LollaPIElooza Pie

After much deliberation about what to bake for the Music Festival themed pie club, I came up with the idea of doing a South American pie to go with the Lollapalooza festival.

It started off as a Pecan Pie, as I had read a lot of recipes from the South using pecans so I found a recipe and began baking. All was going well until my kitchen started to fill with a haze of smoke. The recipe stated to bake the pie for 45-50 minutes so I checked the pie after 25 and it was burnt…to a crisp! And my kitchen was rather smoky!

On to plan b! In my research I found a few recipes for the South American snack, Empanadas and thought they might work out better for me a get the pecan disaster.

As usual, I was hunting for a gluten free recipe but then decided to adapt it myself so the pastry I used was GF but you’re more than welcome to use a normal pastry, that is far easier to work with.

Also, this pie wasn’t without it’s challenges, too. I only bought (yes bought, if you can make good gluten free pastry then please tell me) one packet which didn’t stretch too far so I ended up inadvertently making two pies out of the same mixture.

So here’s my recipe for the filling…



1 tbsp oil

500g of lean steak mince

1 red pepper

1 large carrot

1 onion (I didn’t add onion as I don’t like it but I’m weird)

Cayenne Pepper

Smoked Paprika


1 tbsp tomato puree

2 tsp Ras El Hanout paste


2 eggs

+1 egg for brushing the pastry

Salt and Pepper



As you’ll notice from the ingredients, I’m a bit vague with quantities as it’s up to you how spicy you’d like it, simply add a little bit then keep tasting it to get it to your level of spice. I’d recommend adding quite a bit as it’s nice to have a bit of a kick. As with the garlic, I’m a garlic fiend so I added 3 cloves but you can add just 1 if you like.

Add a little oil to a large pan and brown the mince and drain off the excess fat

Add the garlic and onion to the pan and sweat the onions down until they’re soft

Dice the carrots and peppers really small

Put the mince back in the pan with the onions and garlic and add the peppers and carrots

Add the cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, tomato puree and paste and stir in well, it’s quite a dry mix so add a dash of water to loosen the spices if needed

Hard boil the two eggs and cut into pieces and set aside

Taste the mix and add more spice if you need to and season to taste, too.



Preheat your oven to 180’c

Let your beef cool before adding to the pastry as you don’t want a soggy bottom!

Roll out your pastry and cut into squares, place a tablespoon of mixture in the middle of the square and brush egg around the edges to seal once folded over.

Brush with egg and place on a non stick baking try for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Beef Empanadas


So…you might find there is far too much mixture for your pastry so I decided to make another pie with the mix.

I simply placed the mince mixture into an oven proof deep sided dish and topped with mashed potato and grated strong cheese (like a Cottage Pie) It was so tasty and a great use of left over mixture.


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