I think most countries or cultures have some form of a pie or pasty be it an empanada , a Cornish pasty or a pot pie.
In Australia we have local cake shops in every suburb that sell meat pies and sausage rolls. They are the ultimate take-away food. Long before the Colonel, Golden Arches or various pizza chains graced our shores in the 1970's this was the food we ate. We enjoy them at sporting events in the same way an American might have a hot dog.
(My dad has a sister who lives in LA. When they come to Australia my mother gets out the good silver and serves up Aussie meat pies to them at the dining room table. It's the sort of food you dream about when you are far, far away.)
In Any Way You Slice It, Piper the main character has a chain of food trucks that sell only pies and while she serves a variety of flavours, the classic meat pie is the corner stone of her business.
This is a family pie that I make in a family sized pie plate but it can also be made as 4 individual pies if you have individual pie plates. This is one of my daughter's family favourites.
Australian Meat Pie - serves 4
1 quantity of shortcrust pastry or one pie shell (I'll post my recipe soon)
2 small or 1 large onion diced
500g beef mince
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 beef stock cube
2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons cornflour
2 tablespoons water (extra)
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg yolk.
1. Heat oil in pan and add onions, cook stirring until soft. Add mice, cook stirring until browned.
2. Stir in sauces, stock cube and water (I dissolve the stock cube in water first) simmer 15 minutes. Stir in cornflour and extra water. Stir over high heat until it boils and thickens. Cool.
3. Grease a pie plate with butter or olive oil and roll pastry to fit pie plate. Cover pastry with baking paper, fill with dried beans or pie weights and bake in moderate oven 8 minutes. remove beans and cook a further 8 minutes.
4. Fill pie shell with meat mixture. Brush edges or pastry with egg yolk and press puff pastry on top. Cut to fit. You can use any scraps to decorate. Brush pie with more egg yolk. Bake in oven 20-25 minutes until golden.
Don't forget Any Way You Slice It, An Upper Crust Novella will be out later this week.