Individual Mince Pies

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The great New Zealand pie has a thousand names and memories for everyone. Keep some flaky pastry sheets in the freezer and experiment with fillings; whether the old traditionals or new combinations. It’s a great way to use up leftovers and, combined with tinned tomatoes, crème fraîche or fresh herbs, you can whip up a satisfying dish for all.

Serves 4–6


  • 150 g Quality Mark beef mince
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • 200 g mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 20 very ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 sheet flaky pastry for top
Short crust pastry
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 100 g butter, melted
  • 2–3 tbsp water


To make pastry, sift flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and gradually add melted butter. Using a flat-bladed knife, combine mixture until crumbly. Pour in water and gently mix to form a soft dough. Form into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180 °C.

To make filling, heat oil in a frying-pan and add onion to soften. Add minced beef and cook together for 10–15 minutes until onions are caramelised and beef is browned. Add tamari, vegetables and oregano and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Stir often to ensure even cooking. When mixture has reduced by a third, add crème fraîche.

Generously grease individual pie tins and roll short crust pastry to line the bottoms. Spoon in filling and then brush edges of pastry with egg yolk and fit a final flaky pastry top for each pie. Press edges of pastry together, decorate with leftover pastry and brush tops with remaining egg yolk.

Bake for 20–30 minutes until golden brown.

An extract from Minced with photography by Alan Gillard. Published by Penguin Group NZ. Copyright © Sue Hamilton and Dana Alexander, 2010. RRP $35.00. Available at all good booksellers nationwide.

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