Homemade Party Pies

There is something so comforting about a home made pie and everyone loves a party pie so for my birthday we combined them. With the help of my incredible boyfriend we had 12 delicious mini pies to share with our friends.

500g premium beef mince

100g mushrooms, diced

125g middle bacon, diced

1 brown onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1-2 tbs worcestershire sauce

Salt & pepper

1 tsp plain flour

A splash of tasty Ale. I used a very malty IPA but it comes down to taste.

¼ cup made up instant gravy

Milk for brushing

Shortcrust pastry (100g margarine, 200g plain flour, pinch of salt, cold water)

 

Grease a 12 hole muffin pan. Make pastry and refrigerate. In a hot frying pan, add bacon rind and allow to render down a little, add a little olive oil if needed, remove rind and throw it away. Fry off the diced bacon in the pan, remove, then fry off the onion until lightly caramelised, add the garlic in the last minute of cooking, set aside. Brown the mince in the same pan and break it down to a fine mince, add mushrooms and cook down until soft. Add the bacon and onion back in with season with some salt and pepper. Add in the ale and cook for a minute, add the Worcestershire sauce and cook for a further minute. Add in 1 tsp plain flour and stir through. Make up the instant gravy and pour in and stir though, you can add more if you want your pie saucier. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper. Using a pastry cutter or a cup cut out 12 large rounds and 12 smaller rounds for lids. Preheat oven to 180’C. Press pastry rounds into muffin holes and prick twice with a fork. Blind bake for 10 minutes or until pastry looks cooked. Remove from oven and fill each pie to the top, brush edges of pastry with milk and press pastry lids on top, snip 3 cuts with scissors in the top of each pie and brush lids with milk. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until lid is cooked and golden brown and filling is warm. Serve immediately or cool and store in the fridge and reheat in the oven for 15 minutes before serving. Makes 12 mini pies with some filling left over.

Daniel and I have made a lot of pies in the past, beef and vegetable, chicken and mushroom, satay chicken, but we have never attempted party pies, wholly made from scratch with no recipe I was blown away with the flavour Daniel managed to get out of some very simple ingredients. They went down a treat for afternoon tea and the last one for Daniel’s lunch the next day was just as good reheated in the microwave for 40 seconds. I made the pastry the night before to save some time on Friday night and it worked a treat, easy to roll out from the fridge and it was just the right amount to get 24 circles out of. You of course could use the same filling to make a whole pie or slightly larger ones, or even mini muffin sized ones.

If you have a favourite pie filling by all means use that, or if you have left over stew or slow cooker meat left over it would work even better, just remember to blind bake the pastry to stop seepage. This recipe even though we made it up is definitely going in the keep pile of things to do when we have visitors, so delicious and relatively easy. I can’t wait to make them again!

Love Sonia

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Cob Loaf Dip

A crowd pleaser to say the least, not your traditional afternoon tea fare but goes down quicker than anything else at any occasion.

2 cob loaves

250g (1 packet) Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature

300g sour cream

250g bacon, 1 cm dice

1 brown onion, finely sliced

Handful of grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 180’C. In a large bowl place cream cheese and sour cream. In a hot frying pan, fry off bacon until golden and pour over cheese and cream mixture, fry off onions in the same pan until translucent, pour over cheese and cream. Stir until combined. On a large baking tray place one cob loaf whole and cut the other into small pieces about 2cmx5cm. In the whole cob loaf cut a circle in the top and remove, then pull out bread to create a “bread bowl”, making sure you leave enough bread to stop it from collapsing. Pour filling inside, sprinkle cheese over the top and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until bread pieces are crispy and the filling is warmed through. Serve on a large platter with bread around to dip. Serves 5-10 as a nibbley.

I remember the first time I tried cob loaf dip, my mind was blown, I think I was about 13, dip inside bread with extra bread, what an amazing idea! This recipe is the only one I use but you can make it with a French onion filling or any other combination you can think of. I have been making this for about 3 years now, without fail every time (except for the blistering burn I got last year, but that was my fault) and it is always the first thing to go and the first thing requested whenever we have people over.

If you can’t get 2 cob loaves you can always use a french stick or something similar for the extra dipping bread. Cob loaves are available from most Woolworths and Baker’s Delights but they do sell out quickly (I assume to other people also enjoying amazing dip) so if you want to make one, go to the shops first thing to get the bread. I have made it in a vienna loaf before however I don’t think it works as well because the sides aren’t as high.

Sick of the usual chips and dips and a bowl of nuts at your gatherings, whip up a cob loaf and watch it disappear before your eyes!

Love Sonia