These mini beef pies are the homemade version of your favourite Aussie food – party pies! A thick and rich chunky steak filling is encased in flaky pastry. There really isn’t anything better. Skip the freezer aisle and make party pies at home – let me show you how!
Is there anything more Australian than the classic meat pie? Along with the lamington, the meat pie is a national favourite. And what better way to celebrate the humble meat pie than with a homemade version of the party pie.
Party pies are simply smaller versions of regular meat pies that are designed to be small bites easily eaten as finger food. You’ll find them at every type of event, often served alongside some sausage rolls.
They are always a crowd favourite and I’ve never seen people at a party not happy to see a tray of party pies and sausage rolls presented. Kids or adults!
Making pies at home really just involves a couple of key ingredients that will ensure you have a delicious, flavoursome filling and the perfect pastry coating on the outside.
- Chuck steak – for the filling, you want to use a cut of beef that is best suited for stewing. I find chuck steak the easiest to get and provides nice big chunks of tender steak in the pies.
- Plain flour – the flour is used to coat the steak pieces. This process ensures our end result is nice and thick.
- Onion and garlic – the flavour base for our gravy.
- Worcestershire sauce – just a little bit goes a long way to give extra flavour and richness to the gravy.
- Tomato paste – again adding a bit of richness.
- Beef stock – I like to use a salt reduced stock so I can control the saltiness at the end, but just use any good quality stock.
- Puff pastry and shortcrust pastry – we’re using both to get the best results for these pies. The shortcrust is used to give structure for the base and the puff for the light and crispy top. I’ve tried using just one type and the results are nothing compared to when you use both.
Making these pies is definitely more work than simply buying them from the freezer section at your local supermarket, but if you have the time then the flavour of these pies are not comparable – it’s so very worth it!
You’ll start by making the filling which essentially is a thick, rich beef stew. To do this, my favourite and recommended method is to use an electric pressure cooker. If you don’t have one, you can certainly substitute with a slow cooker but just note that the time needed to make this is going to be significantly increased (aka 6-8 hrs instead of 1).
One of the things I like about the electric pressure cooker is that you can do everything in the same pot using both the saute mode and the pressure cooker mode.
To start, you’ll need to coat the pieces of beef in the flour and then brown them off in a hot pan. To make this easy, I like to put all the pieces of beef in a large ziplock bag with the flour and shake to coat evenly.
Heat the olive oil in the base of your pressure cooker and turn onto saute – high. Add the beef in batches, shaking off any excess flour and cook until browned. You want to do this in batches to prevent overcrowding otherwise they won’t brown.
Once the beef is done, add in the onion and garlic and saute until soft. Add the beef back to the pot along with the rest of the filling ingredients and turn off the heat. Mix everything together and place on the lid.
Turn to pressure cook and using the manual setting, set the timer to cook for 45 minutes. Remember with the time it takes to get to pressure, it’s going to take more like 1 hour.
Once complete, manually release the pressure carefully and remove the lid. Turn the pressure cooker back to saute and let the stew cook a little longer to thicken up, remembering that it will still continue to thicken as it cools.
Your filling is now done! You don’t want to use it while it’s really hot, so set aside to cool down or place in the fridge and you can use it the following day.
Now the fun bit – making the pies.
We’re using shortcrust pastry for the base and puff pastry for the top so you’ll need to get your sheets out of the freezer and let them defrost on the kitchen counter. It pays to have decent counter space when making these!
To make these mini beef pies, I’m using a muffin tin and to cut the pastry out the right size, I’m using two different sized glasses. For the base, you’ll need a slightly larger circle as this will be the base and the sides of the pie. I found a large glass or about the size of the top of a coffee mug worked perfectly. For the top, just a regular drinking glass was the exact size.
Cut out your circles, grease the muffin tin with cooking oil and lightly press in the shortcrust pastry circles into the base of each hole. Fill with a few spoonfuls of the beef filling and then place a circle of puff pastry on top.
Press the pastry down around the edge and cut a small slit in the top of each pie to stop them from exploding in the oven. Gently brush the tops of each with a beaten egg.
Bake until a deeply golden brown as this will ensure the base of the pie is also fully cooked. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan before removing them so that they can firm up a little bit (also so they can cool slightly so you don’t burn your face when trying to eat them even though you know the inside is going to be like lava).
You can really make the pies any size you want depending on what pans you have available. The amount of pastry will depend on the size and you’ll always use more shortcrust as the circles are larger.
As for serving, I’ve always been a bit odd and like them plain, as is. But if you’re not like me, tomato sauce I think is really the collective agreed only acceptable serving option.
You can store any leftover filling on its own in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Same goes for the pies. I prefer to freeze them already cooked and then just place them frozen in the oven covered with foil for about 20 minutes to reheat.
I love having these in the freezer as they make the perfect go to snack that you can thank your past self for.
Yes! I’ve kept this filling really simple and classic, but I would recommend adding mushrooms or any other vegetables (carrot, celery, maybe some peas at the end?) in as well.
You could also replace some of the stock with red wine! Play around with the flavours and see what you like the most.
For a vegetarian option, make my vegetable curry pie filling and use it here instead of the beef for veggie party pies!
Yes! You can make regular sized pies or simply one large family pie using this recipe. Cut out the pastry to whatever size pan you want to use and then just adjust your baking time as needed until the pastry is cooked.
For a large family sized pie, you may need to place some foil over the top if the top is browning quicker than the base as there is a lot more pastry to cook than with the smaller version.
More classic Aussie recipes:
Classic Sausage Rolls
Easy Milo Biscuits (Dairy-Free)
Slow Cooked Curried Sausages
Mini Beef Pies (Party Pies)
For the chunky beef filling:
- 1 kg chuck steak cut into 3cm pieces
- ½ cup plain flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion roughly diced
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 ½ cups beef stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the pies:
- 3 sheets puff pastry
- 5-6 sheets shortcrust pastry
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- Start by making the pie filling. In a large bowl or zip lock bag, toss together the pieces of chuck steak and the flour. In a frying pan or pressure cooker set to saute mode, heat the oil. Add the pieces of beef in batches, shaking off any excess flour, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for a few minutes until the outside has browned. Remove from the pan and set aside and repeat until all of the beef has been browned.
- In the same pan, add the onion and garlic and saute until soft. At this stage, if you’re using a frying pan, transfer into a pressure cooker, otherwise add the beef back to the pot of the pressure cooker and turn off the heat. Add the remaining ingredients for the filling and mix to combine.
- Place the lid on the pressure cooker and cook on manual for 45 minutes, releasing the pressure manually once complete.
- Take the lid off and set the pressure cooker back to saute. You want to reduce the liquid a little bit so that the gravy is nice and thick – this should take about 10 minutes. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Turn off the pressure cooker and let the filling cool down before assembling the pies. You can even make this the day before and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- To make the pies. Preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly spray two muffin tins with canola oil.
- Using a large glass or mug, cut out circles of the shortcrust pastry to make the bases of the pies. Press each round of pastry into the muffin pan.
- Spoon the filling into the pies until just full. Using a standard glass that’s about the same size as the top of each muffin hole, cut out circles of puff pastry. Press each circle over the filling and gently cut a slit in the top of each. Whisk an egg in a small bowl and brush over the top of each pie. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until a dark golden brown. Let cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before turning out and serving with tomato sauce. Repeat if necessary to use up all of the pastry/filling.
- Serve straight away or let cool completely before storing in the fridge or freezer.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.
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