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Heating up a cold one with the boys

An ode to an Aussie classic

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The frozen meat pie is an imperishable constant. It is a meal contained in its own skin; a handy portable parcel of steaming meat, snug in a biscuit like coffin. Flour, butter, egg and a pinch of salt commingle to form an outer shell; flaky and bland, encasing dark viscous gravy and chunks of miscellaneous off-cuts. Gelatinous tendons, tough sinews and soggy bottoms are imperative characteristics of the microwavable pie or perhaps, I am just a purist.

There is technique to eating a meat pie. Barbarians lift the lid off the pie—the flat hat that settles on top, and nibble on it separately to the rest of the meat filled reservoir. They might, with a fork or a spoon, lap up the innards of the pie with a swirl of tomato sauce before eating the sad empty bowl on its own. Such individuals should be politely thrown off a cliff and banned from using a microwave ever again. A pie should be eaten in the same manner as an apple—respectfully and in measured bites. Each mouthful is a slightly awkward party of clammy liquid and stringy beef that might get stuck in the gaps of your teeth.

Despite its utilitarian nature, the frozen meat pie is a sophisticated invention. It begins in an impossibly solid form, like a cold brick that might give someone a slight concussion if it was dropped on a head from a first floor balcony. However, after three and a half minutes in a microwave, the pie softens and simultaneously bakes. The frozen filling settles into an incestous stew and you get a non nutritious meal that you can eat in one hand in front of the TV as you balance an empty plate on your stomach and think about how you should have cooked instead.

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