Tuesday, December 25, 2012

OZ Kimchee Meat Pies to Go

The crimson band the lay beneath this golden crust is a generous layer if finely minced fermented radish kimchee.

My Aussie friend Andy and his wife Sabrina are literally taking my OZ Kimchee Meat Pies out for a test drive as they take a road trip to Upstate New York for Christmas. He loaned me the secret ingredient: vegemite. This dark fermented paste from Australia has unique complex salty flavor derived from yeast. These hand-held concept is not unlike savory English pasties or Irish Butte pastries. The filling is made with browned lean beef that was simmered in Korean chili paste (gochuchang), vegemite, beef broth, caramelized onions, Worcestershire sauce and a few other things. Finely minced fermented radish kimchee (kkakdugi) was added last before the top crust was sealed.

Of the six savory meat pies, two are taking a holiday road test, three will be frozen. And well... I ate the other one. Yum.

I used a basic butter-Crisco crust and over worked it slightly to make it more portable—firm but still flaky. An egg wash gives the top crust a golden sheen and little tooth. The key to this type of crust is working cold and under-working to form a shaggy loose dough to yield a flaky crust that melts in your mouth. The preferred topper is made from puff pastry. That would be ideal when serving groups of eight or ten people. These pies are good hot but I prefer them at room temperature. Three of them await the frozen storage test to verify that they reheat well. I did work out vegetarian version of this Aussie hand-pie, but that’s a road test for another day.

This is my standard butter-Crisco crust. Toothsome and flaky, it works well with sweet and savory fillings.

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