The Great Australian Meat Pie

Yesterday I wrote a post about betel nut chewing in Papua New Guinea. Having lived there before, I suggested that I could write some stories about Papua New Guinea. I received quite a few comments saying yes please.

I’ve lived in quite a lot of places when I was growing up. Some of these places were, how can I put it… less well known. Ok, frankly some were dodgy. It was quite tough growing up moving to these places – sorry to my parents as I know they read my blog! Or at least they do sometimes. Taking the positive approach to all this is that now I can say: been there, seen that, lived that. I was young at that time, so on one hand I had quite a sheltered life because some of these places were dangerous. On the other hand, I think I have experienced things that one does not when one has only lived in a modern westernized society.

Anyway, this recipe has nothing to do with Papua New Guinea, because for that I’d need to cook crocodile for example. When I was younger I also mostly lived in Australia, so here is my first recipe for the Australian meat pie.

Tomato Ketchup - HeinzI recently invited a very dear Australian friend over for dinner. Living in Barcelona, we both miss meat pies. We had both discussed meat pies countless times, so this time I decided to make one. Besides, it was about time Mr. H. tried an Australian meat pie, after putting up with all our meat pie talks.

I searched for an Australian meat pie recipe in food blogs, just to make sure I’ve got the right kind of ingredients in mind. After that I did my own thing – as I mention in my about page, I am not into measuring. I’m not really into following the exact instructions either. But one detail caught my attention. All of the recipes had one crucial ingredient in common, which was something I don’t like, I had never bought, and had never imagined I would ever buy. Here was the offender: Heinz Tomato Ketchup!

I thought I would make some tomato sauce instead. But then I thought, what if not using tomato ketchup would make the pie not have a characteristic Aussie meat pie taste? So, as the above photo shows, I bought it.

Australian Meat Pie Recipe


750g minced beef
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 carrot
1 stick celery
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons tomato ketchup
black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 sheets puff pastry

Chop the onion, garlic, carrot and celery into small pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan. Cook the onion on low heat until it’s semi soft. Add the carrot and celery. Cook for a few minutes. Add the garlic and the meat. Cook for a few minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato ketchup, oregano, some salt and black pepper. Cook while stirring until the meat is ready.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Line a pie mould with with one of the sheets of puff pastry. Pour in the cooked meat mixture. Cover the pie with the other sheet of puff pastry. Seal all around the edges by pressing the two sheets of pastry together with your fingers.

Bake the pie for about 20-30 minutes or until golden.


Australian Meat Pie Recipe


  • Even though they can come in all shapes and sizes, Australian meat pies are typically smaller sized as an individual serving. I decided to make a huge one, mainly because I don’t have small moulds. That’s a good enough reason for making a big pie, isn’t it?
  • I was not too happy about the puff pastry I used, it tasted too strong and oily. Next time I’ll try another one, or try making my own.
  • Apart from the pastry, the pie did have the characteristic taste I was looking for – thank goodness I bought the tomato ketchup.
  • The three of us did enjoy this meat pie.
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  1. Guillermina Bósquez Stover 2013-10-28 at 00:27

    I just may have to try this! In his sailing days, my husband Mr. S, really enjoyed the Aussies! He says they are friendly and very positive…

    1. Sofia 2013-10-28 at 19:01

      I think they are too! Regards to Mr. S and hugs to you 🙂

  2. Johnnysenough Hepburn 2013-10-28 at 01:33

    Everyone’s making meat pies, except me! Well, I couldn’t make my chicken and bacon pie last weekend. Anyway, ketchup is something I never buy as I’m not keen on its flavour. Yet, I’ve added it to tomato based sauces, years ago, and it can enhance the overall taste. Just like using Worcestershire sauce – something else I don’t like 🙂

    1. Sofia 2013-10-28 at 19:03

      I’m sure I’ll see one soon in your blog! Haha for me the difference between ketchup (eww) and Worcestershire sauce is that I had never tried Worcestershire sauce before so for me it is, (how can I describe it?…): exotic 🙂

  3. dalo2013 2013-10-28 at 02:11

    Great post, nothing better than a meat pie…and much better than betel nuts 🙂 You are such a talented cook, one day hope to sample some of your great recipes, they always look so good.

    1. Sofia 2013-10-28 at 19:05

      I’ll take you word for it and never try betel nuts! I hope you do get to try.. though now we know you are a dumpling expert 🙂

      1. dalo2013 2013-10-28 at 22:25

        Here’s an idea: a trade between your meat pie and my dumplings…these two are really good comfort foods.

          1. dalo2013 2013-10-28 at 23:18

            OK, how about next weekend in Hong Kong 🙂

            1. Sofia 2013-10-28 at 23:25

              Sure though its a little far…

            2. Sofia 2013-10-28 at 23:32

              PS Quite jealous, I loved Hong Kong!

              1. dalo2013 2013-10-28 at 23:40

                Barcelona would be tough to beat (although, actually I have only been to San Sebastian in Spain)… It would be fun to meet up in one of these two places someday and taste all the wonderful food together, there are so many great dishes.

                1. Sofia 2013-10-29 at 21:17

                  It definitely would be fun.

  4. Lily @ChloeAsh 2013-10-28 at 02:42

    OMG Aussie meat pies! YES! And they don’t taste the same without some ketchup. I was just thinking that as I was scrolling down your post, then I saw that huge bottle. LOL!

    1. Sofia 2013-10-28 at 19:05

      Its funny how it looks huge on the screen when I chose the smallest one! xoxo

    1. Sofia 2013-10-28 at 19:06

      Yeah, it was! 🙂

  5. That other cook... 2013-10-28 at 07:24

    ground meat and puff pastry… that’s about as good as it gets! that meat pie looks delicious! and unlike you, I love ketchup 🙂

    1. Sofia 2013-10-28 at 19:06

      Good for you! Maybe I could send you the rest of my bottle 😉 or no, I’ll keep it for the next meat pie.

  6. pianolearner 2013-10-28 at 15:05

    Over here you can now buy a low salt, low sugar Heinz ketchup, which is nicer. I think you did the right thing in putting it in, although you could have got the same affect with a few spoons of tomato puree. We do that for our cottage pies, which are essentially the same but with a mash topping instead of pastry. The main problem over here is that people smother the food in ketchup and ruin the plate-full.

    1. Sofia 2013-10-28 at 19:08

      Oh no! the ketchup was incorporated inside the recipe. I actually put it neatly away in the fridge so that no one would smother my meat pie with it! Now come to think of it, maybe they were secretly hoping to dip it in ketchup, hmmm…

  7. apartmentwife 2013-10-28 at 15:39

    cook crocodile?? that is something i want to see picture of 🙂 what does it take like? as for meat pie, eeek – another dish that my husband would love 🙂

    1. Sofia 2013-10-28 at 19:10

      I don’t think I’ll be cooking it because I’ve never seen it here in Barcelona! I did eat it in Papua New Guinea. It’s like chicken but softer and more insipid. Maybe you can do 2 small pies: a meat pie for him and a seafood one for you! (A seafood pie nearly sounds gourmet and all).

  8. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward 2013-10-28 at 16:23

    Your pie looks so flaky and rich. The use of American catsup is adorable – I love it. 🙂 Hehe. It’s just tomatoes and a tad bit of sugar and vinegar – and as you noted in the recipe, a little goes a long way. These days, there is a trend in the US for organic catsup – it has sugar instead of corn syrup (and not too much) and organic tomatoes! Changing the meaning of the fast food condiment, I suppose. My sister-in-law met her Australian husband in Australia… I can’t wait to shoe her this recipe! Nice photos, too!

    1. Sofia 2013-10-28 at 19:13

      When I run out of this ketchup (because I would have made so many meat pies) I’ll make my own ketchup according to your instructions here 🙂 Ahh, maybe you can make one for your sister-in-law 🙂

  9. Laura Lynn 2013-10-29 at 03:10

    Looks like a hit. We have a pie called Tourtière in Canada and i have never successfully managed to replicate it. I keep trying though…

    1. Sofia 2013-10-29 at 20:22

      I’m going to look at Tourtière recipes, you’ve now got me wondering 🙂 xx

  10. Sharon 2013-10-29 at 11:11

    hey Sofia,
    So glad you have added the Aussie Meat Pie to your menu 🙂
    That pie looks fab! and if I was eating it, I would be like “where is the tomato sauce?!” Most Aussies love the stuff.. the sauce is the MUST HAVE addition!

    1. Sofia 2013-10-29 at 20:25

      Hey Sharon! Yeah now that I’ve made it once and everyone seemed pleased, it will be back on the menu sometimes. You’ll be having different kinds of pies soon 😉

  11. Saskia (1=2) 2013-10-30 at 22:54

    Ahhh, nothing better than a good old Aussie meat pie. Yours looks fabulous with that crusty pastry and juicy filling. Worcestershire sauce is a must for a good meat pie, isn’t it. We call it ‘pie essence’. And I agree, good old Heinz ketchup is an essential topping. I make these once a year without fail, on Grand Final Day (I don’t follow football at all, but I love the meat pie tradition).

    1. Sofia 2013-11-01 at 13:40

      Thanks Saskia, what a compliment seeing you get to see meat pies more often than I do 😉 I don’t follow football either but making a meat pie for the occasion is perfect. xx

  12. Tony McGurk 2013-11-16 at 02:44

    Your pie looks fantastic. I live in Tasmania & I couldn’t imagine living in a country where I couldn’t get my regular fill of meat pies. We always have a stock of frozen pies in the fridge ‘cos you never know when you need one. I prefer BBQ sauce with mine.Everyone has to have something to believe in & as it’s almost lunchtime I believe I will have a meat pie.

    1. Sofia 2013-11-16 at 10:52

      Thanks Tony! Lucky you being able to get them whenever you want 🙂


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