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Kutjera, Beef and Onion Pastries

Since we've been living in the United States, the kids have missed the Aussie bakery - where meat and vegie pies are aplenty, and make for an easy (and economical!) treat lunch. Happily, we have discovered piroshky, Russian pastries available from a nearby shopping center. I love the ones made with puff pastry, and was inspired to make my own native-Australian-flavoured puff-pastry pies at home.

These are somewhere between a pie and a pasty in form, and unlike typical Aussie pies are completely surrounded in puff pastry, rather than shortcrust. Much like my various sausage roll variations, using puff pastry sheets is both for simplicity and flavour - I adore the flakiness!

The beef mince here uses ground kutjera - or, bush tomato - as well as native pepper seasoning for a uniquely Australian twist. The thing I love about my native Australian pantry is that jars of herbs and spices are easy to take overseas, and last quite awhile in the cupboard. I brought the whole range of sealed jars over here with me, and have been enjoying using them in my home cooking.


500gm beef mince
2 medium onions
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp Outback Pride Ground Kutjera
1/2 tbsp Outback Pride Native Pepper Seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt + more to taste, as necessary
2 tbsp olive oil
4 sheets puff pastry
2 eggs, beaten


1. Mince the onion and garlic in a food processor or similar. Put the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the onion mixture to the pan. Stir, cooking gently, for about 5 minutes or until onion is soft.

2. Add the cumin, kutjera, native pepper seasoning and paprika to the pan. Stir for 1 minute. Add the beef mince, and break up the meat thoroughly as it cooks. Reduce heat to low.

3. Season with salt, stir to combine and continue to cook the meat down. Taste the mixture and continue to season to taste. Simmer the meat mixture for about 10 minutes, and then remove from heat. Allow to cool.

4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 4 pieces. One at a time, brush the square of pastry with egg and place 1/4 cup beef mixture carefully in the centre. Fold opposite corners of the pastry in to overlap in the middle, and press together. Fold the remaining two corners in, overlap the points of the corners in the centre, and press together the pastry edges to seal.

5. Place them on a baking tray with baking paper / parchment paper and brush each pie with the egg mixture to glaze. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Serve with your favourite sauce or relish!

Makes 16 pastries

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