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Homestyle Chunky Beef and Mushroom Pie

A homestyle version of the Aussie pie, filled with rich beef, mushrooms, and delicious gravy.

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Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

Aussies are “fair dinkum” (very serious) about the importance of pies. These savory meat (and veg) filled pockets of flaky pastry are synonymous with Australian culture and form a distinctive part of our knockabout and relaxed national image.

Whether it’s a quick snack at the bakery, a ketchup-smothered ‘Four N Twenty’ (Australia’s most recognizable pie brand) at the football, or a huge homebaked family pie to share on a busy weekday, we take the process, production, and enjoyment of meat pies very seriously. For example, I have a detailed mental map of the best pies along a 2000 mile stretch of the Australian East Coast. Also, I visited the Australian Embassy when I lived in Tokyo, just so I could eat one of the meat pies that our government had shipped over for Australia Day celebrations.

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Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

The Chunky Beef and Mushroom Pie (there are actually two in this version, I’ll explain why below) is a homestyle pie type favored by Australians all over. It’s rich with big bits of slow-cooked beef, earthy mushrooms, carrots, traditional spices, and a rich gravy packed full of delicious flavor. When covered with pastry and cooked to a golden crust, there’s not much that looks, smells, or tastes better!

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Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

The recipe below is designed with the American cook in mind. Due to the differences in standard pie and pastry sheet sizes, we’ve opted for two 9” pies rather than opting for hand pies cut to size and prepared individually. While you can make hand pies using this recipe, there’s too much wasting of pastry, and a more laborious process than there needs to be. The best pies should be pretty straightforward to make and eat!

Two chunky beef and mushroom pies will comfortably serve 4 – 6 people, and satisfy even the most heart appetites. Conversely, you can match one pie with sides, such as mashed potatoes and peas, and freeze or refrigerate the second one for another time. Either way, this method ensures a sensible and enjoyable process, so you can enjoy the results!

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Serves 4

20m prep time

45m cook time

1h inactive

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Ingredients
  • 3-4 lb. chuck roast
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup sliced brown mushrooms
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups liquid beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 x 9" pie crusts
  • 2 x 10" puff pastry sheets
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
For the Pie Filling
  1. Cut chuck into 2.5" cubes, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pre-heat deep sided pan to medium-high temperature, then brown meat. Remove and set aside
  2. Turn pan down to medium-low. Add onions and garlic, cooking for 3 minutes in the remaining oil and beef fat. Add carrot and cook for a further 7 minutes.
  3. Add flour, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth and red wine, stirring thoroughly to combine. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Return beef to the pan, along with mushrooms, bay leaves and parsley. Bring to the boil briefly and then reduce heat and cover, simmering the contents for 90 minutes then set aside
For the Pie
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Place pie crusts into two same sized pie tins. Fill with beef mixture, creating a middle mound just above tin level.
  2. Place a sheet of pastry on each pie. Trim excess and seal the pastry at edges with a fork, then cut four slits into the covering pastry, roughly the same distance apart. This will ensure steam escapes.
  3. Brush the top of each pie with egg yolk, then bake in the oven at 375°F for 40 - 45 minutes. The pastry should be golden brown.
  4. Remove pies and cool briefly before serving with mashed potatoes and veggies.

Recipe adapted from Jess Pryles