This is Australia’s best meat pie
JUDGES have taken on the desirable task of tasting nearly 2000 pies from across the country to find Australia's best.
Because, let's face it, nothing says Aussie road trip like dropping into a local bakery and hoeing into a meat pie before reaching your destination.
In the name of - let's say - science, 12 judges on the Baking Association of Australia loosened their belts to find the tastiest pies n the country, but the winner is far from traditional.
Combining caramelised pork and pepper, this "gluten free" pie from the Country Cob Bakery in the town of Kyneton in Victoria has taken the crown once again.
Owners of the bakery, brothers Ryan and Chan Khun said they were chuffed with the top prize for a second year running, after taking the top spot for their unusual satay seafood pie in 2018.
Speaking of their pork pie, which they created together, the pair said their winning recipe was developed after noticing a hole in the Aussie market.
"Actually this is one of our Cambodian favourites food back home, and we could see that not many bakeries in Australia (were) doing pork pie," Ryan Khun told SBS.
"We thought this is going to be something interesting and very challenging to make it into a pie filling from our Cambodian food but with Australian taste. So, we slightly adjusted the recipe and ingredients over the last three months to make it more delicious and so everyone will enjoy it," Chan Khun added.
"Even the 12 judges at the competition said this is one of the best pork pies they've ever had. It's rich in flavour, with tender pork and the aroma is amazing."
Country Cob Bakery, along with Jo Jo's Gluten Free Goodies in Kernot, Victoria (who took out best pastie) were chosen from a total of 345 Bakeries.
It took 12 judges to complete the analysis of the pies which fell over three days of tastings.
But it wasn't just the pork pie that brought home the gold for the Chan brothers.
They also won their category for their Curry Beef, plain Mince Beef, Mushroom & Leek, Caramelised Fish & Mashed Potato, Tom Yum, Chilli Con Carne, and Cheese, Kransky & Mash pies.
Chan Khun, a Cambodian migrant who moved to Australia in 2004, toldSBS Food last year, that every night he dreams of the annual competition and what he will make to win.
"Coming to a new country, I had to try everything," he said, noting that he works with both his brother and sister at the bakery.
"I had my first bite of a pie and it was completely different from what I ate back home."
Deciding to study baking at TAFE in Melbourne, Mr Khun then moved on to studying to be a patisserie chef for another year.
"I had to start work at two or three o'clock in the morning and as soon as I finished at eight or nine, I'd go straight to school, to baking class," he said.
"During my lunchtime, I'd go sleep in my car."
Previously, Mr Khun has said the secret of his pie success was the pastry.
"A flaky top and crunchy on the bottom."
Below is the full list of the best in class winners:
Plain Mince Beef Pie: Oven Crisp Bakery - plain beef mince
Plain Chunky Beef Pie: Whittlesea Bakehouse - plain chunky beef
Beef Flavoured Pie: Edison Bakehouse - steak & pepper
Vegetarian Pie: Gusto Bakery - curried pumpkin, fetta & spinach
Seafood Pie: Country Cob Bakery - curry scallop
Poultry Pie: Four Seasons Patisserie Bakery - satay chicken
Gourmet Pie: Country Cob Bakery - caramelised pork & pepper
Gluten Free Pie: Jo Jo's Gluten Free - Thai red curry
Apprentice Plain Mince Beef Pie: Orange Spot - plain beef pie by Jamie Clavell
Traditional Pastie: Orange Spot - pastie
Gourmet Pastie: Orange Spot - three peppered pastie
Vegetarian Pastie: Finley Bakery & Patisserie - vegetarian pastie
Gluten Free Pastie: Jo Jo's Gluten Free - roasted vegetable pastie
Apprentice Traditional Pastie: Orange Spot - traditional pastie by Jamie Clavell