Monday, November 10, 2008

Lips and Arseholes

It was a busy day today. I've been interviewing Receptionist candidates with Thommo which lead to an 'interrupted' day. No lunch, just a few boardroom Kool Mints for sustenance .Then flew out at 5:30 to feed his royal skinniness and fatty boombah on their gourmet Coprice and molasses soaked chaff and Lucerne hay which would keep a Congo family for a year. Dropped into the supermarket at about 6:30 for the necessaries and of course was starving hungry so everything looked yum! So I couldn't make my mind up about what to make for dinner. I toyed with meat balls, risotto, Caesar Salad or Pepper steak but eventually fell for the easy heat 'n eat option of two frozen meat pies. "King Island Meat Pies" and yes, I succumbed and bought straight cut chips. I never buy frozen chips or pies for that matter but it was late and he who labours hard was so hungry he'd eat the crotch out of a rag doll so something quick and easy was the recipe of the day.

Now the Australian Meat Pie is an institution. You're not Australian if you don't dig a Four and Twenty at the footy and eat it with lashings of tomato sauce. It's a hand held minced meat pie rarely hot enough and likely underwarmed to the point that salmonella is simmering beneath it's crispy crust. They're available at every milk bar and take-away. Every show stand, fete and Saturday sports event and even come in 'mini' versions which are the staple of kids' birthday parties - creatively named "Party pies" but frankly . . they are so overrated. I've written about them before and they taste fine and salty until you get that unidentified gristly bit. I'm never sure whether it's the lip or the arsehole but it's enough to make me gag and bin the thing!

So, DrummerBoy and I sat down with our McCain lights, our gourmet beef pies and a few hastily microwaved baby peas . . .sure enough, second mouthful. . . out comes an unidentified gristly bit and that's the end for me. I have never bought meat pies for dinner, I pride myself on fresh and healthy food preparation where every ingredient is identifiable. But I was tired after a night of restlessness and hot flushes (yep they're back after almost six months), grilling younglings about "How would your siblings describe you" and "Where do you see yourself in five years time?" and belting out to the horses for their nightly feed I was up for the easy option.

Hey, these were 'gourmet'. It said so on the pack. King Island beef (small island off the coast of Tassie, famous for it's beautiful meats and cheeses). But nup, this was just some old cow's lips and arseholes . . tasted like puff pastry encrusted dog food! (So Lily tells me, she enjoyed them immensely but then she thinks that roadkill is pretty tasty).

So a warning to intrepid travellers to Australia . . don't be conned into believing that a Meat Pie is the quintessential Australian food. It's not. It's iconic, like kangaroos and Holden cars but it's a total pattie of crap! It's as exciting as tripe and onions, pork pies, black pudding. It's as gourmet as fish and chips - although we do those pretty well. Aussie pies are horrible. Tomorrow it's Italian Meatballs and salad!


Thriftcriminal said...

Mmmmmmmm, Pork Pies.
Black Pud, yummity.

We have an excellently unidentifiable product here called the "spiceburger", I'm sure this contains all manner of offcuts, but tastes sooooo good.

Ces said...

I'm with you. I don't want to eat any dish, the ingredients of which I cannot identify, even at parties.

TCL said...

Spam. It's what's for dinner.

Is there any difference between the Aussie variety and your cousins across the Tasman?

Bear Naked said...

Sounds just like what our Canadian frozen meat pies taste like.
Well to me anyway.
I am always so surprised that there are people who actually enjoy them.
Thanks for the laugh, now every time I see them in the store, I am sure to get a smile thinking about your description of "Lips and Arseholes."
Bear((( )))

Miladysa said...

Dear Baino

I understand the stress of the day followed by the nibble of grissly lip or bum ring jangled on your frayed nerves -- you have my deepest commiseration. However, I found the following statement quite shocking to say the least:

"It's as exciting as tripe and onions, pork pies, black pudding. It's as gourmet as fish and chips"

All the dishes you mention here are gourmet fare in the posh restaurants of the UK not to mention Lancashire delicacies. On behalf of Lancashire I request that you reconsider your outburst... pray compare the Aussie pie with the mash and eels of such places as London and vindicate the Palatine of Lancashire!

Yours in sorrow and dismay

Excellent Adventures said...

I don't mind them, but I think you have to eat them at some kind of sporting event to be able to ignore the shit bits. Just lash on the tomato sauce and you'll never even know!

Quickroute said...

They have very tasty Choripan here which is a big spicy sausage sliced in half between bread. I've been known to find grizzly bits in there too which just reminds me of Fast Food Nation again

Moon said...

No no no no no... Meat pies are WONDERFUL .... I used to have them everyday in my packed lunch !!!, and the best thing in Adelaide, a Pie Floater... mmmm, musht peas !!

Admittedtly, this was before I totally overhauled my eating habits, and I would touch one now with your tonsils !

Nick said...

I'm with Ces, if I can't identify what I'm eating, forget it. As you know, I haven't touched a meat pie for decades, but a cheese and onion pie is safe enough, not much they could smuggle into that.

Gourmet's one of those packaging standbys, isn't it, like "luxury", "hand-crafted" and "pick of the crop". But they're usually just the same as all the rest.

Ropi said...

I wasn't eating today either because I was feeling sick. I am glad I didn't have to listen to candidates.

Christopher said...

There were meat pies sold at the Australian festival they used to have every year down the road from me, but these were homemade meat pies, or at least not King Island meat pies, because they didn't have any unidentifiable gristly bits--just plain hamburger meat and assorted seasonings baked into a pie. (They even had a delicious vegetarian option which was spinach and feta cheese--not very Aussie, but good.)
The meat pies you had, Baino, sound too much like Britain's pork pies. Awful things.

Megan said...

Thank you for that excellent (if stomach-turning) advice.

Miles McClagan said...

I'm scared to go to King Island...the locals are a bit too obsessed with cheese...still, nice fudge...

Baino said...

Thrifty you just love the sausage! Why am I not surprised.

Ces, I HAVE to know what's 'in' stuff. And I don't eat things with more than 4 legs except prawns and lobster and crab and calamari. (Guess that leaves Octopus . .not a fan!) Or baby things . . veal and lamb yuk!

TCL difference between Sydney Spam and Tassie Spam? Or Sydney Spam and NZ Spam? Shit no, it comes in a can from Europe! And the only spam that crosses my path these days is via my junk mail!

Bear stay away from the PIE! Or the Teddy gets it!

Haha Miladysa, you prove yet again that English Cuisine is an oxymoron! I was once invited to a very posh restaurant here called Claudes. So posh that they have a single, no choice, set menu . . this one night. . .although the menu was written in the most eloquent French hand was . . Pigeon Consomme, Roasted Goat and Rice Pudding! BLEAGHHH! For the cool 'set' price of $150 a head! Sorry but apart from Walnut Whips and Harry Ramsden's, I will never regard England as a foodie nation. Although I will grant there's nothing in this world as good as Branston Pickle

Clare, infidel! How can you possibly eat something that looks like poo in a pastry crust! Clearly you are missing your mother's cuisine!

Aww Quickie . .I get the guilts every time I go to Macdonalds thanks to that movie! I can eat a barbecued sausage, well done, gourmet pork job but not much else. Although I love salami and pepperoni . . go figure?

Moon I nearly posted a picture of a floater and Adam came in while I was on the computer and asked what it was and left giggling, he thought it was hilarious. Harry's Cafe de Wheels here does them but I've never had one. Besides, you're a crickety sporty blokey type - it's not manly to dislike the pie! And leave my tonsils out of it. They're in some medi-bin!

Nick I was sucked in by the "King Island" beef and the pretty gold trim on the packaging and you're right, can't go wrong with a spot of Dahl and rice! Although I do feel the same way about Aubergines. Totally overrated vegies.

Sorry Ropi, you probably feel worse now! Have a nice Hungarian Salami on crusty bread!

Chris, you're describing the meat pie all right, they're not 'solid' like a pork pie. Just mince and gravy, guaranteed to splodge on your shirt and eating one in the hand is an 'art'

Megan, that's nothing. I had one once with a piece of plastic bag in it! Clearly the mincey mix comes all pre-made in huge plastic bags. Gah making myself sick just thinking of it.

Miley I just like asking for a piece of Phoques Cove Brie at the Deli, nobody knows how to pronounce it for Phoques sake!

TCL said...

Not spam. Meat pies.

It's not something very popular in the US. But I've had a few kiwi ones and some pasties in the UK. Something else obtained fairly easily in the U.S. is 7 Elevens spicy Jamaican beef patties. Go down easily at 3am but nasty the next morning.

Empanadas in South American but vastly better than meat pies IMHO.

kj said...

my gag reflex is acting up, baino!
triple yuk. i eat nothing i don't like and fancy to. that's my rule. and if i can't sight-tell, i can taste tell if i could be in trouble or not.

now baino, that said, i cannot allow you to criticize our dearest miladysa. if she says the food around her is good, i expect you to behave.

Babysis said...

After sorting millions of peaches for some extra xmas dough - I collapsed into the lounge yesterday, so I have 2 words for you Baino......

......Numbat Nachos!

Terence McDanger said...

My brother used to work in a meat factory where they used to make burgers, beef and chicken.

I have never eaten one since. The stories would make your toes curl.

laughingwolf said...

never bought any, never will... canuck, or any other variety :(

i have bought frozen burger patties, but even those i shy away from, cuz they don't TASTE like the beef ones i make....

jay said...

Mmm .. yeah. I know exactly what you mean.

There's one brand of frozen pie over here which is actually fine, but most are just as you describe. Lips and arseholes. That about sums it up!

Next time you're feeling lazy try some oven chips with grated cheese and gravy. If you add some fresh veg, it's actually quite a nice quick meal. And very satisfying.

Your waistline will hate you for it though. Almost as much as it hates those meat pies!

Kath Lockett said...

Agree. That's why us South Aussies have a much better pastry-covered meal - the pastie! Washed down with a Farmers' Union Feel Good Iced Coffee of course.

Baino said...

TCL Pasties are great because there's hardly any meat!

Sorry kj seem to be doing that a bit to you lately. They're not that bad, I'm just a woos if I get a little gristly bit. Apologies to she who loves tripe! (I bet she doesn't!)

made up for it tonight Lou with italian meat balls and spag. Amy loved it. Adam had Macdonalds at 4pm!

Terrence watch Fast Food Nation . . then again . . don't

Me either Wuffa, I am a magician with mince but even that has to be heart smart minced topside, no gristly bits. I'd make a hopeless wolf!

Jay what waistline? I lost it years ago! I dunno, chips and cheese?

Kath I do like Pasties and the South Australian ones are nice and flakey. I've never had a Feel Good though more your Dare Espresso Extreme girl - great for hangovers!

Miladysa said...

@ KJ - Thank you x

I never said I actually eat any of that stuff... well apart from fish and chips - nothing less than a necessity!