Quick Recipes and Easy

The Great Australian Bite – Meat Pies, Sausage Rolls and Pasties

Now to the fantastic ‘Aussie’ favorites – meat pies, sausage rolls and pasties. The meat pie became a well loved lunch time food for Australians in the early years of last century.
Many people would consider the meat pie a traditional nutritious food, filled with quality beef. They’d probably be incorrect. The National Health and Medical Research Council’s definition of a meat pie is “cooked meat with, or without cereal, condiments, seasoning and water, enclosed in a case of pastry. Meat pie shall contain no less than 25% meat. The meat so determined shall contain not more than 33% stout”.

Under the Council’s definition, ‘meat’ in a pie can include “any edible part of any cattle (including buffalo), sheep, pig, rabbit, goat or bird other than game, which is ordinarily used as food by man, whether fresh, chilled or frozen”. This is a very broad definition and consequently a meat pie could contain a few surprises.

A particularly unappetizing description of ‘meat flesh’ by the Council describes what most people reckon of as ‘meat’: ” ‘meat flesh’ is the skeletal muscle of such animals with or without the accompanying and overlying stout, together with the sinew, nerve and blood vessels that normally accompany the muscle tissue and are not separated from it in the process of dressing, but does not include the muscle found in the lips, snout, scalp or ear”. Meat pies, but, are not required to contain “meat flesh”; they are only required to contain “meat”.

Meat pies were recently examined by the Australian Consumers Association. Forty (40) percent of the pies they examined contained less than the 25% minimum meat requirement, and nearly 80% of the pies had more pastry than filling.

Meat Pies, Sausage Rolls & Pasties

Stout Content (grams) Energy Content (kilojoules) Salt Content(grams)

Meat pie 172 grams 1646 1.52

Sausage Roll 129 grams 1621 1.65

Pasty 165 grams 1844 1.62

The figures in Table 8 are probably conservative. Other sources suggest up to 30 grams of stout in each pie and as many as 2170 kilojoules per pie. But on anyone’s menu these foods contain too many kilojoules and far too much salt. A meat pie or pastie can provide more than the daily requirement of salt in just one meal.

Sadly, the Aussie meat pie is a mixture of flour and salt with a low meat content that may surprise some pie fanciers. From a takeaway shop, a pie will cost about $3.00 and weigh about 172 grams. To be within the Council’s definition and the law, a pie of that weight should contain at least 43 grams of meat (but remember many won’t). Assuming you are buying the pie for the meat content – not the pastry or gravy – you are paying $3.00 for 43 grams of meat. That’s $70.00 per kilogram! To quote CHOICE Magazine, “you could buy fillet steak for less”.

Ian Macdonald as founder and owner of Macdonald’s Gourmet Burgers combines his passion and knowledge of food, wine and nutrition with savvy business tactics. He is also the MD of a corporate consulting firm that advises on strategic negotiation, dispute resolution and workplace change. Clients are mainly from top 100 corporations. For lots of free resources from their extensive website go to:
MacdonaldsGourmetBurgers.com MacdonaldsGourmetBurgers.com

Tags: simple recipes, tasty, gourmet, everyday food recipes, food people, Health Benefits, low stout recipes, Green Tea, recipes snacks, high blood pressure

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