It was imperative that I show my family (from Canada and Hawaii) what an Australian meat pie is, and more than that, I thought it duty-bound as an Australian (well, dual Australian-Canadian citizen) to encourage trying the “Tiger”, any pie you want with mashed potatoes, mushy peas and gravy, named after their founder, Harry “Tiger” Edwards.
It is a funny thing, the way Aussies go on about meat pies. I’ve eaten meat pies as a Canadian all my life, and had very good meat pies in the UK. So, I’m not quite sure the difference between an Aussie meat pie and meat pies elsewhere, except that they come in a lot of flavours, a good one has a solid but tasty crust, and that Aussies seem obsessed with them.
They also have their preferred personal techniques for eating them and how to apply the tomato sauce. In any case, seeing the Tiger through the eyes of my foreign family, I think I’ve come to a new appreciation. They loved the gravy and thought that the combo, of everything, was delicious, and even preferred the chicken pie to the traditional beef pie.
It seems, in a peculiar way, a bit like the Hawaiian locomoco, with its comforting two scoops of gummy Hawaiian rice, a beef patty and egg on top and smothered in very similar gravy: an alchemical mainly starch creation, a hit of protein, with variations of texture. Inexpensive comfort food.