Pies come in all shapes and sizes, and in different parts of the world, pies mean different things.
In the USA for example, pies are almost exclusively associated with dessert (think pumpkin pie and Mom’s apple pie), whereas here in New Zealand, thanks to our mainly British heritage, pies are a warm, delicious meal, perfect for dark winter nights.
With the winter months just around the corner, we’ve conjured up three of our delicious hot pie recipes, all very different, but each one special in its own way.
Beef and Blue Cheese Pie
Is there anything better than a classic steak pie?
This exquisite recipe takes an old favourite and raises it to another level by adding blue cheese. The result is a sumptuous pie that is filling, different, and delicious!
- 500g / 17oz chuck steak, cut into evenly sized chunks
- ¼ cup plain flour
- Avocado Cooking Oil
- 1 small leek, halved and sliced
- 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups beef stock
- Blue cheese
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Start by preheating the oven to 150°C / 300°F. then in a bowl place the flour and steak. Use your hands or a spoon to toss the beef in the flour.
Heat a cast iron or baking dish on the stove to a medium temperature. Add a generous splash of the Olivado Natural Avocado Oil, bring to temperature, then fry the pieces of steak until golden brown on all sides. Remove from the dish and set aside.
Leave the remaining Olivado Natural Avocado oil in the pan, add the leek, celery and crushed garlic. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until softened slightly, then lower the heat and stir in the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce, followed by the beef stock.
Add the beef back into the dish, stir to combine, then cover with a lid and place in the oven to cook for 3-4 hours.
Remove the stew from the oven, then increase the oven temperature to 200°C / 390°F.
Spoon the beef into a pie dish, then sprinkle the blue cheese over the top. Lay your pastry sheet over the top of the pie, pinching or folding/tucking in the edges to seal.
Brush the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in the oven for a further 20-25 minutes towards the bottom of the oven, until golden brown and puffed.
To make things super easy, we’ve created this instructional video here.
Smoked Fish Pie
Humans were fishing before they were raising cattle, so a fish pie, or fisherman’s pie, is one of the oldest recipes around.
The big difference with fish pie is that it’s usually not made with pastry on top, but mashed potatoes are used instead. This is why it’s sometimes called "fisherman's pie" because the topping is similar to that of shepherd's pie, which also uses mashed potatoes.
- 600g / 1.3lb freshly smoked fish (or 2 x cans of smoked fish)
- 1 dozen prawns, heads and tails removed
- 4 eggs, boiled and shelled
- 500ml / 1pt blue top milk
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- Small bunch parsley, leaves only, chopped
- 100g / 3.5oz butter
- 50g / 1.7oz plain flour
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1kg / 2.2lb floury potatoes, peeled and cut into even-sized chunks
- 50g / 1.7oz grated tasty cheddar cheese
- Optional (to serve):
- Green Beans, steamed
- Olivado Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- Feta Cheese
Heat the oven to 200°C / 390°F (fanbake 180°C / 355°F). Flake your smoked fish into a large, ovenproof, rectangle baking dish, checking for bones as you go. Scatter the prawns over the top.
Peel the boiled eggs, slice into quarters and arrange on top of the fish, then scatter over the chopped onion and chopped fresh parsley.
The bechamel sauce: melt half the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute over moderate heat. Take off the heat, pour in a little of the milk, then stir until blended. Continue to add the milk gradually, mixing well until you have a smooth sauce. Return to the heat, bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring continually, until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then pour over the fish and prawns.
The mash top: boil the potatoes for 20 minutes. Drain, season and mash with the remaining butter and milk. Use to top the pie, starting at the edge of the dish and working your way in – push the mash right to the edges to seal. Fluff the top with a fork, sprinkle with cheese, then bake for 30 minutes.
Serve with steamed green beans with a drizzle of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and slivered almonds and crumbled feta.
You can find a very helpful instructional video for this recipe here.
Tips for this fish pie recipe:
- Omit the prawns, no problem.
- Easy boiled eggs: bring a small pan of water to a gentle boil, then carefully lower the eggs in with a slotted spoon. Bring the water back to a gentle boil, with just a couple of bubbles rising to the surface. Set the timer for 8 mins, cook, then drain and cool in a bowl of cold water.
- For something different, try salmon and dill: replace the smoked fish with 400g skinless salmon fillets, and use dill instead of the parsley. Or try fish and vegetable: Add 100g / 3.5oz each frozen peas and sweetcorn to the baking dish before pouring over the sauce.
- Other additions include silverbeet, tomatoes, spring onions, chives, sour cream dollops. If wanting egg-free, just omit and add a vegetable like spinach (as shown in the picture). Have fun and experiment!
- Make up to a day ahead. Cover and chill, then bake for 40 minutes.
Braised Steak and Vegetable Pot Pie with Crispy Potatoes and Thyme topping
Despite being a dish usually associated with the north of England, pot pies actually have their origins in Greece. Pot pies don’t have a specific type of meat, but beef and chicken are the two most popular.
- 750g / 1.6lbs Rump steak
- 3 cloves garlic, mashed
- 2 sticks celery, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 onions, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- Small bunch fresh rosemary, thyme and sage
- 2 small Portobello mushrooms
- 1 tomato, quartered
- 1 litre / 33fl.oz beef stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the potatoes
- 2 large agria potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 Sweet as Kaipara Kumara, peeled and diced
- 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Avocado oil
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 160°c / 320°f. In an oven proof dish with a tight fitting lid place the steak and all other remaining ingredients. Season, cover and place into the oven for 2 hours, checking every now and then to ensure the meat is covered with stock.
For the spuds and kumara, simply rinse 3 times in cold water, fill the saucepan with water and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until just cooked, drain and return saucepan to heated element to dry out a little. Set aside.
Remove meat from oven and remove from the pan. Set aside to dice later. Strain liquid into a saucepan reserving the vegetables. Reduce sauce by a 1/3 to thicken. Dice steak and add it back to the sauce with vegetables. Place into a ramakin, repeat with remaining beef.
Preheat a fry-pan over a med/high heat. Add oil and when hot add the kumara and potatoes. I like to let them cook for a couple of minutes to crisp before moving or turning them. After a couple of minutes add in the thyme and season with salt and pepper. When nice and golden remove and place on top of the beef. Place back into the oven to warm or serve straight away. Delicious.
Whatever you’re making, use the best ingredients
Meat pies are considered iconic in Australia and New Zealand.
Traditionally, they would be smaller than pot pies, usually hand-sized, and are eaten as a takeaway snack.
Pot pies, on the other hand, can be a meal for the whole family!
They are easy to make and very filling keeping everyone sustained through the cold winter months.
But no matter what you’re making for dinner, you should always use the best ingredients available, and that includes cooking oils.
Different oils have different health benefits, varying smoking points, and of course, different tastes.
Our oils enhance the flavours of delicate foods with their rich, smooth taste, and our range of smoking points make everything from salad dressing to deep frying a cinch!