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Australia's answer to the hamburger? It's a meat pie, big or small.

Australia's answer to the hamburger? It's a meat pie, big or small

Australians' passion for meat pies equalsAmericans' love for hamburgers. In fact, Australia's major commercial manufacturer (of almost 6,000 companies) bakes 2.6 million such pies a week for the country's 15.3 million people. Big or small, filled with meat or vegetables, pies are firmly entrenched in the country's cuisine.

In honor of a recent trip Down Under, wepresent a tailor-your-own pie recipe: it makes 12 individuals or 1 big one; choose white or whole-wheat crust, and fill with beef and lamb, rabbit, or vegetables. Enjoy hot or cold.

The rabbit pie was inspired by one servedat the Pokolbin Cellar restaurant in Australia's wine-producing Hunter Valley.

Suit-yourself Aussie Meat Pies

Pastry for 9-inch or individual pies(recipes follow)

All-purpose flour

Beef-lamb, rabbit-madeira, orvegetable filling (recipes follow)

Water

1 large egg mixed with 1 tablespoonwater

For a large pie, divide pastry for 9-inchpie in half. On a lightly floured board, roll each half into a 12-inch round; trim edges if necessary to make even. Evenly fit 1 pastry round into a 9-inch pie pan; let edges hang over rim. Spoon filling into pan. Lay second round on filling. Pinch together top and bottom pastries extending over rim. Fold pinched edge underneath so dough is flush with pan rim; then crimp. Cut 6 slits through top pastry.

For small pies, divide pastry for individualpies into 12 equal portions. For each, roll pastry into a 7-inch round on a lightly floured board; trim edge to make even. Spoon filling in equal portions onto half of each round, to within 3/4 inch of the edge. Lightly brush edge with water.

Fold pastry over filling. Press togethercurved edge of pastry, then fold edge over itself up to the filling. Crimp edge. Cut 3 slits through top. Place pastries slightly apart on two 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.

Brush tops of pies with egg mixture. Bakein a 400| oven until a rich golden brown, about 50 minutes for 9-inch pie, 25 to 30 minutes for small ones (switch pans halfway through baking time). Let cool in or on pan on a rack for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm; or let cool completely and serve cold. To store, cover and chill up to 2 days. Makes 8 to 12 servings.

Pastry for 9-inch pie. In a bowl or foodprocessor, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour (or use 1 cup each all-purpose and whole-wheat flour) and 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional). With a pastry blender or food processor, mix in 1/3 cup butter or margarine (cut in pieces) and 1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening until fat particles are the size of small peas. Gradually add 1/3 cup cold water, mixing with a fork or processor until dough clings together. Pat dough into a ball; cover and chill 1 hour.

Pastry for individual pies. Prepare pastryfor 9-inch pie (recipe precedes), increasing flour to 4 1/2 cups, salt to 3/4 teaspoon (optional), butter and shortening to 3/4 cup each, and water to 3/4 cup.

Beef-lamb pie filling. Trim and discardfat from 1/2 pound boned lamb shoulder or neck and 1 1/2 pounds boned beef chuck; cut meat into 1/2-inch chunks. In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan with 3 tablespoons salad oil, brown half of meat at a time over high heat; stir often. Lift out meat and set aside. Reduce heat to medium-high.

To pan, add 1 large onion, chopped; 1/3pound mushrooms, thinly sliced; 1/2 cup chopped celery; and 2 1/2 cups finely chopped Swiss chard. Cook, stirring often, until onion is limp, about 8 minutes. If needed, add 1 tablespoon salad oil to prevent sticking. Add 2 1/2 cups regular-strength beef broth, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and meat. Bring to boil; cover and simmer until meat is tender to bite, about 1 hour.

In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarchand 1/3 cup dry red wine. Mix into meat mixture and stir until boiling.

Rabbit-madeira filling. Remove and discardgiblets from a 2 3/4- to 3-pound fryer rabbit. Quarter rabbit; place in a 4- to 5-quart pan with 5 cups water and 1 medium-size onion, chopped. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover and simmer until meat is opaque in thickest part (cut to test), about 30 minutes.

Pour broth through a strainer and save;discard onion. When rabbit is cool enough to touch, cut meat from bones into 1-inch chunks; discard bones. Return broth to pan; boil, uncovered, until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a 10- to 12-inch frying panover medium heat, cook 1 cup each 1/2-inch chunks carrots, celery, and onion in 3 tablespoons butter or margarine; stir often until carrots are tender to bite, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in 1 1/4 teaspoons dry rose-mary leaves and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

In a small bowl, mix 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarchand 1/3 cup each madeira and marsala. Add to frying pan with broth. Stir until boiling. Add rabbit meat and mix well. Season to taste with salt.

Vegetable filling. In a 12- to 14-inchfrying pan over medium-high heat, cook in 3 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 large onion, chopped; 1/3 pound mushrooms, sliced; 1/2 cup chopped celery; 2 1/2 cups minced Swiss chard; and 1 1/4 cups each 1/2-inch cubes carrots and peeled rutabaga. Stirring often, cook until onions are very limp, about 20 minutes.

Add 1 1/4 cups potatoes cut into 1/2-inchcubes and 1 1/4 cups regular-strength chicken broth. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover; stir in 1/3 cup dry white wine mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch. Stir till boiling.

Photo: Bloke in insect-repelling outback hat samples meal-size individual pie. Filling for this one is beef, lamb, and vegetables

Photo: Cold picnic-size pie sports a whole-wheatcrust and rosemary-seasoned rabbit and wine filling with carrot, celery, and onion

Photo: 1. Meat pie ingredients include chard,celery, red wine, broth, mushrooms, onion, beef and lamb, and pastry

Photo: 2. On lightly floured board, roll chilledpastry dough for individual pies into 12 rounds, each about 7 inches wide

Photo: 3. Spoon cooked filling onto pastryrounds. Moisten pastry rims, then fold dough in half to cover meat

Photo: 4. Crimp pastry edges with fingers toseal. Next, brush with egg for shine, cut slits in top to let steam escape
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Jun 1, 1987
Words:1094
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