Is it too good to be true that those cold, damp, grey winter days are behind us? I am certainly hopeful that we have seen the last of them as there is nothing like a good strong dose of Vitamin D to put a spring back in my step! The warm blue skies prompted me to take a walk through the markets and pick up some spring blooms for the apartment, which is where I spotted some gloriously gold plump ears of corn just calling out to be included in this week’s meal; good, old-fashioned mince pies!
As much as my kids will eat (or at least try!) whatever is put in front of them, they still have their favourites, and pies are definitely high on this list. So I thought it was high time to share one with the Sassy Mamas! As with all of my recipes, there’s heaps of ‘room to move’ to make this recipe your own.
I use Australian minced beef, as it is always available from Wellcome and not bad value, but minced lamb would substitute well here so please let me know if you went for the ‘New Zealand’ option! Aside from the tasty mince hidden under a golden crispy crust, there is a rainbow of healthy vegetables in this dish. I added corn, carrots, onions and peas, but grated courgette, small cubes of cooked potato, peppers and even cauliflower could easily join your pie. If you are trying to introduce a new veggie, then sneaking it in with some tried and tested favourites might well be the answer!
The other great thing about this recipe is that frozen veg works just as well as fresh, and I always have a bag of frozen peas and corn floating around in the freezer. As for the pastry, I use ready-made sheets of puff pastry, but don’t let my laziness stop you from making your own puff or shortcrust pastry! My kids love individual pies made in ramekins, but one large pie works just as well – just add a little bespoke decoration on top to really excite the kids! Grab whatever cookie cutters you have lying around the place and decorate, decorate, decorate. Better yet, let them get creative with their own pie (then sit back and watch them demolish their handiwork with relish!)
- 300 grams lean minced beef
- ½ onion diced
- ½ cup each of grated carrot, defrosted or fresh peas and corn (or choose your own blend of veg)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of corn flour or plain flour
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
- 1 sheet of pastry
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onions and cook, until soft and translucent.
- Add the mince and brown well; this should take close to 10 minutes. Break up any lumps of beef with a wooden spoon as you go.
- Mix the flour with a few tablespoons of water. Make sure you use cold water, or you will end up with a lumpy mess. Then season the flour mixture with your sauces. Once the sauces are thoroughly mixed in, stir the floury mixture into the mince. This will cause the mince to ‘thicken’ a little. You don’t have to add the flour, but you will need to season well. If you are omitting the flour, just add the sauces straight to the mince.
- Cook the mince for a couple more minutes while the flour cooks and thickens.
- Add the veggies, and warm them through.
- Spoon the mixture into individual ramekins and cut pastry tops to fit the top. Get creative!
- Bake for 20 mins until golden, crispy and puffed.
It doesn’t matter how many times I tell my kids that there is already tomato sauce in the mince, they always want to add their own squirt on top! But who can blame them – what’s a pie without sauce?
Clean Plate Rating:
3 clean plates. I admit there were no surprises here as it is a tried and trusted favourite. Mamas, give it a whirl and you could have your next favourite family meal in the bag!