Happy Australia Day!
I made some party pies to celebrate! I have been in love with the concept of the party pie ever since I heard a couple of Aussie friends reminiscing about them. What are Party pies? you might well ask…..quite simply, they are miniature meat pies that you serve at parties!
Meat pies are regarded by many as the national dish of Australia. And considering the Brits longstanding love for meat wrapped in pastry (Pies, Pasties and Sausage Rolls), I was surprised that Party Pies haven’t caught on in the UK.
My Aussie husband and many of my friends (particularly the men folk) have very strong feelings about pie. Whenever they see a pie on the menu, they always have to ask “is it a proper pie?”, meaning “does it have full pastry coverage?”. The alternative is referred to as a casserole with a lid in our house (what the Americans would call a pot pie). Personally, I don’t really mind a casserole with a lid, they are much easier to make and probably a bit lower in calories (if you are counting those sort of things!) But for fans of full pastry coverage you can’t beat the Party Pie!
I don’t tend to do a lot of pie making, I like to keep my cooking fairly simple. Why make a pie when you could just have a tasty stew, cutting out all that extra faffing with pastry! I also try to cook fairly healthy dishes when at home, as we’re not known for holding back when we are out. But the main reason I don’t make pies is that we live very close to the excellent Piebury Corner, there’s not much incentive to make your own, when you can buy award winning pies just minutes from my door.
But Party pies are not widely available in the UK, So with the help of some ready rolled pastry, I decided to have a go at making them myself.
I found an easy to follow recipe on Recipe Tin Eats, and just made a couple of changes to the ingredients. I wanted to use Ale instead of red wine as we had a lot of bottles gathering dust in the cupboard. I used a whole bottle of Yorkshire bitter, adjusting the amount of other liquids to compensate. I also added some fresh thyme, as the flavours work well with Steak and Ale, and a generous dash of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, as I can’t make a stew without it.
I’m pretty happy with the results, but don’t think I will be making these little beauties very often. The problem with making a lot of pies is that you then eat a lot of pies! (Although they can be frozen, so you don’t need to eat them all in one go) But I think these tasty little treats are best saved for when you have company. Next time you have a Party don’t forget the pies!