You can’t go wrong with this Kiwi favourite
You must have heard of a classic kiwi chunky steak pie?!
Where have you been?😉
The Kiwi pie is legendary.
World-famous… in New Zealand!
And far superior to the Aussie pie (I am obliged to say that).
Classic Kiwi chunky steak pie
So, what is all the fuss about then?
Think a generous amount of slow-cooked beef which is melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Sitting in a rich, dark, flavoursome beef gravy.
And encased in a light flaky pastry.
But to be honest, you won’t ever understand a true Kiwi classic pie, until you’ve been to New Zealand.
And you have to buy them from a garage.
Because it’s a bit like saying a baguette in New Zealand will taste the same as a baguette made in France.
It’s simply not true.
But it’s worth a go, and the tasty results still bring great memories of home for me.
So, I think you’ll like a classic Kiwi pie.
The key to a classic kiwi pie
It’s in the pastry.
Flaky, buttery pastry… and no soggy bottom.
Now, there’s a challenge.
For me, I chose to use a shortcrust pastry for the bottom.
And to ensure no leakage of the epic gravy.
Then, puff pastry for the top.
But it’s also in the gravy… lots of it.
This combined with the pastry is key to a winning Kiwi pie.
A good tip for making these pies is to cook the meat and gravy the day before.
And also, to chill the pastry.
When we make a pie in Devon, we never blind bake the pastry.
This is partly due to time restraints… and perhaps a bit of laziness.
But also because we quite like a soggy bottom on a large pie.
But this is not how to make the individual classic Kiwi pie.
How to eat a classic Kiwi pie
Normally, we buy them in a garage from a pie warmer that sits on the counter.
Or a little takeaway bar.
And they always come in a paper bag.
Or back in my day, the garages warmed them in a plastic-y bag that would brown a little.
As a student, I’d always wake up to this pie litter next to my bed!
I haven’t lived in NZ for 20+ years so there has been a big upgrade in ‘pie presentation.
But the key to eating a Kiwi pie, and I don’t think this has changed.
Is to keep it in the bag and eat it like a sandwich.
Now, be careful as we do have lots of gravy in these pies.
So, don’t forget to blow on the pie often because the gravy filling will be hot.
And don’t stop there. Add tomato sauce! (aka Watties in NZ).
Last but not least, don’t forget to look up the Kiwi mini mince pies.
Another Kiwi classic to enjoy on a smaller scale.
Aussie vs Kiwi
Well, I guess it was obvious that our Aussie cousins were going to come into this conversation.
They would probably claim it’s a ‘classic Aussie pie’.
So, you have to nod politely and know in your heart…
They are wrong.
Much like their claim to the Kiwi Pavlova (*don’t get me started).
And many other claims.
But don’t believe me, Mr Google throws out some interesting facts, including:
1.Who eats more meat pies?
FACT: On average, Australians consume 12 pies per year whilst Kiwis consume 15 pies annually.
WINNER: New Zealand
2. Thongs vs Jandals
I mean, who calls their flip-flops, thongs?!
OK, the Aussies.
We (Kiwi’s) call them ‘Jandals’
‘Jandal’ is short for Japanese Sandal.
Clever little play on words there 😉
A thong is… well we all know the true meaning.
FACT: New Zealand actually invented the rubber Flip Flop.
WINNER: New Zealand
3. Who invented the Pavlova?
FACT: The dessert was named after Russian ballerina Ana Pavlova who toured both New Zealand and Australia.
It has been claimed that a chef in Wellington invented the dessert for her in 1926.
She then stayed at a hotel in Perth where the Chef published a recipe a few years later which gave popularity and recognition.
However, history dates the first-ever pavlova to be made in New Zealand.
WINNER: New Zealand
At the end of the day, the Aussies are our neighbours.
And although we feel different in many ways to one another.
We also know, we are very similar.
Which is why we enjoy a bit of banter and rivalry.
(but we never bowled an underarm in cricket! Hey, I’m allowed the last dig here 😉)
Classic Kiwi Beef Pie
- Indiviual pie tins
- 1 kg chuck or stewing beef
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 4 cups beef stock
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp marmiite (dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water)
- 2 bay leaves
- 375 g Ready Rolled Shortcrust Pastry (or make your own – see link in notes)
- 375 g Ready Rolled Puff Pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
The Filling (it's a good idea to do the day before… but not necessary)
- Cut the chuck or stewing beef into 2" pieces.Add the oil to a heavy-based pan and brown the beef in batches to avoid overcrowding. Once each batch is browned, remove the beef to a plate. (It should take approx 10-15 mins to brown each batch – the darker the colour the richer the gravy).
- Now, add the onions to the pan with the leftover beef fat in there, and cook for 3-5 mins until softened. Add the flour and cook for another minute, then slowly whisk in the beef stock.Add the Worcestershire sauce, marmite, salt and bay leaves.Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Then place the lid on the pot and leave for about 2 hrs until the meat is completely tender.
- After 2 hrs or until the meat is tender, break most of the larger pieces apart with a spoon or fork to create a mix of smaller pulled pieces and larger chunks.If there is still too much liquid in the pot, keep simmering with the lid off until it reduces to a consistency you're happy with. Allow mix to cool before using.
Indivual pie pastry cases
- Preheat an oven to 200c/375f.Make your puff pastry lids but using the empty individual pie tins, upside down, to cut a disc the correct size.
- To make the pastry casings: Line the pie tins with shortcrust pastry – you might have to piece together a few pieces of crust to make them fit perfectly, then trim the edges.Blind back for 10- 15mins (make sure you line each pie with parchment paper, then fill with rice or pie weights).
- Once done, remove the linings allow crusts to cool. Fill each pie shell with the beef filling, mounding slightly at the top. Next, place a disc of puff pastry on each pie, then seal the edges by pressing down with a fork.Use a knife to make 3-4 piercings in each pie to allow steam to escape. Brush the top of each pie with the egg wash, then bake in a 200c/375f oven for 30-40 mins until the pastry is puffed and golden.