Sunday, January 23, 2011

Australia

Size: Almost 8 million sq km - 6th biggest in the world
        Slightly smaller than the contiguous 48 states
Exports: World's largest exporter of coal
Population: 21.5 million - 54th biggest in the world
Capital: Contrary to popular belief, it is Canberra
Australian cuisine: Very global - not necessarily a defining style

Really, I have read Bill Bryson's book "In a Sunburned Country."  What else did I need?  Plus, Ryan studied abroad in Australia, so I just asked him for advice.  It all boiled down to one word: kangaroo.  He recommended I find some.  And make it rare...apparently overcooked kangaroo is not very good.  To make it even more appealing, Kevin ate some in France before and said it was very good.

So I looked.  And I found.

However, that is super-expensive.  Like whoa.  As much as I would like to do that, it seemed a bit ridiculous.  Plus, kangaroo isn't even the national dish of Australia, so it's not like I'm ignoring their biggest food.

Back to the drawing board.

Almost everywhere I looked there was mention of meat pie.  There is even a large dispute with whether Australia or New Zealand invented it as they eat it today.  It seems to get quite heated.  Anything that could cause that much argument about who did it first seems worth trying.

I wanted to find an authentic, but there were sooo many recipes it was hard.  Luckily, many of them were incredibly similar, so I didn't mind grabbing one from a site where anyone can post a recipe.  This is the one I decided to go for Australian Meat Pie.

I particularly liked that there were comments from people who said they made it for natives.  Plus, it didn't seem too hard.

Let me digress briefly into being a fashion blog.  I promise, it will be okay.

Passingly, I asked Kevin for an apron for Christmas and then forgot about it.  In the meantime, apparently he was scouring Grand Rapids for one.  And not just any apron.  One that I would really like.  One that we could really get behind.  This is what he found:
Yoda, Storm Trooper, Darth, and Boba.
I would say that he succeeded.  :-)
Back to food!

Really, the recipe isn't hard at all.  First chop on onion (because every recipe we make seems to start that way), then brown it with some ground beef.  Protip: defrost the meat more thoroughly next time.
This part took forever.
In the meantime, other than being able to watch paint dry with that amount of time, I also mixed together the other stuff.  It doesn't look very appetizing.
But, eventually, the meat and the onions were cooked.  Another protip: take out the puff pastry when you start so it can thaw...that may have extended our cooking time a bit.

Frozen puff pastry.
Gravy goo!
Meat plus stuff!
Kevin wanted me to take a picture of him to prove that he wasn't playing video games.  He was working on Quicken so our finances were right.  It is also time for a Tesla intermission.
You can't see the screen, so in theory it could still be a game.
We got him a palace for Christmas!
Now that everything is defrosted, it is time to put it together and make a pie.  Also, this has taken quite a while, so we need an appetizer.  In a very non-Australian move, we do some fruit salad.

There was a lot more space in this than was filled.
Apples, blueberries, blackberries, bananas.
After that, it is just bake and wait.  Because we haven't done enough waiting yet...

A while later...

And then later...
Voila!
Heavy egg wash in that part.
Served with carrots, orange peppers, and Yuengling.



Overall, I thought it was good.  It had a nice amount of flavor and was quite filling.  I think we could each only eat one piece with dinner.  I really liked the puff pastry.  I kinda want to use it more...

It was not exactly...healthy...though.  It kinda sits in your stomach.  As long as you don't have too much, it is okay.

It makes for good leftovers too.  Plus, I got to get a pie plate.  That's not bad, right?  This is another one that I think other people may want to try.

I get to use my cookbook for next time, so it should be pretty exciting.  :-)

Last time: Armenia
Next time: Austria

2 comments:

  1. Looks Delicious.
    I want some.

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  2. OMG!!! I almost ordered that apron for Tony!!!! You could also get Darth Vader sandwich cutters and cookie cutters that looked like all the ships. Maybe I will go order some now...

    PS this is the coolest project ever. I love it! I like to use puff pastry by wrapping Brie in it. I also usually put a little raspberry jelly in there. delish.

    PPS your wedding gift is coming along well! You will likely get it at Dan and Maura's wedding so I don't have to ship it :)

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