New Zealand-Style Beef & Cheddar Pies

March 16, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Every gas station I went to in New Zealand carried a wide range of warm hand pies ready to be picked up and eaten on the go, no utensils required. You’ll find them in hot cases near the checkout counters. Flavors are a-plenty, ranging from bacon and egg to steak and cheese, butter chicken, chicken and mushroom, smoked fish, and my all-time favorite—mince and cheese (beef and cheese).

Note: You can save the puff pastry scraps and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or Parmesan cheese & fresh thyme to make a tasty snack.
Miranda Keyes

Makes: 12
Prep time: 3 hrs
Cook time: 45 min


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 450-gram packages pre-rolled butter puff-pastry, thawed in the fridge
  • 3/4 cup (100g) aged white cheddar cheese, finely diced
  • 1 egg
In This Recipe


  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, cook, stirring often until tender and starting to brown on the edges, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add ground beef to pan and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until no pink remains, about 5-6 minutes.
  2. Stir in salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Sprinkle flour over beef and cook, 1 minute. Pour in beef stock and bring to a boil, scraping all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until gravy has reduced and thickened, about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Scrape beef mixture into a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, this will take at least 1-2 hours. The filling can easily be made the day before.
  4. Remove puff pastry from fridge. Roll sheets to 1/8-inch thick. Cut puff pastry into twelve 4-inch rounds and twelve 3-inch rounds. Pre-mark where you will cut each round as you will have just enough dough for all the rounds. Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin. Place larger puff pastry rounds in the base of each muffin tin, pressing along the sides so they are flush with the bottom and sides of the tin. The dough should slightly overlap the rims, stretch dough slightly if needed.
  6. Remove the chilled beef mixture from the fridge. Stir in the diced cheese. Evenly divide filling between each pie, packing them right to the top.
  7. Whisk the egg in a bowl. Brush the edges of the pastry overlap with the egg mixture and top with smaller pastry rounds. Press around the edges of the pies using the tines of a fork to create a seal. Cut a small slit into the top of each pie. Use the remaining egg to brush the tops of each pie. Place the tray in the freezer to chill for 15 mins before baking.
  8. While the pies are chilling preheat the oven to 425° F. Bake pies for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

More Great Recipes:
Pie|Australian/New Zealander|Cheddar|Ground Beef|Beef|Bake|Weekend Cooking|Snack

Reviews (30) Questions (0)

30 Reviews

Ashley October 20, 2018
Hello <br />Just a quick question <br />I’m currently making these for a party I have to go to and the recipe calls for Worcestershire sauce but no where in the directions does it say to use it???!!<br />I’m just wondering if it should/needs to be added?<br />Thanks
Tory C. December 4, 2018
I added mine with the broth. It was the only place that made sense to me.
Christine D. October 6, 2018
Made these tonight for my kiwi husband and my two step kids. There were an overwhelming hit! Definitely will be a new staple for us and we're excited to experiment with it (not that it needs any adjustment at all!)
Mia July 1, 2018
Thank you for this! I just returned from my trip to NZ and I'm already craving mince pies lol what brand of puff pastry do you use? I've never used it before.
Lyn April 17, 2018<br />
Farina M. April 14, 2018
I am married to New Zealander and have tried so many pie recipes! Finally one that nail it! He loved these and they were so easy!!! 5 stars!<br />
Lyn April 14, 2018
Lucky husband. Now you need some relatives to send you New Zealand individual pie sized baking tins! <br /><br />
Author Comment
Miranda K. April 16, 2018
So happy to hear you enjoyed the pies Farina - lucky husband indeed, Lyndy! :)
Lyn April 3, 2018
From the Otago Peninsula, in the deep south of Aotearoa (New Zealand) I loved finding this in my emails this evening. We certainly do have 'hand held' hot pies at our petrol stations and every dairy (corner grocery store) & bakery. If you are lucky enough to be travelling in our slice of paradise, Otago you must try Jimmy's pies made in Roxburgh & 'Who ate the pies?' made in Dunedin<br />
Author Comment
Miranda K. April 3, 2018
Hi Lyndy! How lovely to read your note here in Canada! I hope to come back and visit your slice of paradise again, it is truly one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I will try to eat many more pies if I get there, thanks for the names of spots to try out!
Jessica V. March 23, 2018
Questions: Since you chill in the freezer prior to baking anyway, would this freeze well uncooked for a longer period, perhaps in freezer bags? How much would you thaw prior to baking if at all? I'd love to make a huge batch and freeze some for later. Thanks!
Author Comment
Miranda K. April 3, 2018
These freeze well both baked and unbaked. I've had baked pies in my freezer for well over a month and they heat up beautifully. I wouldn't thaw them at all prior to baking if you freeze them raw. Pop them right in the oven, they may just need a bit longer baking time. Let me know how it goes!
Beth100 March 20, 2018
Timildeepson March 19, 2018
Oh my goodness!! These sound amazing!! As well as the chicken and mushroom... I’d guess that would be pretty simple to adapt this recipe to other flavors? Definitely trying it this week, albeit with some rough puff (lazy/simplifies homemade puff pastry lol)
Author Comment
Miranda K. April 3, 2018
Oh yes, definitely easy to adapt the fillings, chicken and mushroom would be delicious! Hope they went well with the rough puff!
Lyn April 14, 2018
There are so many varieties of a pie here its become an art form. Each year there is a national competition for the best commercial savoury pie. Fillings can be anything that you like; mince, mince & cheese, venison, rosemary & red wine, chicken, camenbert & cranberry jelly, chicken & mushroom....theres are just a random few...there are endless variations. When we make them at home we always precook our filling. It's important that they are not a stodgy too firm filling but have a creamy or savoury gravy type sauce. Miranda has this off pat by including the beef stock
Author Comment
Miranda K. April 16, 2018
There's a pie competition? How cool is that!
luvbuttah March 18, 2018
Clearly, the gas stations in the U.S. need to take note and step up!
Author Comment
Miranda K. April 3, 2018
Agreed! :)
Nanners March 18, 2018
We had these for supper last night. Delicious !!!
Author Comment
Miranda K. March 18, 2018
So glad you enjoyed them! :)
Sophia B. March 18, 2018
I have a similar recipe for these that uses Marmite - adds a really tasty savoriness to them as well.
Author Comment
Miranda K. March 18, 2018
Oh yes or the NZ classic vegemite - such a great addition!
carolyn March 20, 2018
Just to be clear, vegemite is Australian. NZ has Marmite. Vegemite is much sweeter.
Author Comment
Miranda K. April 3, 2018
You are most definitely right Carolyn, I lived with both Australians and Kiwis and I would always mix up their stashes of Vegemite and Marmite. Kiwi Marmite is def my favourite!
mj March 16, 2018
Wow, this looks amazing! One quick question, "pre-rolled butter puff-pastry" is not phyllo dough? I'm at a loss as to what type of dough to buy. Is this like a premade pie crust?
Theresa March 18, 2018
Pepperidge Farm is probably the most commonly found puff pastry sheets. Whole Foods will carry an all butter kind, and Trader Joe's has its own as well. They are usually in the frozen section next to the pie crusts.
Theresa March 18, 2018
Not the same as phyllo, btw.
Smaug March 20, 2018
Pepperidge Farm puff pastry (I just like to say that) contains no butter. My own inclination would be to use something more like pie dough, maybe with some sour cream or cream cheese- is puff pastry considered essential?
bjm April 6, 2018
Both Dufour and Trader Joe's are all butter puff pastry. Pepperidge Farm has lots of junk in its recipe. Dufour can be found at Sprouts Farmer Markets and at Whole Foods and is available year round. It can also usually be found at gourmet markets. Trader Joe's is usually only available during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays. Trader Joe's pastry is rolled thinner than Dafour and the sheets are a larger dimension.