Three aussies search for hong kong’s best meat pie _ south china morning post

Think Australian cuisine and images of a meat pie, the gravy-filled vegetarians’ nightmare that’s as Aussie as a kangaroo at a barbecue, hop to mind.

And nobody is more familiar with the Aussie meat pie than author and journalist Robert Macklin. Fish taco recipe sauce His love affair with the savoury treat stretches back to the 1950s and family drives along “the highways and pieways” from Brisbane to Surfers Paradise.


Healthy fish pie recipe He’s even written a book on them.

“You should find enough filling for a delicious and nutritious story here,” he says, referring to his e-book, The Great Australian Pie, attached in the email. Grilled fish taco recipe And I did.

Macklin explores Australia and its obsession with the meat pie, looking at its role in the country’s psyche from pop culture references to its famous makers.

“There must be something in the Australian character that led to the invention and the universal enjoyment of the good meat pie. Easy fish pie recipe with creme fraiche No other country in the world – except New Zealand – shares our love for them. Best fish pie recipe We feel compelled to consume no fewer than 240 million pies every year!,” he writes.

Macklin also tucks into the history of the pie, with some interesting conclusions. Best fish batter recipe He says the Greeks claim to have created the prototype about the same time they dreamed up democracy in ancient Athens, before the meat parcel spread throughout Europe, “taking different forms according to the availability of local ingredients”.

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Macklin says both the British and the French were making pies in the Middle Ages.

“The French chef Guillaume Tirel published his own cookery book in the 14th century which included a recipe for eel pie. Best fish taco recipe And in the same era the English produced the fish pie especially for Good Friday. Fish recipes food network “Oddly, they believed it would so reduce the carnal passions of its consumers that they would keep themselves pure all through the Easter holiday. Cooking light fish tacos But that’s the English for you.”

Ask a true Aussie about its origins and they will say the pie was invented in Australia (in 1947 by L. Baked fish fillet recipes with sauce T. Baked fish fillet recipes McClure in a small Bendigo bakery). Swai fish recipes food network It’s so loved Down Under that a Great Aussie Pie Competition has been held annually since 1990. Baked fish recipes lemon And while no one knows for sure how many pies Australians consume each year, it’s a lot if you believe the competition’s co-founder, John Ross: “We did a survey and the figure was more than half a billion.”

“The crust is as important as what’s inside,” says Post food editor and trained pastry chef Susan Jung.

“Many people concentrate on the filling, but if the crust isn’t good, it ruins the pie. Fish curry recipe indian style It has to be substantial enough to hold the filling, but can’t be heavy or tough – cardboard crust is awful.”

What about the meat pie scene in Hong Kong, home to almost 100,000 Aussies, where, declared one Post colleague from Down Under: “You can’t find a good one.”

Armed with an appetite and a couple of compatriots, we went on a mission to find the city’s best meat pie, although the options were limited – some places tout pies but they turned out to be fish or cottage versions. Indian fish curry recipe sanjeev kapoor To keep it consistent we stuck with minced beef pies, with an occasional more exotic version.

Lending her palate is Jill Grinda, who has called Hong Kong home for six years. Baked fish recipe indian Grinda knows a thing or two about pies – in her home city Perth her brother-in-law Mark owned award-winning New Norcia Bakeries, and her sister is well-known Australian food writer Gail Williams, who was happy to share some pie tips.

“In a meat pie, the beef should be chunky with a nice gravy and some veg: peas, finely chopped carrots or turnip.”

The other judge is Adelaide-born Jock Auld. Fish curry recipe indian “I’m a big fan of the pie, especially the pie floater,” he says, referring to a dish popular in his home state. Baked fish fillet recipe jamie oliver Comprising a traditional meat pie submerged – sometimes upside down – in a bowl of thick pea soup, the pie floater is so entrenched in the South Australian identity that it’s been recognised as a Heritage Icon by the National Trust of Australia.

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Auld is also a big fan of a pie’s two best mates. Recipe of fish curry by sanjeev kapoor The first is beer (Auld works for Amber Rebellion that imports craft beers from Australia to Hong Kong). Sweet and sour fish fillet recipe chinese style The other is AFL (that’s Australian Rules Football to non-Aussies), where the humble meat pie is the food of choice for fans on a cold winter’s day (Auld plays football for the Hong Kong Dragons).

The atmosphere at this popular gastropub in Central was buzzing on the Tuesday night we visited, our voices barely audible above the after-work crowd as we perched on insanely high chairs. Surmai fish curry recipe in marathi The Globe had the best selection of pies in town – pork, apple and sage; chicken, leek and ale. Fish fry recipe in hindi video All are HK$160 and come with either chips, mash or salad, and mushy peas or baked beans.

We opted for the minced beef and onion pie and it got the biggest thumbs up from our pie judges. Fish fry recipe in hindi nisha madhulika Chunky pieces of tender meat and crisp pastry, the pie’s biggest compliment was that it had a comforting home-made feel. North indian fish curry recipe in hindi 4.5/5

Wagyu has long held its head high on Wyndham Street, its steaks reputedly some of the best in town. Pomfret fish curry recipe sanjeev kapoor But its meat pies served on this busy week night were not on the same level, begging the question from guests: “Who would order a pie at a place called Wagyu?”

While the Outback Wagyu Beef Pie (HK$175) – a steak pie served with thick-cut chips and gravy – looked very pleasing, its contents were, on this occasion, a tad on the mushy side. Baked whole fish recipes jamie oliver “A little too like a mushy goulash,” one judge concluded. Baked whole fish recipes Another found the steak and pastry a little dry for their liking. Baked whole fish recipes in foil 3.5/5

Named after an Australian outlaw hero, this Kowloon institution best known for dishing up jazz is believed to be Hong Kong’s oldest non-hotel bar (it’s almost 50 years old). Recipes for fish fillets While placing second in the pie taste test, its beef pie (HK$98) – available with either mash and two veg (and a redundant slice of stale baguette to soak up the generous gravy) or chips and gravy – had crisp pastry but needed more meat. Fried cod fish recipes One diner was also left so thirsty after the meal that she thought maybe MSG had been added. Recipe for tuna fish cakes Still, the overall conclusion was a big thumbs up. Recipe for cod fish cakes 4/5

This Hong Kong company has been leading the pie field since it was formed in 2010, producing additive-free pies at its Fo Tan factory. Recipe for thai fish cakes In 2013 it expanded into the retail sector, including Admiralty’s Great Food Hall, where glass display cabinets are filled with its golden parcels.

It was difficult to choose between the Aussie minced beef pie with cheddar cheese and the savoury steak and Guinness pie, so I got one of each. Recipe for fish taco sauce Both were HK$55. Fish curry recipe in hindi by sanjeev kapoor While they heated up well and maintained a crunchy pastry enhanced by a crinkled edge, it was the Guinness steak variety that won the flavour stakes – chunky pieces of tender meat swimming in a thick meaty gravy. Fish curry recipe in hindi nisha madhulika 4/5

Great Food Hall, Basement, Two Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty

This Sai Kung institution has been dishing up home-made fare for more than 20 years. Fish fry recipe in urdu chef zakir Its mince pies, while the one being tested was slightly odd in shape, was tasty, fine minced beef and no soggy bottoms. White sauce for fish tacos The price – just HK$37 – also went down well. Easy fish taco sauce 3.5/5

G/F, 11 Sha Tsui Path, Sai Kung, New Territories, tel: 2792 2655

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