New Zealand-Style Beef Steak & Cheddar Cheese Pies Recipe on Food52 (2024)


by: Miranda Keyes



15 Ratings

  • Prep time 3 hours
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Makes 12

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Author Notes

The moment we arrived in New Zealand, the long line at the car rental station made it clear to me that most visitors prefer to view the country by driving through it. Sure, you could easily take a short flight to go from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island, but you would miss the ever-changing, mind-blowingly beautiful landscape that New Zealand has on offer. You’d also miss the opportunity to grab some of the best pies you’ll ever eat—from any gas station along the road.

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).

These mince and cheese pies feature ground beef encased in a thick, dark, beefy gravy interspersed with pockets of melted white cheddar cheese. No flaky, buttery pastry shell I tasted was soggy or leaked any filling. We tried pies from coffee shops and restaurants, but they didn’t stack up to the gas station pies. According to my cousin, it’s not a matter of ingredients; she told me that even the beef used in the gas station pies is grass-fed, due to the warm climate and endless abundance of fresh green grass all year round.

As soon as I got back home, I wanted to figure out how to recreate NZ pies in my own kitchen. There are a lot of varying recipes out there, and what most had in common was puff pastry. I started there, using puff pastry as the base for the pies. I needed a pastry that was flaky enough to bite into but strong enough to avoid getting a soggy bottom, while holding lots of beefy gravy. I found the key was making sure both the filling and the pastry were totally chilled before being filled and baked. (It helps to make the filling the day before.)

I also avoided adding any extra vegetables for nutrition because, well, mince and cheese pies don’t need them. That’s why I opted to make these in a muffin pan, instead of in a larger individual pie size, which is what you would find in New Zealand. Two, plus a salad, can be lunch; one is a tasty snack.

Now that I have a stash in my freezer, if I feel like eating one in the car, I can heat one up and eat it on the go. The only caveat is that I’ll just have to settle for city views instead of breathtaking landscapes around every bend.

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

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

Watch This Recipe

New Zealand-Style Beef Steak & Cheddar CheesePies

  • 1 tablespoonolive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 poundlean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoonsalt
  • 3 tablespoonsflour
  • 1 1/2 cupsbeef stock
  • 1 teaspoonWorcestershire 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
  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 Worcestershire sauce. 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.


  • Pie
  • Australian/New Zealander
  • Beef
  • Ground Beef
  • Cheddar
  • Bake
  • Weekend Cooking
  • Snack

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lyn

  • Devon Williams

  • Danielle Jeannette Draper

  • Tui Marie Te Tai

  • Nida Haris

Popular on Food52

66 Reviews

Lyn July 5, 2023

Recipes in our local paper today. A must share...I know what I'll be stocking the freezer with this weekend

Bstark15 December 1, 2022

I spend alot of time in NZ due to my wife's family, and the worst place you could pick up a meat pie is in a petrol station!!...Gross... they have specific pie locations everywhere for take out...Scott's Pies in Bethlehem Tauranga is a good place... and Please....
. Frozen dough?.. just make a simple butter dough and move on.

Lyn December 1, 2022

I agree with the comment re petrol station pies except 'Z', those are usually quite good. Avoid a run -of -the- mill bakery & definitely look for a more upmarket one. At all costs do not eat a mutton pie. They are really gross, greasy & fatty. Nauseous thinking of them :) Frozen pastry dough here is a standard item that is really good quality. By all means use thawed frozen pastry dough!!

morgan February 20, 2023

Mutton is my favorite. Like everything, we all have different tastes. I love the way the pastry base soaks up all that thick flavorful sheep fat, but the top stays flakey. I love how dense the meat is, not gloopy or jelly like a lot of steak pies can be. I'd eat a mutton pie every day, and I'm totally happy with one from the gas station.

Lyn July 5, 2023

I think you may have swayed me Morgan, but where does one buy the best mutton pie? Cheers

Srwells26 October 7, 2022

This recipe has become a family favorite! I make it every year for my kiwi husbands birthday and this year I’m making it in honor of our Bathurst Watch Party! We love these pies so much! And it reminds my husband of home.

The only change I do is to ensure the cheese I add has a bit of spice to it!

lost K. August 8, 2022

So, I've never baked in my whole life (50 years) lol but after 15 years in the UK and 'still' missing pies from home (NZ) more than anything else, I decided I was going to give this a go.. I used Tesco, I bought Jus-Rol pre-rolled Puff pastry 550gm x 2, Tesco 5% fat organic steak mince, Castello Tickler extra mature cheese, Tesco Organic plain white flour, a large can of Potts ready-to-use Beef stock, Organic eggs etc (as pepper were not mentioned in the ingredient list, only in the instructions, I didn't have any) Long story short, the sheets will not make the required number of 3 and 4'' rounds without re-rolling the leftover pastry, they took 15 minutes longer than stated to cook, came out very nice but nothing like the NZ Pies I remember... Also, these are of course NZ Mince and Cheese Pies! NOT NZ Steak and Cheese pies! for NZ Steak and Cheese Pies, one would need to buy actual steak (not minced) and cut it into small dice size pieces. That being said, I've reviewed and decided that one, I should use a different cheese next time, but mostly I think it came down to the Beef stock I used, I think next time I'll just make it from Beef Gravy Cubes so I can make it as strong a flavour as it needs to be (I think the Potts has a very weak flavour and is too watery) After much research Iv also decided to use Jus-Rol Filo pastry the next time, as Filo is 'much' healthier than all other pastry (yes including so-called Vegan pastry as long as one uses a wee spray of Olive oil between the sheets instead of butter) and Jus-Rol appears to be the healthiest of on the market in the UK. I made 6 x Muffin tin ones and one 2-person pie. Thank you so much for your recipe (please add the pepper to the Ingredient list) It lead to me starting what I think will be some fun and tasty times lol ps: I recommend you change the name of this recipe as this is a Mince and cheese pie, not a steak and cheese pie)

D1234 May 5, 2022

This is a NZ style mince and cheese pie recipe (recommend you change the name as this is a very big cultural no-no and one of the biggest gripes of Kiwis visiting australia - being served mince pies when asking for steak). All Steak pies in NZ contain steak, only in Australia will they interchange and use beef mince instead and call it Steak. Otherwise great recipe, love the cheese.

Pete D. January 6, 2021

Made this tonight for dinner, and it was a big hit. My son spent an exchange year in New Zealand, and he said the filling was spot on to what he remembers. The use of the puff pastry was good, but I think I’ll have an easier time with an all butter crust, just easier than fooling with thawing and rolling the folded dough. The recipe was spot on for the twelve pies. The filling is super easy to throw together. It’s now in the rotation.

Miranda K. January 11, 2021

So glad to hear you enjoyed and it reminded you son of the pies in NZ. Let me know how the all butter crust goes as well.

Devon W. January 6, 2021

I just made these for my kiwi fiancé and he LOVED them. He’s been dying for a mince and cheese pie for years in America. Thanks so much for this recipe! Can’t wait to make them again soon.

Miranda K. January 11, 2021

So nice to hear they are Kiwi approved! A perfect winter meal and they freeze well too!

Danielle J. December 6, 2020

Just made these for the family and they were an absolute hit! My partner and I were in NZ for most of 2020 but had to leave for visa reasons...needless to say we’re both missing NZ very much! These were an awesome trip down memory lane so thank you very much!
I do have one question. If I make a batch of these and freeze them, what’s the reheat process? Thank you so much!

Miranda K. December 7, 2020

NZ is such a magical place! So glad you enjoyed them. You can bake from frozen at 425F, they make take closer to 30-35 minutes, just check them after 30 minutes!

Emily R. November 3, 2020

I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this recipe. My Kiwi husband and I moved to Canada (my homeland) a year and a half ago for a few years. He misses pies more than his family, and these have made his year! I didn’t have beef stock, so used vegetable instead (I used a teaspoon of powdered gravy with two teaspoons of flour to compensate). Used a large muffin tin, so was able to make 6 big pies and he ate two immediately. Big love, will be making again soon!!!

Miranda K. December 7, 2020

That's amazing, it's wonderful how food can connect us to our home! I loved eating these pies in NZ. I'm also from Canada! Thanks for posting and so glad you enjoyed! :)

PattiG October 1, 2020

Wow, tried the meat pies tonight and they were absolutely delicious. I brought a couple over to my neighbor and she loved them as well.
Thanks so much
Patti G

Miranda K. December 7, 2020

Fab to hear! Perfect for sharing! :)

Tui M. June 27, 2020

I live in Hawaii and am about to attempt making this. I've been craving a good pie for years 😭 im going to change it up and make a cheese sauce will update with how i go.

Miranda K. July 7, 2020

How did it go with the cheese sauce? :)

Tui M. July 11, 2020

Turned out great :) i used cream which made it super thick and took me down memory lane!

Nida H. April 11, 2020

Kia Ora from New Zealand,
Made this today, it was a hit..
I'm definitely gonna keep making from this recipe. Thanks.
Just did a small change instead of mince I used steak & next time I will add shredded cheese in the mixture. Thanks

Loved it.

Miranda K. December 7, 2020

Only saw your comment now, so wonderful to hear they were a hit! The filling possibilities are endless! :)

QoDNE;) March 3, 2020

I would like to make this with pieces of steak, do you have any recommendations on what the best way to that would be?

Miranda K. March 4, 2020

Yes! I would cut your steak into small bite-sized pieces and cook in pan (after onions) until golden brown on all sides. Continue with recipe as above. I'm sure it will be delicious!

QoDNE;) March 4, 2020

Awesome! Thanks so much!

saunflower January 3, 2020

Could you make these as one giant pie instead of individual ones? What would be the recommended oven temperature and cook time? Thanks!

Miranda K. January 7, 2020

Hi Saunflower! You definitely could make this into one large pie. I would suggest cooking it at 400F for 30-40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.

saunflower January 7, 2020

I ended up making this last night and it was delicious! I wanted to point out that you forgot to mention when to add the Worcestershire sauce in your directions (but I figured it was the same time you add the stock). I doubled the amount, added a tablespoon of butter, and tsp of dried parsley for more flavor. So good! Thanks so much for sharing!

Miranda K. January 13, 2020

Thanks for pointing that out, I've adjusted the recipe so it's in there now. Great idea to make a whole pie and sounds like the adjustments worked perfectly! :)

DC's P. February 21, 2019

Made these tonight after wanting to try them for months. These are really good and easy to put together. Made the filling (didn't change a thing and used Dubliner cheddar) yesterday and put them together tonight letting them rest in the freezer while oven heated. Everyone loved them. Served with roasted rutabaga and a mixed salad with lemon vinaigrette - a nice homey dinner that I will be making again.

Miranda K. February 22, 2019

So glad you liked them - Dubliner cheddar would be perfect for these! :)

G.L. J. February 19, 2019

My pillsbury puff pastry made MUCH puffier pies than the ones pictured. What comes next is a major shift in procedure. I had looked up how to make turkey taste like beef and one recipe suggestion for turkey burgers said to use 2 T steak sauce per 1 lb gr. turkey + 1 pkg dry onion soup mix. I mixed it thoroughly before heating the meat until the pink disappeared as it says above. I decided all the other ingredients made somewhat of a gravy. I used 1/2 a can of "Ranch Style Beans", my fav chili bean brand, and blended or mashed them. I stirred them in the meat instead all the ingredients above. It was delicious. Next time I'm going to cut some polygons is pastry and put the meat in and wrap it around the meat. It will be faster. It puffs great and tastes delicious. I had a cup of the meat mixture left, not enough pastry.

Miranda K. February 22, 2019

Glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe!

Ashley October 20, 2018

Just a quick question
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???!!
I’m just wondering if it should/needs to be added?

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

New Zealand-Style Beef Steak & Cheddar Cheese Pies Recipe on Food52 (2024)


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