Who doesn’t love a pie?
It seems that pies have been part of the Aussie and Kiwi culture for my whole life. Which is a while.
I’m definitely showing my age when I remember as a teenager growing up in Auckland, it was a right of passage after a night out, to stop off at the Greenlane ‘Georgie Pie’ drive-thru for a pie. And, while most of my friends favoured the good old Kiwi favourite – mince and cheese, my preferred option was always the chicken and vegetable number. Those were the days.
Mr Wikipedia says that:
An Australian or New Zealand meat pie is a hand-sized meat pie containing largely diced or minced meat and gravy, sometimes with onion, mushrooms, or cheese and often consumed as a takeaway food snack. The pie itself is similar to the United Kingdom’s steak pie. It is considered iconic in Australia and New Zealand. It was described by former New South Wales Premier Bob Carr in 2003 as Australia’s “national dish”.New Zealanders regard the meat pie as a part of New Zealand cuisine, and it forms part of the New Zealand national identity.
Apparently, Australians consume an average of 12 meat pies each per year.(i) and the average consumption of meat pies in New Zealand is 15 per person per year.(ii) To be honest, I thought the number would be higher.
Ever since I discovered Otto’s Cassava Flour, and their Australasian distributors – Steve and Jennie from Pantry Innovations, I’ve been dreaming of making an AIP-friendly pie. And, I reckon I’ve cracked it.
Of course, the usual caveats apply here, as for any sort of AIP ‘baking’. This is definitely a ‘once in a while‘ sort of treat. Not an every day number. And, please, please ensure that your lard is rendered the fat from happy, grass-fed pigs.
And so, I bring you two recipes today. The first, for my Cassava flour lard pastry. And, the second, for my Chicken, Leek and Bacon Mini Pies.
Get your pie on…!
The fact that I now know it is possible to make these wee pies has really got my creative juices going. I reckon they’d be so good filled with my Tomato Free Ragu Bolognese or perhaps my Ridiculously Good Herbed Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks?
My Mum is world famous in New Zealand for her Christmas mince pies. And, I’m going to have to give an AIP-friendly version a go for the festive season this year…
- 2 cups Otto's Cassava Flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup lard, rendered from happy pigs
- 6 - 8 Tablespoons iced water
- Sift your flour into the bowl of your food processor. Add salt. Pulse to mix.
- Chop the lard into small pieces and add to the mixer. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.
- Sprinkle in the iced water and pulse, 1 Tablespoon at a time. You should add enough water that the dough starts to leave the side of the processor.
- Wrap in parchment paper and pop into the fridge until ready.
If you’re keen to pick up some Otto’s Cassava flour and you live in Australia or New Zealand, just click on the button below. It’s an affiliate link:
A good pie filling shouldn’t have too much moisture. Soggy bottoms are simply not cricket and Mary Berry would not be amused.
I always think the best way to judge the flavour of a pie filling is if you want to eat it by the spoonful while standing at your kitchen bench. This one fits the bill!
- 1 Tablespoon happy fat (I used lard, of course!)
- 425 g happy boneless & skinless chicken thighs (about 4), chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 150g happy bacon rashers, roughly chopped
- 1 small leek, washed, trimmed and sliced into icm discs
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 heaped dessert spoon tapioca starch
- 250 mls chicken bone broth
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- a generous handful fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 portion lard pastry (refer to recipe)
- Heat your happy fat in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add your chicken and brown for 3 - 4 minutes. Pop chicken into a bowl.
- Pop your chopped bacon, leek and crushed garlic into the frying pan. Turn the heat down a smidge and sauté until the leek softens and the bacon cooks - about 5 - 8 minutes.
- Sprinkle tapioca starch over mixture and stir until combined.
- Slowly add your bone broth until the tapioca starch well mixed.
- Add your chicken back to the pan along with the thyme sprigs. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Keep an eye on it and stir to ensure the mixture doesn't stick.
- Taste for seasoning and salt according to taste.
- Remove mixture to a bowl and add your parsley. Stir. Leave to cool a little on the bench.
- Cover your mixture and pop in the fridge to cool completely
- While the mixture is cooling. Make your pastry and pop into the fridge until ready.
- Heat your oven to 200°C/400°F
- Carefully roll just over half of your pastry out until thin. I pop it between two pieces of baking (parchment) paper. Then roll it a teeny bit more. Cut out rounds to fit a 12 hole-muffin tin and carefully line each. If the pastry tears, use pastry off-cuts to seal the hole.
- Place a generous spoonful of the chicken mixture into each pastry case.
- Roll the remaining pastry out and cut out rounds to fit as lids. Pop a pastry lid onto each pie, taking some care to pinch the lids to the base as tightly as possible. Using a sharp knife, pierce each lid a couple of times to allow steam to escape.
- Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until the pastry is cooked and the mixture is bubbling.
- Remove from tin onto cooling rack.
E N J O Y !
(i) “Bye-bye American pie”. The Age (Melbourne). 21 July 2003.
(ii) Andre Taber states that in 2004, business transactions for meat pies in New Zealand were worth NZ$120 million. The average cost of a meat pie was about NZ$2 this puts the sale of meat pies in New Zealand to be 60 million. As New Zealand has a population of 4 million this puts the average consumption per head to 15 per year. Andre Taber, The Great New Zealand Pie Guide: A Tasting Guide To Some of the Best Kiwi Pies Up and Down the Country, Renaissance Publishing, 2006, pg 7–8
These recipes feature in the Phoenix Helix Recipe Roundtable