First I have to start by complimenting my dear husband. He got up last Friday in the wee hours of the morning, when it’s still quite dark, to start the 14 pound brisket in the smoker. I admit that I was skeptical. We had done some reading about smoking a packer brisket and it sure sounded complicated. There are so many things to consider…things I had never even heard of before. So to say I was nervous would be an understatement. We had a backyard full of people to feed after all.
Well, I ended up worried over nothing (Isn’t that usually the case for us natural born worriers?). Mike’s brisket was cooked to perfection – pink on the inside, crispy on the outside and oh, so juicy! There was only a morsel left (You know the last piece no one takes because no one wants to be the person to take the last piece.). And I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to all of our wonderful friends that brought the tasty side dishes to share. Each one was delicious! Sadly, I was too busy to take a photo, so you’ll just have to use your imaginations. You can flashback to our “Chopped Challenge” from New Year’s to see the rub Mike used though. Great stuff!
Now back to our Australian adventures…As we adjust to being back in our school routines, it’s all about finding that perfect life balance – or at least some semblance of balance. You know, trying to find the right balance of time for work, family, exercise, marriage, volunteer work, the kids’ activities and heck, even blogging! Some days it all comes together and others, well, you just have to muddle through. Those are the kind of days when a little comfort food is in order. Like an Aussie Meat Pie. We started with a pie crust.
Now I’m almost horrified to admit it, given my love of making homemade pie crusts, but for this recipe we went for the ready-made variety. I felt like such a cheat…but when trying to find that balance, sometimes you have to make sacrifices. Even with your pride.
If you have some extra time, I’d recommend a butter crust for this dish. You can find my real recipe here. I also recommend doing a quick pre-bake of the bottom crust at 350F for about 10 minutes. It will help to hold the meat which we browned up with our onion.
Now, most Aussie meat pies are served in smaller individual size pie tins which would probably work a lot easier, but we just made one regular size pie for dinner. You can serve the slices with ketchup or without. To be honest, the flavor of this meat pie was the one thing that did end up with a good balance and didn’t need any additional sauce.
This wasn’t one of Mr. N’s favorites either. Mr. N gave the meat pie 2 spoons; although he did say he liked the pie crust. (Knife in my heart! Ha!) Miss A liked it more than her brother and actually requested some the next day for dinner making this a 3 spoon recipe for her.
The meat pie is easily something that can be adapted to suit particular tastes. My guess is that my taste buds were leading me back toward my mom’s sloppy joes as the meat filling was coming together. They were always a little sweet and tangy. Mike’s taste buds would probably have taken this in a different direction which used less ketchup and more savory seasonings. So it’s certainly not a recipe I’m ruling out. We just need to find the perfect balance. Hopefully it will be easier than juggling time!
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