vegans because they don’t like being told to eat lamb. Honestly, they don’t need to eat the lamb. I would go so far as to say please don’t the lamb – I will look after your share without a problem.
Captain Cook got the call up for the Australia Day Lamb Campaign too
Captain Cook got the call up for the Australia Day Lamb Campaign too

Has the time left us when people would not think too far into television advertisements? Or has that time passed when people may have just turned the effing TV off and done exactly what they wanted to do as apposed to thinking that they are obliged to do what the TV tells them? If I tell you the truth, I am more than happy for these peeps to leave the lamb for me. More than happy! And, you know what? If it’s such a huge fucking issue, maybe they should just go and make their own television advert and tell everyone to eat something that isn’t lamb for Australia day; eat some gum leaves or billabongs or something like that and keep it real legit.
I had myself a lamb pie for Australia Day because a guy on the television told me I should
I had myself a lamb pie for Australia Day because a guy on the television told me I should

Which brings me to my next little issue… or whine… or waaaah waaah… or baaah waaaah (that was a bit of a lamby reference for those of you who weren’t paying attention); What about the prejudices against the middle aged, bearded, caucasion male, the weight of the hipster movement, and the rights of the common man to just wear a goddam beard?

Was that a segue? I doubt it. I have not yet seen a real live segue grace these pages, and indeed I do not expect to see one anytime in the foreseeable future.

Anyway, as you may or may not be able to tell, I am pretty effing sick of it (but at least I’ve calmed down enough to stop using the language of the herpes infested salty old sea dog), and I am ready to set this rant upon the world via the interweb super highway and a currently paid up-to-date account with my internet service provider.

If you don’t want to hear about it you should smash your computer now, because I am getting exponentially more confident by the minute…

I mostly blame Jennee, a) because it’s easy, and b) because she was so generous of spirit to point out that I kind of am a hipster by proxy… all except my name. I need a name that’s some kind of hybrid, left field, a surname first name or something from the Victorian era, and I could possibly scrape in with something Scandinavian at the very least. Christianeous, Leonard, Michaelangelo, Matheous…

And what the heck even is this hipster by proxy business I am talking about? Well, plain and simple I’ve just been asked once too often if I am a hipster.

Now I contemplate mowing my facial hair back to reveal the smooth face of a man I used to know and I also contemplate what it is about me that has made it so very simple for peeps to enquire as to whether my religion, or freaking out-look or whatever, is “hipster”…

I will tell you now; look carefully because there are a few key differences. Allow me to demonstrate;

Hipsters have large beards that are perfectly manicured and smell very nice because of the flowers they put in them – I have a large beard that is not manicured even one little bit and it doesn’t necessarily smell the best. Also, at any given moment, it contains enough barbecued meats for a Viking wedding celebration
Hipsters like cold brew, organic, artisan, ethically grown, small batch coffee – I like to drink cold coffee but my preferred method of attainment of said coffee is leaving it on the bench for an hour… so I guess it could be said that I actually enjoy cold stale coffee
Hipsters pay fat wads of cash for minimalistic, pared back design and re-purposed, ethically gathered materials – I fitted a restaurant out with plywood counters and tables because it was all that we could afford
Hipsters have a top knot – I am merely top notch
Hipsterism is on trend – Grazism is not even close to being on trend

So, as you can see, it is not actually that hard for us to be friends. If you cannot see how easy it is for us to be friends then, well, you are probably doing the weekly shopping while wearing active-wear at the moment and I am not actually qualified to help you with those problems and I can only pray that natural selection will take you from me.

Done.

That is my lamb pie, lid lifted and stuffed with mashed potato and mushy peas. Who ever decided this would be a good idea is a fricking genious
That is my lamb pie, lid lifted and stuffed with mashed potato and mushy peas. Who ever decided this would be a good idea is a fricking genious

PS I did eat your lamb in the form of an off-the-hook-good lamb pie from the Southern Queensland institution that is the Yatala Pie Shop. I “floatered” the living shit out of it with mashed potato, mushy peas and a kick-ass gravy that had little bits of meaty goodness in it. Soooo damn good!

Happy Straya Day.

The end.