Alison has been making these for the family for years - probably since the late 60s when the family spent some time living in the United States.
This helps makes sense of the recipe name, which puzzles some people, because in the US minced beef is regularly referred to as hamburger.
Over the years we have experimented with a number of different versions, including using bought, pre-rolled pastry sheets to simplify the process.
When it comes down to it, however, these really aren't quite as nice as those with homemade pastry which has cheese mixed in the dough and really is delicious.
Once you've tried it a couple of times, short pastry is quick and easy to make, particularly if you have a food processor, and it doesn't cost as much as bought pastry. It is well worth learning how to prepare.
For 4-6 servings
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vinegar
500g minced beef
1 packet brown onion sauce mix
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
Sift flour and salt together. Add the cold butter and cut it into the flour until the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs (a food processor does this really well).
Add grated cheese and mix well, then add milk and vinegar slowly, a few drops at a time, until the mixture forms a stiff dough. Stand dough aside in a cool place while mixing the filling.
Combine the filling ingredients in the order given. Mix well. Cut pastry dough in half. Roll out each half as thinly as possible, in rectangular shape.
Divide the filling into six to eight (or more) heaps on one half of the dough. Dampen the pastry around each heap. Spread the other piece of dough over meat and pastry, and press it down between the meat. Cut between the mounds so you have six to eight square pieburgers.
Cut a steam vent in each pieburger, brush each with a little beaten egg or milk if desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired, then bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 25-30 minutes until crusts are golden brown.
Reduce the temperature after 15 minutes if the pastry is browning too quickly.
Serve hot for dinner or lunch, or cold for picnics or packed lunches.
It's handy to have a few loaf recipes (say a carrot loaf like this, gingerbread and banana loaf) in your culinary arsenal. They are generally quicker and simpler than cakes to mix, and are quite versatile. You can serve them warm with tea or coffee, or cooled, sliced and buttered they make a good addition to school lunches.
If you are patient enough to wait for the loaf to cool completely, this carrot loaf is delicious iced and served like a cake.
For a 5-cup loaf:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups grated raw carrot
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Measure the first five ingredients into a large bowl and beat with a whisk or egg beater until thoroughly blended.
Mix the carrot through the beaten mixture. Sift the remaining ingredients into the bowl and mix thoroughly.
Coat the inside of a (five cup capacity) loaf tin with non-stick spray and/or line it with a strip of baking paper. Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin, levelling off the top.
Place the loaf in the preheated oven, on a rack just below the middle. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Remove from the oven, leave to stand for five to 10 minutes. When ready to turn out, run a knife between the loaf and the tin, then carefully unmould it. Serve warm (spread with butter), or, allow to cool completely, then ice with cream cheese Icing (below) and serve as you would a cake. Store any leftovers in the fridge.
Cream cheese icing
Beat together 2 Tbsp softened butter, 1/4 cup room temperature cream cheese and 1/4 tsp vanilla essence. Gradually beat in 1-1 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar until icing will hold its shape.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Would you use a life coach?Related story: (See story)
Get Taranaki's frequent news and sport updates
Choose an iconic Taranaki photo as wallpaper for your computer
Astronomer Tom Whelan explains what is in the Taranaki heavens for each month.