The meat of the matter

TRAYS of crisp pastry and 16 pots of meat were cooking yesterday as gourmet pie shop Tinnies Pies prepared to reopen its doors after a Christmas break.

Those put off  the Aussie favourites after the revelation many were less than a third meat can rest assured the Kings Meadows shop uses only the best ingredients.

A Fairfax Media investigation into pie and chicken nugget fillings, which first appeared in  The Age , revealed pies sold by supermarket chains contained as little as 27.6 per cent meat.

University of Sydney dietitian Alice Gibson told the Victorian newspaper the most common ingredient was water. 

``The rest of the ingredients will be pastry, gravy and vegetable protein,'' she said.

Tinnies Pies owner Michael Handley said meat made up about 60 per cent of each of his pies, or 70 to 80 per cent of each pie's filling.

The rest was usually homemade stock, vegetables and pastry.

``That's why we are the business we are,'' Mr Handley said.

``We're very specific about the meat we use.''

Lamb pies contained only leg of lamb, chicken pies were made up of chicken breast and meat pies were solely chuck yearling steak, he said.

He said customers regularly told him they were unable to eat pies from other producers after tasting ones he made.

``You see someone have the first bite of their first pie - the expression on their face is incredible,'' he said.

Mr Handley said he started the business four years ago because he ``couldn't buy a good pie''.

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