Meat pie traditionalists, look away.
Imagination combined with food is an amazing thing. Somewhere between passports and social media feeds is that nook of recipe gold that leaves you muttering one of two phrases, "why didn't I think of that?" or "too far, man. Too far!" We are going down that creative rabbit hole in the hopes of uncovering some fine, flaky and buttery creations that are all filler. It might look like your everyday meat pie, but beware, you might find a Japanese curry, creamy boscaiola or a cheeseburger lurking within.
What are some fun and outrageous hitters that spring to mind? Where did you have that pie that knocked your flavour socks off? Or better yet, what meat pie genius have you concocted in your very own kitchen - spill, we want to know!
Okay, we'll get the ball rolling with a few recipe riches and a few local hotspots. (Read: this is not a comprehensive list and we want you to pie-pe in too with your favourites!)
Pie in our sky - take a bite from...
Sydney / NSW
Whether you dive into French territory with a beef bourguignon from Le Pub, a butter chicken filler from Hayden's in Ulladulla, a chicken boscaiola from Sydney's The Pie Tin or perhaps a Ned Kelly with an egg from Red Ned's in Nelson Bay, the transition from hearty to pie is an easy one, but you've got to get the balance on point. If you're a lamb moussaka lover then The Pie Tin is going big and potato-y with their stacked pie and if Japanese chicken curry is on your radar then Black Star Pastry has the goods.
Melbourne / VIC
What about those loveable sandos and burgers? Dare they venture into a life of pie? Well, Murray's Food Store is giving it a red hot go with their Reuben and cheeseburger versions, not to mention their infamous mac 'n' cheese.
The Pie Shop is also tinkering with the likes of pasta, and it's safe to say that spag bol can really do no wrong. Question is, can you go ever go back to a bowl, once you've had it in pastry?
Adelaide / SA
Have you tried a pie floater? What is it, you may ask, well, it is pretty much exactly how it sounds - a pie floating in thick green pea soup with tomato sauce (optional!) served in a dish and eaten with a spoon. Synonymous with South Australia, in 2003 it was recognised as a South Australian Heritage Icon by the National Trust of Australia. The floater was originally served from a mobile pie cart on the streets of Adelaide. While pie floaters aren't as widespread, there are many pub interpretations that are diving in. Are you game?
Brisbane / QLD
Mick Hobson is better known around Brisbane as the Goat Pie Guy, and as his name suggests is a star when it comes to gourmet goat pies. From the local markets to his own Goat Pie Guy Gourmet Kitchen, you can expect to queue up for the pies that are served over this counter - and bonus, there's beer on tap - so plan your pies and pints wisely. Lasagne, beef rendang, vindaloo pork and his own 'Big Mick' are a few on rotation, as well as is his award-winning Saigon sticky pork.
And a few other outstanding fillers that are leaving their saucy mark include Byron Gourmet Pies and their vegan spelt Gado Gado. Over on the West coast, Miami Bakehouse is having fun with their "Pies of the Week", so strap yourselves in for Malay chicken curry, Korean noodle and a seafood paella to name a few. And then heading down south to Tassie you've got to try the scallop pie. A Tassie tradition - think buttery pastry filled with a delicate curry sauce, veggies and fresh, firm scallops.
Your turn to get involved
Luke Nguyen loves a good Aussie pie when he comes home. This time he gets the juicy goods from The Goat Pie Guy himself, Mick Hobson who shares his award-winning Saigon sticky pork pie. Beer & pie don’t mind if we do.
Australians have come to love beef rendang as much as any Singaporean, Malaysian or Indonesian, so why not combine two great loves into one handy snack?
Tivoli Road Bakery is a Melbourne pastry powerhouse and their chef Charlie originally made this mildly spiced chicken curry to eat with rice at home. He loved the flavours so much he knew it would make a great pie filler and this is the end result. With both shortcrust and puff made from scratch, this is one way to fill up your weekend.
This dish is Malta’s answer to pasta pie. The basis for this home-style pie is macaroni, penne or other tubular-shaped pasta tossed in a stew made from several different types of meat, including beef and offal, then encased in puff pastry for an extra-hearty bake. #doublecarbsalltheway
This is possibly the tastiest faux pas that there ever was! (Get it, pho pie = faux pas!) Anyway, focus - looks can be deceiving, but never fear, the flavours are all there, as artisan pie maker, Neil Broomfield takes the Vietnamese phở and encases in rich buttery pastry. Who's up for a Vietnamese-style beef pie?
Need more pie in your sky? Check out our recipe collection with 150+ savoury and sweet pies to choose from.
Luke is back in his brand-new series Luke Nguyen's Food Trail airing 8pm, Thursdays on SBS and then on SBS On Demand. This week he meets The Goat Pie Guy himself and learns a few pie-ping hot tricks.Visit the program page for recipes, videos and more.