Australia Day is a memorable day for This Little Pig. First off, it’s this fine swine husbands’ (husband since NYE that is, wahooooo) favourite day of the year. He pulls on small football shorts, pops on a bluey and sits in the pool with beers and the Triple J Hottest 100 for the entire day and is the happiest swine this world has seen. It is also the day before This Little Pigs birthday, so this fine swine tries to stay awake long after the fireworks so at the stroke of midnight it can screech, “It’s my birthday!” to any drunken revelers left standing. It is also the day that a wonderful man left this world and his name was Gramps. A man who owned a giant grin, a jingly pocket of coins and a disposition so sunny it could grow sunflowers in the darkest cave.
So for many reasons Australia Day is important to this fine swine and you know what else is important (No! I hear you exclaim.)? Food is my dear piglet. Glorious, glorious food. These mushroom and pepper steak mini pies are an absolute treat. Whether you are heading to a BBQ on Australia Day or better yet sitting in your own pool nude with an iced cold beer for company. They’re rustic looking, rich and peppery to the taste and overall, buttery, moist and rich little morsels that beg to be eaten. So push back the Straya’ flag that is tied around your shoulders as a cape, roll up your bluey (but wait a bluey doesn’t have sleeves!?) and tuck into this delightful mini pie that will leave you with a soft pie paunch on Australia Day from eating too many of them.
Pepper Steak & Mushroom Mini Pies:
Makes: 12 Mini Pies.
Prep Time: 30 Mins. Cooking time 1 hr 20 mins (mostly unsupervised)
Ingredients of Straya Day Perfection:
600g x Rump Steak
1 x Tbs Pepper
500ml x Beef Stock
2 x Brown Onions
2 x Garlic Cloves
800g x Mushroom
3 x Rosemary Sprigs
50g x Tomato Paste
1 x Cup Red Wine
2 x Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
2 x Tbs Olive Oil
4 x Puff Pastry Sheets
5 x Tbs Milk
Cupcake Tin (Makes 12 Mini Pies)
Method of Straya Day Glory:
- Finely slice garlic (1) and finely dice brown onions (2).
- Slice your beef into 1 cm thick by 4 cm long strips – removing the gristle as you go.
- Finely slice your mushrooms.
- Heat your olive oil in a large saucepan until hot to trot and then pour in your sliced beef strips. Cook until starting to turn golden brown on the outside.
- Now pour in your diced onion and garlic. Gently stir until it turns translucent.
- Add in your mushroom slices (600g) and Worcestershire sauce (2 Tbs) and stir until the mushrooms start to soften and turn golden brown.
- Pour in your tomato paste (50g), red wine (1 cup), beef stock (500ml), rosemary leaves (3 - pulled off the stem) and your pepper (1 Tbs – this is quite a warm peppery amount so adjust to your tastes). Now heat until boiling and then reduce to a low heat to simmer for 1 hour - stir occasionally to stop it sticking to the bottom.
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees and pull your pastry out of the freezer to defrost.
- Using a glass, cut out the right sized circles for your pies (make sure you have a bottom AND a top cut out piglets – no one wants to see a pie go topless (not even at the beach).
- Now grease your cup cake tins and pop in the bottoms of your little circles of pastry.
- Pop into the oven for 10 mins or until puffed up and golden – now (this is a little uncouth but it works) use a fork to press down the puffed up pastry.
- After 1 hour simmering away, check on your lovely beef mixture. The beef should be tender and almost falling apart and it should have reduced to a lovely thick gravy like stew. If for some reason it is incredibly watery (you went off on a tangent you unruly swine!) you can always thicken it up with a little Gravox or Corn Flour mixed with some of the stew liquid until there are no lumps and then stirred through the stew.
- Dollop out your mixture into the cooked pastry bottoms and then gently rest the pastry, circle lids on top, squeezing down the edges. Using a sharp knife cut a hole in the middle, to let the steam escape (the steam yells “I’m free! I’m free!” if you put your ear to the oven whilst it cooks).
- Using a pastry brush (or a paper towel if you don’t own a brush - tsk tsk tsk) gently baste the top of the pies – this makes them go shiny and beautiful.
- Pop into the oven for 20 mins or until the lids are gloriously golden.
- For this 10-20 mins, prop up your trotters, perhaps pick out the perfect swim suit for your Australia day BBQ or merely work your way through the rest of the bottle of red you have left over.
- Pull out your pies when they are beautiful and golden brown and allow to cool slightly before popping them out. Serve with some good quality tomato sauce, an Australian flag tattoo on your face and a cold beer. Happy Straya Day Piglet Mate!