Now I was 4 when my brother started playing soccer, I honestly remember lifting up the pie lid, squeezing in the tomato sauce, then eating the mince first, with a spoon of course, then saving the pastry for last, devouring it like it was the best thing I have ever eaten. These days I just poke a hole into the top of the pastry and squirt in the sauce, but my teenage daughter eats her pie just like I used to, I love it.
Now you could say, why don't I just buy pies now, well the answer is, I can't, because my daughter will not eat store bought pies or canteen pies, she does not like the pastry. But when I make a pie at home she devours the pastry. So I figured I'll just make pies at home and I'll freeze them and then I'll have homemade pies readily available when my kids need a snack, when their friends come over and I need to feed them, or when we are really busy and I need a quick dinner idea.
This is not a complicated recipe, it is quite easy to make actually. The base pastry is store bought shortcrust pastry, it works perfectly here. Feel free to make your own, but this is a simple recipe so I'll use store bought. The filling is a mince one, it is simple, it is tasty. The filling needs to have cooled completely before you start assembling the pie or the pastry will get soggy and you will make a mess trying to assemble the pies. I suggest doing it the day before it is needed, makes less work on the day you need them. The top pastry is store bought puff pastry, again, feel free to make your own, but it really isn't necessary.
You can use just beef mince here or a combination of pork and beef mince, that is completely up to you.
Also when it comes to size, I made them in large muffin tins as I like the party pie size, but sometimes as I do have larger pie dishes I make them larger for a single serve for dinner. My pie dishes are about 10cm diameter base measurement, perfect for individual portions for dinner. These smaller ones I like when I have a lot of kids over, they are easier to eat and look cute.
If you want to freeze them, I suggest baking them first, allowing them to cool to room temperature, wrap in plastic wrap, then label, date and freeze. I try to only freeze for up to 1 month. When needed again, place in the fridge overnight to thaw. To reheat, preheat oven to 180°C. Place pies on a baking tray and cover with foil. Cook in oven for 15 minutes or until heated through. You can reheat them from frozen, but I find thawing them works better.
If you don't have cookie cutters at home, don't fret, use a bowl with the rim the size you need or a mug, whatever you have. The original recipe said the base pastry was cut with a 10cm cutter, for me I found that too small for my muffin tin, so I used a bowl of 11cm to cut my rounds. I also like when the pastry comes over the side of the tin a bit, it helps the top pastry stick better, that is another reason I needed the extra centimetre.
So here is a recipe from my childhood that proves that food can give you great memories and how it can make you smile. Party pies make me smile.
Makes 24 mini pies
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 rashers rindless bacon, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
750g beef mince
1/3 cup plain flour
2 1/2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
6 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed
3 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sesame seeds
Tomato Sauce, to serve
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon and onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, until onion has softened. Add the mince and brown well for 4-5 minutes, breaking up the lumps with a wooden spoon.
Add the flour, cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the stock and tomato paste. Bring to the boil, stirring, ocassionally. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered, for 10 minutes until the mixture reduces and thickens. Stir in the parsley, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cool completely.
Preheat oven to hot, 200C. Lightly grease 2 x 12 hole mffin pans.
Using an 11cm round cutter, cut 24 rounds from the shortcrust pastry sheets. Ease into each muffin hole. Allow a little overhang, this gives you something to stick the top pastry to. If the pastry tears, use a little of the excess pastry to patch up the tears.
Top each pie with the puff pastry rounds, pressing edges to seal. Brush with the egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Rest in the pan for 5 minutes before serving with tomato sauce.
Pin it: au.pinterest.com/pin/399413060690227049/