Steak mince pies

I grew up sitting under my Grans dining room table, watching her make all sort of delicious delicacies.

She would make pies, samosas, cakes, curries, stews, koeksisters, you name it and you can bet your last dollar she could make it. Sometimes when I make something for a function, people will ask did I make it? When I say yes, then they will reminisce about the good old times.

At their sister’s wedding, my Gran made the cream horns, and that extra chocolate she drizzled in at the bottom of the horn was just too delicious and her madelines she made. Everywhere you go, aunties and uncles will always mention what my gran made that they loved so much.

Of course when I came around, she was too old to stand in front of a hot stove and all her children were grown up. She baked up a storm till I was around about 10 and she was already over 60 and then she threw in the towel.

I always mention to my mother, that I wish I could remember the time I spent in the kitchen with my Gran, but I was too young, and every time my mother will stop whatever she is doing and mention that when I was growing up I would stand on a chair and wash my grans dirty dishes for her. One day when my mum came home from work to come fetch me, my gran was napping and what was I doing? I was washing the meat my gran had cut up for supper, I was standing on the chair, in front of the sink, washing the meat with soap.

Thank God my gran has passed on, because in those days it wasn’t a big thing, now if I had to tell someone that story, people would most likely protest in my Gran’s yard telling her it is child abuse. Politics I tell you.

Anyway, what I remember the most about what came out of my Gran’s kitchen was her pies… hot steaming pies that she would blow cold and feed me. She would always tease me that the sago was fish eggs. I tried that stint once, by teasing my cousins and they reported me to their parents that I was traumatising them… so much for FUN. They have no idea what the world traumatising is. Once when my Gran was washing dishes, she held out her closed hand for me and told me she had a chocolate for me, when I gave her my hand, she opened her and out dropped this huge yellow beetle, to which I screamed and never went near her while she was doing dishes. That my friends is traumatising.

My mum said, my gran used to grate boiled egg into her pie filling mixture, but I am not a huge boiled egg fan so I never really tried out her method.

While reading through Cariema’s cookbook, I came across a recipe very similar to that of my Grans and I thought why not, lets give it a try. I mean what is the worst that could happen? Get heartburn? I get heartburn anytime I eat something that has allspice in, nothing ENO can’t fix.

The verdict my dad loved it, up until the heartburn kicked in and myself I loved it through all the heart burn and the acid reflux and then I went to bed nursing a mug of ENO .


  • 1kg x store bought puff pastry.
  • 1 x egg beaten.
  • ¼ x cup sago soaked in ½ x cup water.
  • 1 x tbsp. olive oil.
  • 2 x onions, finely chopped.
  • 2 x cloves garlic, crushed.
  • 1kg x mince, washed and left in a colander to drain.
  • 3 x whole cloves.
  • 3 x whole all spice berries.
  • ½ x tsp red chilli flakes.
  • 1 x tsp salt.
  • ½ x tsp black pepper.
  • ½ x cup water.
  • ½ x cup crushed vermicelli.


  • Soak the sago in the water for 15 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pot.
  • Add the onions and saute till transparent.
  • Add the crushed garlic and cook for a few minutes, careful to not let the garlic burn.
  • Add the mince, all the whole spices, salt, pepper and chilli flakes.
  • Mix to combine everything.
  • Cook for 30 minutes and break up any mince lumps that might form.
  • Add the sago with any remaining water in the dish and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the vermicelli and the remaining water.
  • Cook till the vermicelli is soft, roughly 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the stove and allow to cool completely before filling the pastry.

To assemble the pies:

  • Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface.
  • Using a circular cookie cutter, cut out rounds.
  • You need two round to make one pie.
  • Place a spoonful of mince mixture in the centre of one of the rounds.
  • Brush the edges with water to create a glue.
  • Place the second round on top, pressing gently down around the edge to seal.
  • Using a fork, press down in the centre to create an steam vent.
  • Brush the tops of the pastry with the beaten egg.
  • Pop into a preheated oven and bake at 180 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes or until the pies are golden brown and nicely puffed up.

Tell me what you think of this recipe