Not Quite Australian Meat Pies and How I Met Certain Someone

Who is this Woman and what does she have to do with Certain Someone?
Why this woman would be a Gabi, my dear Australian friend who is responsible for this blog and how and how I met Certain Someone. Gabi is from Australia, Adelaide to be exact. And she introduced me to world of blogging. After a dinner at my house she sat down at my computer started blogging and I was hooked. My first blog Diary of a Shop girl morphed into Coco Cooks.
So what does she have to do with Certain Someone? Well I had a disastrous affair with an Australian man, one of those bad boy phases every woman must go through before she finds that Mr. Right.That man was a good friend and colleague of Gabi’s. The man and I parted ways, but I gained a good friend in Gabi. Gabi had other friends too, a whole expat community in Chicago, and through them at a dinner party I met him. Certain Someone. A tarot card reader was at the table to even confirm it ‘was him’.So you see everything and everyone in your life has a purpose, no matter how short the time.
Gabi moved back home to Australia this month. Her father, a regular and somewhat quiet reader of Coco Cooks has been suggesting to me from the beginning to make some Aussie food. Real stick to your bones type of food. I always think of modern Australian food as a melting pot with heavy Asian and Greek influences due to the current populations.And lets not forget the incredible wines! But pure Australian food would conjure up vision of meat pies,pavlovas,lamingtons, lamb and such. I could take the meat pie even further and float it on split pea soup. Gabi was quick to say Australians do not” throw shrimps on the barbie, drink Yellowtail, or Fosters”. That’s some American stereotypes perpetuated by Crocodile Dundee and Outback Steakhouse. Although they do eat Kangaroo and Moreton Bay Bugs ( delicious if you get some by chance). So hopefully one day Certain Someone will take me to this fascinating Continent and country. In the meanwhile I leave with my version of meat pie which is more Jamaican meat patty than Australian. Those African roots keep slipping through my cooking. Australians use puff pastry on top and short crust on bottom. I wanted more of a hand pie so I used a short crust and colored it with with some Turmeric. I also used some Palm oil( another African ingredient) and some red lentils for the filling with the beef. Australian meat pies have beef and gravy fillings and are served with a squeeze of ketchup on top. Look and see most places on this each have a version of meat pies. Empanadas for Latin America, Jamaican meat patties, Cornish pasties, samosas,etc. All good stuff.

Coco’s Not Quite Australian Meat Pies

Short Crust
1 cup /100 grams all purpose flour
1/2 cup/50 grams Atora( suet) or butter or shortening
3 tbsp cold water
1 tsp turmeric
pinch of salt
1 egg beaten with milk for wash before baking
In a stand mixer mix flour, Atora, turmeric,salt and water until combined. Form into a disc, wrap ,and chill for a few hours.

1 lb ground beef
2 onions chopped fine
2 tbsp Palm Oil or regular vegetable oil
1 tsp curry
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste* I used Mrs. Dash salt free seasoning blend/Spicy Blend
1 tomato chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup red lentils
In a skillet brown ground beef with onions in Palm oil. Drain any excess oil.Add curry and cumin, salt, pepper. Add tomato and tomato sauce. Let simmer. Add red lentils and bit more liquid( ie: water if needed). Cover and let simmer until red lentils are done. 15-20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Take out pastry dough. Roll out on floured surface and cut into circles based on your size preference. I made small ones . Brush edge with egg wash and fill with meat filling. Turn over close and seal with a fork or crimper. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush each pie with egg wash. Bake for 10-15 or until golden. Serve with ketchup if you like( Aussie style).We used German curry ketchup.

For a printable version click here.
Check out my latest post on about my latest travel adventure in the Pacific Northwest ( Vancouver and Seattle).