Our pies turned out a little larger than a standard 'party pie' and smaller than a regular meat pie, as we used muffin tins to bake them in. You can make your pies any size you like, really.
As for the pastry, I had been keen to see what the store-bought, pre-made gluten free puff pastry was like. I was pretty skeptical, and my fears weren't allayed whilst working with it either. It was a little fiddly to get it into the tin and was much stickier than regular pastry, but I have to say that the final result was fairly impressive. It is not a traditional flakey puff pastry- it is much firmer once cooked, but the flavour was really nice and overall it made pretty good pies! Mine came out rather rustic looking (code for a bit of a mess), as I didn't roll the pastry as thin as I should have. I used ' The Pastry Pantry' brand, and here are the list of ingredients:
Rice flour, corn starch, vegetable fibre, dextrose monohydrate, raising agents 400 &450, chia seed, salt, vegetable gum 415 (xanthan gum), thickeners 461, 464 & 466, rice bran extract, water, margarine (vegetable fat).
According to ' The Chemical Maze' (a great little guide by Bill Statham explaining what each food additive actually is), all the numbers listed are pretty safe. I don't make a habit of consuming margarine, but for the sake of convenience in a recipe we won't make that often, I'm going to overlook it!
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil (I use coconut oil)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 12 button mushrooms, finely chopped
- 500g organic beef mince
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons (gluten free) Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
- 1 tablespoon mustard (dijon or wholegrain)
- 1 tablespoon corn flour
- 1 1/2 cups (gluten free) chicken or beef stock
- 1 packet Gluten free (or other) puff pastry or a double quantity of this pastry.
- 1 egg or egg white, lightly beaten, for brushing the pastry lids (if you can't eat egg, use milk)
- butter or margarine or oil spray to grease the pie tins
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan then cook the onion, carrot and mushrooms until slightly soft.
- Add the mince meat and garlic and cook, stirring and breaking up the mince, until all the mince is browned.
- Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire, mustard and tamari and stir til combined.
- Sprinkle the flour over the top and stir quickly until incorporated.
- Add the stock, stir til combined and simmer with a lid on the pan for 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally. It is done when the meat is still nice and moist but there is no liquid still simmering in the pan.
- Cool the meat to room temperature (if you put it in the pastry casings hot, it will cause the pastry to go soggy).
- While the meat is cooling, preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Choose your desired size of pie tin. I used a 12 hole muffin tin, with 7cm (3 3/4) inch diametre holes. You can use one large family sized flan / pie dish or even smaller muffin tins for a 'party pie' size.
- Grease your pie tins thoroughly.
- If using packet gluten free pastry, roll out your pastry to nearly double the size of the original sheet. If using home made pastry, roll it out to about 3mm thick.
- Cut out circles that will be big enough to have a 1cm overhang above the edge of the pie hole (for my 7cm diametre pie holes I used a 12cm [5 inch] diametre bowl as my circle template). Gently fit these circles into the pie holes, ensuring you gently push the pastry right into the bottom.
- Pre-cut your circles for your lids. I used a 9cm (3 1/2 inch) ramekin as my circle template.
- Once meat is cool, spoon into pastry cases and place pastry lids on top. Pinch the overhang of the lid together with the overhang of the bottom shell, so they are tightly stuck together.
- Lightly brush the lids with your beaten egg. Make a little slit in the top of the lid to let steam escape.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until they are golden and the filling is hot (test by inserting a knife and feeling the temperature of the knife when you pull it out).
- Serve with a generous helping of Aussie tomato sauce.