These pies encapsulate the Australian tradition of the pie floater – beer, pies and tasty pea purée – but they are far more transportable.
WHAT YOU NEED
1 egg yolk whisked with 20_ml (½_fl_oz) water, for glaze
2 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed
For the pastry
250 g (9 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
125 g (4½ oz) cold salted butter, diced
1 egg yolk lightly whisked with 80_ml (2½ fl oz) cold milk
For the filling
20 ml (½ fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
800 g (1 lb 12 oz) beef mince
100 g (3½ oz) rindless bacon, diced
1 onion, finely diced
½ teaspoon curry powder
30 g (1 oz) tomato sauce (ketchup)
3 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
20 g (¾ oz) tomato relish
½ teaspoon sea salt
375 ml (13 fl oz) beer
3–4 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch) mixed to a paste with 40 ml (1¼ fl oz) cold water
For the pea purée
400 g (14 oz) fresh or frozen peas
2 spring onions (scallions), white part only, roughly chopped
3 teaspoons lemon juice
125 ml (4 fl oz) pouring cream
1 egg white, lightly whisked
WHAT TO DO
To make the pastry
Place the dry ingredients and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. (Alternatively, this can be achieved by rubbing the ingredients together with your fingers.) Transfer to a large bowl and mix with enough of the egg mixture to make a soft dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up before using.
To make the filling
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat and cook the beef with the bacon until well coloured, around 10 minutes. Add the onion and curry powder and cook for 3 minutes more. Add the sauces and relish, salt and beer. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and gently simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Gradually stir in enough of the cornflour paste to reach a thick consistency. Set aside to cool.
To make the pea purée
Cook the peas in boiling salted water for 3–5 minutes until just tender. Drain, then immediately plunge into cold water so that they hold their colour. Drain again. Cool slightly, then, using a stick blender, purée with the spring onion, lemon juice, cream and egg white.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Grease eight 200 ml (7 fl oz) pie tins.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out to 3 mm (1/8 inch) on a lightly floured surface. Cut out eight 12 cm (4½ inch) circles to fit the base and side of the tins and press into place. Brush the pastry edges generously with some of the whisked egg glaze. Divide the meat mixture between the tins and spread out evenly. Top with the pea purée.
Cut eight circles from the puff pastry sheets to fit amply over the top of the pies. Crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork to seal. Whisk 3 teaspoons water into the remaining egg glaze and brush on the tops of the pies. Prick each pie twice with the tip of a sharp knife.
Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Leave to stand in the tins for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack.
NOTE The filling and pea purée can be made up to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate as soon as they are cool.