Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pie and Peas

For the rest of AusMoFo, I have decided to blog on an Australian theme. This means that I want to concentrate on Australian sourced ingredients, common Australian foods or the type of food identified as traditional Australian foods. I am aware that this will to some extent show an Anglo influence and misses many of the foods that Australians eat every day. After all for non-indigenous Australians, the Australian “tradition” is basically to eat the types of food that your ancestors ate before they moved to Australia. However, some foods have been enthusiastically embraced by wider Australian culture as “Australian” like pies, lamingtons, pavlovas (the NZ contingent has a different view!), scones, damper etc. I hope to touch on some of these this month.

As a side note, good Australian restaurants regularly show a much more fusion cuisine style, usually influenced by either south-east Asian or Mediterranean traditions. In most large cities, you will also find food from many international sources, including Thai, Indian, Chinese, Italian, Greek, Middle-eastern, French, or central European. Some cities are starting to see Ethiopian and African food outlets. Generally, older generations tend to follow a very Anglophile (meat and 3 vege) style of eating, while younger people tend to eat from a wide variety of food traditions.

One very Australian food is the meat pie. Well, there are vegan versions of this mystery ingredient staple. I bought a box of them at Greenfest earlier this year, made by a genius who makes them for the Vegan and Vegetarian Society of Queensland functions. Humble Pie Co also makes several vegan pies. Of course, you can also make your own with TVP, lentils or vegetables.

Australians would usually eat pies with tomato or BBQ sauce. (Tomato sauce is an Australian product very like ketchup.) Other common additives are mushy peas, for pie and peas, or potato in place of the top pastry for a shepherds pie. In South Australia, they also serve the pie floater, which is a pie, served in a bowl of pea soup and topped with sauce.

Last night we had pies and veges for dinner.

You can see my pie and peas, with tomato sauce. In the back are roasted potatoes (with a sprinkle of paprika), cauliflower gratin, popcorn mushrooms and carrots. The mushy peas were from a tin. I will post the recipes for the mushrooms and cauliflower at some time during AusVeganMoFo or VeganMoFo, I promise. (No crossed fingers!)

We all loved this. The children gave the mushy peas a miss, but enjoyed the pies. Z always loves the cauliflower and had thirds!


  1. I've had a couple of veggie meat pies, but never with the mushy peas. In Andy's opinion, a pie is simply a vessel to get tomato sauce into his mouth, and I guess mushy peas get in the way of that! But yours look so good, I might have to insist next time we have pie...

  2. It's funny 'cause I think a lot of your Aussie food is very much Kiwi food too. Love the look of your pie.

  3. After we had pies on Friday night I had an argument with Cam about the mushy peas (I'm in the peas are evil camp ;)). But yeah, pies really are a vessel to get tomato sauce in! Yours look fabulous!

  4. I love veggie pies, your dinner looks yum! We are lucky to have two places in Sydney that sell veggie pies, Naked Espresso and Funky Pies.

  5. You're lucky Mandee. We can only get these really good ones when the VVSQ has a food stall at an event and there are leftovers.

  6. it's so funny - when i ate meat a pie with mushy peas would have made my stomach turn, but now i see one and think "Where's mine?"