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As Easy as Meat Pies

Butcher Block Gourmet Store

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Patties are a beloved part of Jamaica's culinary heritage, and their influence is far-reaching. In many Toronto schools, patties are served at lunchtime in the cafeteria. In New York City, patties can rival a bagel with cream cheese as an inexpensive go-to meal. In London, patties can be found in Covent Garden at Jamaica Patty Company, kitty-corner to world-renowned restaurants such as Balthazar and The Ivy. However, the concept of the patty (a flaky crust enrobing a savoury meat filling) is something that many cultures enjoy.


Whether you like them baked or fried, empanadas are Latin American meat pies that are easy to make and full of flavour. A simple crust, made of all-purpose flour, shortening, baking powder, and eggs, creates the perfect envelope in which to stuff spiced meat (beef, chicken, or tuna) filling. Empanadas are great for appetisers and reheat well, so are ideal for lunches.



If you're in Quebec during major fall/winter holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, expect to be served tourtière. This meat pie is usually made from minced pork, veal and beef, or if you have friends who hunt, game such as venison is also used. What sets tourtière apart is the double crust and the addition of allspice.



These buns can either be baked or fried and are prevalent in Russia and Ukraine. The baked version is also remarkably similar to Jamaican meatloaf. Unlike the other meat pies on this list, the leavening agent in pirozhki is yeast, and this makes for a pillowy bun that perfectly enrobes a meat filling seasoned with dill that can be combined with cabbage, rice or vegetables.


Moroccan Bastilla

This is a show-stopping dish that, despite how complicated it looks, is surprisingly easy to make. This meat pie uses phyllo dough to give the pastilla its gloriously flaky crust. Also, the meat filling is seasoned with cinnamon, cumin, fennel seeds, turmeric and a smidge of honey that make it deliciously savoury with nuanced sweetness.


Aussie Meat Pies

Here's a meat pie that calls for both shortcrust and puff pastry. The savoury beef filling, seasoned with tomato sauce, onions and Worcestershire sauce, is placed inside the shortcrust, covered with puff pastry and baked until deliciously golden-brown. Hot tip: feel free to add sautéed mushrooms to this meat pie to give it a dose of umami.