It doesn't get more Aussie than a pie - well maybe it does. My homemade chunky beef pies with vegemite and some delicious red wine ticks all the boxes! These tasty little numbers can be made at home using ingredients found at your local grocery store so why not read on, get the recipe and enjoy a round of these with your family!
Why I Love This Recipe
- easy to find ingredients
- tons of flavour
- easy to freeze
- maximum flavour
These chunky beef pies are simply delicious! The filling is very easy to make and the addition of using shop-bought pastry makes them quick and something you can make with the kids too. The addition of vegemite and the richness of red wine makes them packed with flavour too. Better yet, they are easy to freeze so you can whip them out to feed the troops whenever necessary!
Beef Pie Filling
Beef pie filling is pretty standard stuff. A combo of beef, stock & veggies slow-cooked in the oven or on the stovetop. To move away from the "norm" these chunky beef pies have the addition of vegemite and a great drop of red wine (more on this later). Using wine you drink with means you are guaranteed extra flavour and goodness too.
Here are some step by step photos of how I made the filling for the pie - check out the recipe card below for full details on how to make these delicious chunky beef pies.
- Season beef and fry off in heavy bottomed pan - do this in batches so they brown nicely. If you fill the pot too full the temperature of the pan will drop too much and you will have grey beef and not nice caramelised beef. Remember colour = flavour and you want these chunky beef pies to be full of flavour!
- Once seared, remove the beef and add the chopped veg. Don't worry about any bits that look stuck to the pan. FYI - this is called "fond". Once the vegetables sweat in the pan they will remove those crusty good bits
- Add the vegemite, tomato paste and flour to the vegetbales and cook for a minute on high heat
- Finally, add the stock, red wine & herbs. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour + @ 180c
The name of the recipe is "chunky beef pie" I like to cook my beef for 60-70 minutes so it's just tender enough to pull apart but there is still a nice chunky texture to it too. If you prefer a softer beef mixture then add a little more liquid and cook for about 90 minutes instead.
What Is Vegemite?
What is vegemite? More importantly, what's in it that makes Aussies love it? We moved to Australia when our daughter was 6 months old and she is addicted to the stuff. Is there something in the water that makes Aussies crave it???
As the website says - vegemite isn't just owned and made in Australia. Vegemite tastes of Australia!! FULL of vitamin B vegemite is made from leftovers brewers yeast extract, spices and vegetable extract. It's thick, brown and sticky! There is a high level of sodium due to the yeast extract but nowadays you can buy a 40% less sodium version if you are worried. Truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of it on its own but mixed into a slow-cooked chunky beef pie it adds just enough to bring them to a different level 😉
Tips, Tricks & FAQ's
To speed things up I use shop-bought frozen pastry BUT feel free to make your own too. The base of the pie is made using shortcrust pastry to give it more structural integrity and a biscuits type base. The top is constructed using puff pastry - giving that flakey, crispy texture when you bite in!
Ketchup! Nothing else is required but a good dollop of red sauce. If you want something different you can check out my tomato chilli jam recipe but truthfully I'm ketchup all the way. Oh, and a napkin too 😉
Sure can - that's the beauty of pies! Once baked, allow them to cool and they can be easily frozen. Place them in a freezer bag or wrap them in cling film and into the freezer they go! Ready to be pulled out and defrosted to enjoy anytime.
Simply defrost in the fridge overnight (or by the sink if time is of the essence!). Once defrosted bake in the oven at 160-180c for 20 minutes to allow the crust to crisp up fully. You will need to gently cover the top of the pie with foil to stop the crust from browning too much and burning.
The truth is there is no direct substitute for vegemite. If you are in the UK then you could use marmite which is a slightly sweeter version. If you want to make the pies a little Asian then you can use miso which is FULL of umami. Worcestershire sauce is also a nice addition too. Vegemite is EASY to find here in Australia and has a long shelf life so I would advise to grab a small tub and try it out!
If you place the hot mixture onto the pastry it will be too liquidy and the base of your pie won't crisp up properly. Worse yet, when you cover the top with puff pastry the steam will have nowhere to go and then you will have soggy puff pastry too! This doesn't sound like an epic chunky beef pie now does it?
Zontes Footsteps Winery
My kinda winery! With a slogan of "it's wine o clock somewhere" I knew instantly I was going to like the wines and enjoy working with them!
A proudly independent owned winery located in Mclaren Flat. Their cellar door is at The General wine bar & kitchen where they have teamed up with the owners to offer some amazing wine flights and local snacks for guests. They grow their own grapes as well as sourcing them from local growers throughout South Australia.
For me, aside from loving what's in the bottle, it starts with the beauty of their labels and wine names. Aside from the well known Aussie grapes like Shiraz, Chardonnay & Cabernet, they produce a number of European varietals too like Vermentino and Viognier in whites and Tempranillo and Sangiovese in reds. The labels, as mentioned earlier are whimsical, fun and certainly eye-catching. They tell a tale of where the wine comes from, what the wine is about and also how it should be drunk!
Their wine club "The Wanderers" offers both amazing value for money and the opportunity to taste through their amazing range of wines. For me, that's what makes their club so great is the large range of quality wines from different pockets of South Australia!
Shiraz/Cabernet Food & Wine Pairing
This month, and hopefully the first of many fun creations with Zontes Footsteps. My beef & vegemite pies were created around their Super Trooper Shiraz-Cabernet. The "troopie" is described as the top dog of the Australian outback. Designed to put up with the rough terrain and built to last! Legend has it the wines final blend was decided upon in the back of a ute! So, as mentioned about the labels and names they all tell a tale. The Shiraz-Cabernet blend is typically built to last. Tastes great from the get-go but you will be rewarded over time!
The wine aside from being enjoyed in the glass as also being used in cooking the chunky beef pie mixture so you are getting the best of both worlds 😉
My "not so professional review" goes something like this..........
The packaging is captivating with the cool hand-drawn picture of the ute with the bright red headlights - one of the signature images of Zontes Footsteps labels. The wine is big and bold but with a few years on it, it drinks SO good. At $25 a bottle, your guests will certainly think you have cracked something more in the late $30's or early $40's range. Flavours of cherries, cloves, milk chocolate and nice smokey notes too. There is a nice balance of oak in the wine, just enough acidity and good length. Decant it and be rewarded or put away for a few more years and impress your local wine snobs 😉
Alternative Pie Recipes
Inspired by my chunky beef and vegemite pies? Check out these other delicious pies on my site and fellow food bloggers pages too!
Leek Tart with Gruyere & Onions by Sylvie Gruber of 'A Baking Journey'
Chicken & Mushroom Pie by Yours Truly
Homemade Chicken & Bacon Pies by Andrea Geddes of 'The Cooking Collective'
Beef & Guinness Cottage Pie by Your Truly
Cheese & Herb Filo Pie by Alexandra Cook of 'It's Not Complicated Recipes'
Gourmet Fish Pie by Yours Truly
Steak & Mushroom Pie by Marie Roffey of 'Sugar Salt Magic'
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating Friends!!
- 1 kg chuck steak
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 150 g carrots
- 150 g onion
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 600 ml beef stock
- 2 tbsp vegemite
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 sprig thyme
- 4 tbsp oil
- 125 ml red wine
- 3 sheets short crust pastry
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- 1 egg
- Chef Knives
- Chopping board
- heavy bottomed casserole dish
- measuring/weighing utensils
- 12-piece muffin tray
- pastry brush
- Peel the onion & carrots and cut to a fine dice
- Chop the beef into 2cm pieces
- Season the beef and in a heavy bottomed pan fry ½ in 2 tbsp oil until browned, remove and repeat with remainder of beef adding more oil if necessary – set aside
- Add onion, carrots & garlic and cook for 2 mins
- Add flour, vegemite & tomato paste – cook for 1 minute stirring continuously
- Add red wine, stock, thyme and beef to the pot. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook @ 180c for 60-70mins or until soft
- Allow the meat to cool for 30-40 minutes before preparing the pastry
- Grease a muffin tray with plenty of butter
- Using an 11cm pastry cutter cut 12 rounds from the shortcrust pastry and place into the muffing trays *see tips*
- Add the meat mixture
- Using an 8cm pastry cutter cut 12 rounds from the puff pastry and place on top of the pies.
- Crimp the edges with a fork and then baste with the beaten egg
- Cook @ 180c for approx. 30 minutes or until pastry is crispy
- Serve with tomato ketchup!
- brown the meat in batches – this will allow the meat to caramelise over just sweating if too much is added to the pan
- allowing the meat to cool before adding to the pastry will mean the pastry will be crispier
- if you don’t have pastry cutters then divide the shortcrust into 4 quarters and trim the edges. Repeat with the puff pastry but cut it into 12 pieces!