A few years ago, around Christmas, I went to a party in New York City. Not a dinner party, it was kind of a “make boring conversation while you hold a wine glass and act elitist” thing; I didn’t belong. First, I’ve never much enjoyed talking to vapid social climbers, and second, I lack the requisite wardrobe (possessing neither an overpriced sport jacket nor much footwear beyond flip flops) to fit in well.
After a visit to the den to confirm my lack of interest in talking about the Skippy’s new BMW or the best place to ski that year, I headed to the dining room in the hope of at least strapping on a hearty feedbag. I found the traditional holiday choices: cookies, bad eggnog, even a fruitcake that looked like Mrs. Cleaver had baked it in ’56. Then, at the end of the table I saw a pie.
“What kind?” I asked. “Mincemeat,” I was told as the server offered me a piece. But I’m no fool: I know that there’s no meat in a mincemeat pie at all (fell for that one in my teen years), so I declined. I don’t know what kind of sadist would call a non-meat filled pie “mincemeat,” and I don’t care, but it’s flat wrong.
Thankfully, I was able to kill the meat pie jones that kicked in by leaving the dopey party and heading to Dub Pies in Brooklyn. Dub (Down Under Bakery) serves Australian meat pies; meat pies that actually have meat in them, thank you, you Aussie gods.
Now that I don’t live in NY I have to make my own damn meat pies, but it’s a process that’s thankfully not desperately hard. And they’re good. Really good. So good, in fact, that my daughter almost broke out in tears of joy when she ate one recently.
And until I open up my own meat pie shop and start keeping secrets like some of the more annoying chefs in the area, I’m happy to share my Australian meat pie recipe with you. Make some, enjoy them, and find out what a mincemeat pie should taste like.