Food. Meat pies.

Feather              a bird’s covering, very light

Lust                      desire, want

Innards               inside

Och aye                a Scottish saying that means Oh yes


A steak meat pie. The outside or crust is made of pastry.

Another food that is part of western culture is the meat pie. They come in all shapes and sizes, but generally one is enough for an adult meal.

The outside shell is made of pastry, which is flour, water, butter and a little salt. It is mixed to a thick dough and rolled out thinly with a rolling pin.


Wooden rolling pin

The inside of the pie is usually beef with a few vegetables and gravy added, but it can be made from many ingredients, fish, bacon and egg, meat and mushrooms, chicken etc.

The top of the pie is either pasty, like the outside, or sometimes a topping is made from mashed potatoes. These are usually called a ‘potato top’ pie.

Pies are considered a fast food, and because the pasty has butter in it are also said to be a ‘fattening’ food rather than a ‘slimming’ food.  However they are very filling, so they are a satisfying meal, and not cooked in fat or oil like much of the fast foods today. Using moderation, eating a pie occasionally is not going to be bad for you.

For meat pies a flakey pastry is used. See the recipe here:

For sweet pies, like apple or apricot, which are used for deserts, we would use a short crust pastry. See the recipe here.

We can buy meat pies from many shops. For takeaway meals they are sold hot so they can be eaten straight away. For future use, supermarkets sell them frozen, and we might take them home and cook them and eat them with vegetables.

It is possible to buy quite small pies that are used as party food, or  large ones that would feed a whole family for dinner. Often we would have some kind of gravy or sauce with them, usually tomato sauce, because the tangy flavor goes well with the meat pie.

After living in China for some time, one of the first things I did when I got home was buy a potato top steak pie from a local bakery. I enjoyed it so much that I wrote this little poem about it.

The humble meat pie.

Oh! humble pie with flakey crust

Upon you my eyes rest with lust

Your flakey pastry feather light

Melts in my mouth, gives such delight

It’s filled with mince and gravy brown

And veg-e-tables all home grown

And topped with spud so white and smooth

Oh! mashed potato I love you

I gaze upon this fresh meat pie

This is a real treat to my eye

The smell of the pie calls my teeth

To bite and taste the innards sweet

My nose has missed this wondrous smell

Of filling, sauce and pastry shell

Beware! there’s calories within!

Well, tell them all to go to hell

‘Cause they don’t make Chinese meat pies

With chopsticks only eat bite sized

And now I’m back on Aussie soil

Why should a calorie my fun spoil?

It’s years since I last had a pie

Oh boy! T’was good! Was Fab! Och aye!



Questions for review.


1.    Describe the pie in the photo

2.    What different fillings can you buy?

3.    What sizes are meat pies?

4.    What is the outside made of?

5.    Does it look hard to eat?

6.    How does the writer feel about meat pies?

7.    What is a potato top pie?

8.    Are they a healthy food?

9.    Describe a rolling pin and how you would use it.

10. Have you ever eaten a meat pie? If so, when?



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