Australian/ Baking/ Lunch/ Recipes/ Snack

Australian Beef Party Pies (Mini Meat Pies)

09/10/2020

Move over bakeries, Australian Beef Party Pies are the simple homemade answers to crunchy bliss. Crispy flaky pastry meets beef gravy perfection in these tiny bites. Freeze them for make-ahead party food or a quick snack when you need them most.

Mini party pies with beef filling, served on black plate with ketchup.

Why We Love Making These From Scratch

The aroma of freshly baked beef pies is so mouth-wateringly good, that even though you KNOW they’re gonna be hotter than lava, you also KNOW you need to eat them. Right now just isn’t quick enough. So, of course, every time we have party pies we also end up with a burnt tongue… because in over 30 years we’ve still not learned how to resist them. 

It’s so easy to buy pre-made pies from the freezer section. But when you have a little time to make them at home, you’ll never regret it.

With homemade pies:

  • The flavour is so much more intense
  • The pie crust is flakier and crispier
  • The filling is much healthier – and for an even better experience, opt for organic produce and
  • You get the extra satisfaction of getting your hands dirty in the kitchen and knowing you made it yourself
Beef party pies on a cooling rack with tomato dipping sauce.

What are Australian Party Pies? 

Meat pies are pretty much a symbol of Australian cuisine. It’s usually a beef and gravy filling with a shortcrust base and flaky pastry top.

They’re so popular you’ll find them almost everywhere, from bakeries to delis (corner stores), fuel stations (servos) to supermarkets galore.

In South Australia in particular, these are used in a Pie Floater – which is essentially a beef pie ‘floating’ on a bed of pea soup!

Where we learned this recipe:

As Australians, we grew up with party pies at almost every kid’s birthday celebration you could imagine. There’d usually be big plates fresh out the oven filled with mini pies, sausage rolls and pasties. The hoard of kids would run screaming to grab at the plates and we’d all proceed to burn ourselves in our eagerness to eat, despite the many warnings from concerned parents nearby.

Once the hot pastries were eaten, it wasn’t long before dessert was out and we’d get a sugar rush from a few slices of fairy bread and pavlova.

What You’ll Need

We’ve kitted out our meat pies to be extra delicious with some key ingredients and a couple of veggies thrown in too.

  • The Pastry – To speed things up, we’ve used frozen shortcrust pastry and frozen puff pastry sheets, but feel free to make it from scratch if you have the time. We used two sheets of each for this recipe. The key to the bakery style texture is to use shortcrust pastry on the bottom (for crumblyness) and puff pastry on the top (for flakyness).
  • Vegetables – We love slipping in a little extra health factor when we can – the grated carrot is perfect as it cooks down to nothing, while mushroom is just a favourite of ours that works well with beef. Feel free to swap things out for your own preferred vegetables or omit them altogether for a real classic simple beef pie.
  • Spices The nutmeg and smoked paprika give a nice hint of extra spice, without overtaking the flavour too much. Feel free to sub out the nutmeg for the more peppery mace if you have it.
  • Red Wine A dry red works well, we usually keep a cheap cask/box of shiraz (or cabernet sauvignon) in the cupboard as this lasts the longest and is great for adding to all sorts of dishes without breaking the bank.
  • Beef Mince We used premium Aussie meat – going with Angus beef mince. You can also use chicken, pork or turkey mince for a different flavour.
  • Olive Oil Always try and get extra virgin olive oil. You can also substitute with butter, vegetable or canola oil here in a pinch.
Ingredients laid out to make Australian party pies.

How to make mini meat pies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C / 360˚F. Remove 2 frozen sheets of shortcrust pastry and puff pastry and leave them on the bench to thaw.
    Heat the olive oil in a large pan and throw in the onions and garlic. Stir them around and cook until nicely fragrant and you just want to eat them all up (around a minute or so). You know, that amazing “Oh my god as if that’s only onions and garlic” smell.
  2. Add the beef mince and cook until nicely browned, then pour over with red wine and sprinkle in the smoked paprika and nutmeg. Next, add in the mushrooms and carrots. Cook down until all the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks and burns.
  3. Now reduce the heat to medium and add in the tomato paste, beef stock and that glossy brown gravy. Give everything a good stir. Remove from the heat and start working on those pie crusts!
  1. Use a large circular jar or bowl to cut out circles roughly 12 cm / 4.5 in in diameter for the shortcrust pastry bases, and 8 cm / 3 in for the puff pastry tops. Note: Sizes may vary slightly depending on the size of your muffin trays.
  2. Press the shortcrust bases out into a muffin tin, then scoop in some of the beef filling until they’re full to the top. Don’t overfill, as this will cause the pies to leak while cooking and pop the tops off.
  1. Next, place the puff pastry lids over each pie and press around the edge of each lid with your finger to seal them.
  2. Baste with the beaten egg and pierce the tops 4 times each with a skewer. Pop them in the oven to bake for around 25 minutes or until the tops are flaky and golden brown.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • If you like a really thick gravy, add in an extra tablespoon or two of instant gravy mix and stir through to get it just how you like it.
  • If your pastry sheets are straight out the freezer, this is the best time to prise them apart. Carefully pull from a corner, it’s even easier if it has the plastic in between each sheet, as you can use it as a pull tab. Go slowly, and you’ll hear the sheet slowly come away from the pile. This should avoid the sheet snapping while frozen.
  • If you push a spoon through the sauce and liquid pools in the space, it’s not thick enough yet, so let it cook down a little longer.
  • Taste as you go – if it needs more flavour, add more gravy, spices or a pinch of salt and pepper.

FAQs

Are party pies pre-cooked?

Yes and no. The filling is, as you do cook the meat through before popping it in the pans. The dough however is not cooked, and will need to be baked before eating.

Can you cook party pies in an Airfryer?

Yep, if you’ve got Airfryer muffin pans, you can cook your meat pies in there. Pre-heat for 5 minutes to 180°C / 360°F, follow the recipe as normal, then cook in the airfryer for around 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

If already cooked, you don’t need the muffin tins and can reheat the pies directly from the fridge or freezer in the Airfryer as well. Pre-heat for 5 minutes to 160°C / 320°F. Then cook for around 10-15 minutes from the fridge and 20-25 minutes from the freezer until heated through.

Which sauces go best with party pies?

For the most traditional experience, top with tomato sauce/ketchup. Or to mix things up a bit, why not try your favourite barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce or even a Japanese takoyaki sauce!

Can you freeze these or keep them in the fridge?

Yes to both. After cooking them in the oven and allowing them to cool, you can keep them in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the fridge or for a couple of months in the freezer. Then just reheat in the oven to keep the crispyness in the pastry, or if you’re in a hurry, you can warm them up in the microwave instead.

Variations & Substitutes

  • Instead of a classic beef filling, why not fill your mini pies with leftovers. Chicken casseroles or curries, spaghetti bolognese or beef bourguignon would work perfectly.
  • For a vegetarian alternative, fill with sautéed spinach and crumbled feta cheese.
Six freshly baked party pies in a muffin tray.

Bake some more classic Australian favourites:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and star rating below!

Beef pie on a plate with tomato sauce and more pies in the background.

Mini Meat Pies (Australian Party Pies)

Move over bakeries, Australian Beef Party Pies are the simple homemade answers to crunchy bliss. Crispy flaky pastry meets beef gravy perfection in these tiny bites. Freeze them for make-ahead party food or a quick snack when you need them most.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Australian
Servings: 12 pies
Calories: 704kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $10-$15

Ingredients

  • 500 g beef mince
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 4 mushrooms roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots grated
  • ½ cup red wine shiraz or cabernet sauvignon works well
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp instant gravy mixed into 1 cup boiling water, for an extra thick sauce add another 2 tbsp of gravy
  • ¼ cup beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 sheets puff pastry partly thawed
  • 2 sheets shortcrust pastry partly thawed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for cooking
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C / 360˚F. Remove 2 frozen sheets of shortcrust pastry and puff pastry and leave them on the bench to thaw.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan and throw in the onions and garlic. Stir them around and cook until nicely fragrant and you just want to eat them all up (around a minute or so). You know, that amazing “Oh my god as if that’s only onions and garlic” smell.
  • Add the beef mince and cook until nicely browned, then pour over with red wine and sprinkle in the smoked paprika and nutmeg. Next, add in the mushrooms and carrots. Cook down until all the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks and burns.
  • Now reduce the heat to medium and add in the tomato pastebeef stock and that glossy brown gravy. Give everything a good stir. Remove from the heat and start working on those pie crusts!
  • Use a large circular jar or bowl to cut out circles roughly 12 cm / 4.5 inches in diameter for the shortcrust pastry bases, and 8 cm / 3 inches for the puff pastry tops. Note: Sizes may vary slightly depending on the size of your muffin tray.
  • Press the shortcrust bases out into a muffin tin, then scoop in some of the beef filling until they’re full to the top. Don’t overfill, as this will cause the pies to leak while cooking and pop the tops off.
  • Next, place the puff pastry lids over each pie and press around the edge of each lid with your finger to seal them.
  • Baste with the beaten egg and pierce the tops 4 times with a skewer. Pop them in the oven to bake for around 25 minutes or until the tops are flaky and golden brown.

Video

Recipe Notes

  • The Pastry – To speed things up, we’ve used frozen shortcrust pastry and frozen puff pastry sheets today, but feel free to make it from scratch if you have the time. We used two sheets of each for this recipe. The key to the bakery style texture is to use shortcrust pastry on the bottom (for crumblyness) and puff pastry on the top (for the flakyness). If you’re pastry sheets are straight out the freezer, this is the best time to prise them apart. Carefully pull from a corner, it’s even easier if it has the plastic in between each sheet, as you can use it as a pull tab. Go slowly, and you’ll hear the sheet slowly come away from the pile. This should avoid the sheet snapping while frozen.
  • Vegetables – We love slipping in a little extra health factor when we can – the grated carrot is perfect as it cooks down to nothing, while mushroom is just a favourite of ours that works well with beef. Feel free to swap things out for your own preferred vegetables or omit them altogether for a real classic simple beef pie.
  • Spices – The nutmeg and smoked paprika give a nice hint of extra spice, without overtaking the flavour too much. Feel free to sub out the nutmeg for the more peppery mace if you have it.
  • Red Wine – A dry red works well, we usually keep a cheap cask/box of shiraz (or cabernet sauvignon) in the cupboard as this lasts the longest and is great for adding to all sorts of dishes without breaking the bank.
  • Beef Mince – We used premium Aussie meat – going with Angus beef mince. You can also use chicken, pork or turkey mince for a different flavour.
  • Olive Oil – Always try and get extra virgin olive oil if you can. You can also substitute with butter, vegetable or canola oil here in a pinch.
  • Thick Gravy – If you like a really thick gravy, add in an extra tablespoon or two of instant gravy mix and stir through to get it just how you like it. If you push a spoon through the sauce and liquid pools in the space, it’s not thick enough yet, so let it cook down a little longer.
  • Taste As You Go – if it needs more flavour add more gravy, spices or a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Airfryer Instructions – If you’ve got Airfryer muffin pans, you can cook your meat pies in your airfryer. Pre-heat for 5 minutes to 180°C / 360°F, follow the recipe as normal, then cook in the airfryer for around 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. If already cooked, you don’t need the muffin tins and can reheat the pies directly from the fridge or freezer in the Airfryer as well. Pre-heat for 5 minutes to 160°C / 320°F. Then cook for around 10-15 minutes from the fridge and 20-25 minutes from the freezer until heated through.
  • Storage – You can freeze or refrigerate the pies. After cooking them in the oven and allowing them to cool, you can keep them in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the fridge or for a couple of months in the freezer. Then just reheat in the oven to keep the crispyness in the pastry, or if you’re in a hurry, you can warm up in the microwave instead.

Nutrition

Calories: 704kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 578mg | Potassium: 323mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1800IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 5mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

This post was originally published on 26 July 2016, now updated with new photos, video, recipe notes and tweaks.

Australian Beef Party Pies (Mini Meat Pies)

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Barry
    14/03/2020 at 4:26 am

    Hello!
    I’m itching to make these for a pie floater but what do I do with the carrots and mushrooms as there’s no mention of them in the method 🥕🤔

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/03/2020 at 4:44 pm

      Oh good pick up Barry! Once you’ve cooked the mince meat and added the wine, then add the mushrooms and carrots until softened (about 5-10min).

      • Reply
        Barry
        14/03/2020 at 10:18 pm

        Magic, thanks!

        • Reply
          Wandercooks
          16/03/2020 at 2:12 pm

          You’re welcome!

  • Reply
    Morgan Eisenberg
    31/07/2019 at 12:41 pm

    5 stars
    Savory pies > sweet pies all day! Can’t wait to try these miniature beauties.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/08/2019 at 5:08 pm

      High five to that! Love how easy it is to tweak the flavour or transform leftover ingredients too!

  • Reply
    Iryna
    31/07/2019 at 12:00 pm

    5 stars
    These mini pies look so cute! I’ve never heard of this recipe but would want to try it.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/08/2019 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks Iryna, we love our little Aussie party pies! If you try them we’d love to hear what you think!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    31/07/2019 at 11:21 am

    5 stars
    These are so cute! I can’t wait to try these, I know my family will love them!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/08/2019 at 5:10 pm

      They are suuuper fun to eat haha, especially when you make them yourself!

  • Reply
    Noelle
    31/07/2019 at 11:10 am

    5 stars
    Love this recipe, so simple and great for serving sizes!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/08/2019 at 5:11 pm

      Thanks Noelle! It’s true, but it’s also reeeally hard to stop at one. 😉

  • Reply
    Platter Talk
    01/12/2016 at 2:12 am

    5 stars
    The meat pies look and sound so good! I love, love, love this kind of food! Pretty easy, too. Thanks for the idea. Going to put it to use!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/12/2016 at 11:03 am

      Yay, glad we could help guys, no doubt you’ll love it. Keen to hear your thoughts once you’ve tried your own!

  • Reply
    Emily
    26/07/2016 at 11:54 pm

    5 stars
    These little pies look so delicious and so easy to make. I’ll need to try these ASAP!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/08/2016 at 9:08 am

      It’s kinda fun watching the coffee drip down into the glass too!

  • Reply
    Cindy's Recipes and Writings
    26/07/2016 at 10:54 pm

    I love the puff pastry lids! I know I wouldn’t wait until these cooled off to eat them!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/08/2016 at 8:59 am

      Oh they are definitely the best part! Just do what I do, pull the lid off to let the filling cool down, and save the crispy goodness for last!

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic + Zest
    26/07/2016 at 10:03 pm

    These little pies look and sound so good! Your photography is beautiful!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/08/2016 at 8:58 am

      Thanks Lisa! They taste even better haha 😛 Hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Emma
    26/07/2016 at 8:50 pm

    These look so cute! Perfectly portioned!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/08/2016 at 8:54 am

      Hahah yep, they’re perfectly sized to go back for seconds!

  • Reply
    Cristie | Little Big H
    26/07/2016 at 8:31 pm

    I love a good Aussie meat pie. As a fellow Aussie I eat them often so I am keen to give your recipe a try asap…

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/08/2016 at 8:53 am

      Yay, so nice to e-meet a fellow Aussie and pie-lover haha. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Igor @ Cooking The Globe
    26/07/2016 at 8:20 pm

    5 stars
    These meat pies look fantastic. Seriously. I am going to make them for the next party or family get together. Oh and your photos are amazing, as always!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/08/2016 at 8:50 am

      Thanks Igor, so glad you like them. Would love to know how it all goes when you make them!

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