New Zealanders don’t know how special our meat pies are, writes Re: News multimedia journalist Liam van Eeden.

A lot of New Zealand cuisine is a subpar rip off of other basic European dishes.

I hate to break it to you, but France probably does steak and chips better than us and pavlova is arguably not even our food to claim!

Of course, we have hāngi, boil up and kaimoana – all of which are delicious and should be celebrated – but what else can New Zealanders be proud of?

My answer to you: the humble meat pie.

“But the meat pie doesn’t even originate from Aotearoa,” I can already hear you typing in the comments.

I would argue that we do meat pies better than any other country in the world.

Kia ora 👋 my name is Liam and I’m one of the multimedia journalists at Re: News.

I recently discovered that the United Kingdom prefers to eat their meat pies in sets of two, upside down, next to a gigantic pile of mashed potatoes and drowning in a grey liquid which I can only assume is meant to be gravy (?).

Ex-Re: News journalist/now expat NZer living in London Maggie Shui gave her review of this questionable excuse for a pie:

“The gravy was watery and tasteless, the pie was bad on its own, which is why I guess they add gravy and mash, I don’t understand the point.”

New Zealanders on the other hand, have been creative and considered with their adaptations of the meat pie.

To give you an idea of how special our meat pies are, here are some that I have had the pleasure of eating in recent months:

🥇Birria Beef with Corn Chip Queso Pie

Ashby Pies, $13, St Heliers, Tāmaki Makaurau

If you’re a pie lover living in Auckland, you have probably come across @dazzas_cooked on TikTok.

It didn’t take many of his videos appearing on my FYP for me to drive 1hr 30min (round trip) to his store in St Heliers just to get my greasy hands on one of his pies.

What you’re looking at is chuck steak cooked in spices for 6 hours until tender with a corn chip queso (Mexican cheese sauce).

The pastry on top has been glazed with the beef stock the steak was cooked in, and topped off with melted cheese and a corn chip.

This. Pie. Was. Delicious.

Dazza has a very satisfying video on his TikTok showing his process for making this masterpiece.

Dazza has a very satisfying video on his TikTok showing his process for making this masterpiece – the sound has unfortunately been removed, but it’s just as good watching it in silence.

I realise this is a bit more expenny than your average gas station pie, but did you hear me when I said “cooked for 6 hours till tender”? You’re not just paying for a pie, you’re paying for the love, sweat and tears that went into making that pie!

🥈Palusami Pie

Blue Rose Cafe, $8.50, Sandringham, Tāmaki Makaurau

I have been searching for a good corned beef pie for a while and I think this might just be the mother of all corned beef pies.

Palusami Pie.

Blue Rose Cafe makes exquisite food inspired by Pacific and Māori flavours.

Based on the Samoan dish palusami, this pie is made with corned beef, onion, taro leaves, coconut cream and a hint of chilli. YUM!!

And look at the design work on that pastry! This pie is art. Not food.

I would recommend using a knife and fork with this one. It’s so juicy and tender that it melts in your mouth – and in your hands.

Side note: whenever I see greasy pie paper like this, I think of that time in The Simpsons when Homer goes to see Dr Nick to get advice on how to gain weight.

During the appointment, Dr Nick says “Rub your food against a piece of paper. If the paper turns clear, it’s your ✨window to weight gain✨”.

Anyway, this pie was really really really yum. Even Cupcake wanted a bite.

Cupcake enjoying some pie.

🥉Mutton Pie

Jimmy’s Pies, $5.50, Roxburgh, Central Otago

If you grew up in the lower South Island like I did, you know how iconic Jimmy’s Pies are.

I visited their headquarters in Roxburgh (a small town in Central Otago with a population of 522) at 9am on a Thursday and there was a line out the door!!

I didn’t know what to expect when I ordered a mutton pie. I was thinking maybe something similar to a steak pie – small chunks of meat with buckets of gravy.

A mutton pie from Jimmy’s Pies.

Imagine my shock when I take my first bite and find straight floor to ceiling meat.

Have you ever seen a pie more jam packed with filling?

Despite its monochromatic colour, I found this pie delectable.

The meat melts in your mouth and you’re left with a peppery aftertaste. And even better, the price is right 😌

And for all you non-meat eaters out there (if you’re in Auckland), word on the street is that Tart Bakery does excellent vegetarian pies and Richoux Patisserie does a sick vegan steak and cheese.

Now get out there and go and enjoy the delicious pies that Aotearoa has to offer!

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