It doesn’t get bigger than this.
Today – Friday 5th Feb – we’ve baked more than 500 handmade, gourmet mini pies for a very special customer… none other than the Prime Minister of Australia! And several hundred of his guests of course – it would be hard to imagine Malcolm (or anyone else for that matter) eating 500 pies on his own, no matter how ‘mini’ they are.
Renowned Aussie chef Geoff Jansz has been a friend of the Shepherd’s crew for a while now; we met through the Eveleigh Markets community. He is also the chef for Wombat Hollow, a stunning property near Robertson in the Southern Highlands where a monthly luncheon – the Forum – is hosted in the glorious tin sheds, featuring a variety of speakers discussing interesting and timely topics.
With an ‘Australian Farm-to-Plate’ theme for the event, Geoff’s mind turned to the humble meat pie as a natural inclusion on the menu – but you can’t serve just any meat pie to the PM. It needs to be a truly splendid meat pie, with tasty, innovative and most importantly 100% Australian ingredients, all cased in the most perfectly puffy puff pastry available.
Geoff thought of the queues on a Saturday morning at Eveleigh Markets to buy pies from Shepherd’s, and he made a phone call to Jack here at the Bakehouse. A few rounds of test baking ensued (yes, those of us in the office had to be guinea pigs AGAIN – it’s tough but someone has to do it!) and we perfected the little guy: a ‘party’ pie in every sense of the word (get it?!)
So, today, we are proud to say that the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull and guests noshed on our free-form Greek-inspired lamb pies, made with slow cooked local lamb plus leeks, carrots and fresh herbs. The pies were baked until crusty and golden, and served with a dollop of tahini and a sprinkle of sumac on top.
From the clean platters and big smiles afterwards, we can assume they enjoyed every one!