Stumbling home drunk at 4 am, your kiwi mate prepares some well needed booze-food to help you sleep-off the last few drinks, but what he serves you is really confusing. Is it a pie? Is it a sandwich? It’s kinda both, why would you do such a thing? This meal is an abomination!
The pie sandwich has been the guilty pleasure of drunken kiwis since ages ago. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and most of all, it’s satisfying. Not one person can be given credit for inventing the pie sandwich, it just kind of started happening. It is an important part of Kiwi cuisine, but it is never given credit or shown off to international visitors.
Consisting of no more than an individual meat pie, sauce, and two slices of heavily buttered bread. Ingredients that can be found in almost every kitchen in New Zealand. The meat pie is traditionally a frozen meat pie, defrosted and cooked in the microwave, alternatively you can use a pie that you picked up from the pie warmer at the petrol station, this will give it a flakier texture and a bit more crunch. The type of pie is somewhat flexible, provided that it is a meat pie (sorry Americans, no fruit pies); feel free to use mince, mince and cheese or lamb and rosemary, whatever you feel like.
One of the most important steps in creating the pie sandwich is applying the butter. You can use margarine if you prefer, but don’t skimp, it needs to be a thick layer, buttered on the inside of both slices. White bread is the most popular, but it is still delicious if you choose something like multigrain. The key is to make sure it is a soft variety of sliced bread.
The final ingredient is sauce. To be a patriotic kiwi, use Watties tomato sauce, but anything similar will do. You can use alternative sauces such as BBQ, but avoid the fancy stuff; you want that slightly salty, slightly sweet taste for best results. When building the sandwich, tear the pie up slightly, this will help the pie cover the bread, mix the ingredients and stop any hot gravy explosions burning your mouth.
You might be thinking, there is no way this carb-on-carb combination can be good, just don’t mock it until you try it. Once you hit the savoury meat gravy mixture of the pie, the butter gives you palate a soft refuge from the flavour onslaught, of the sauce and meat mixture. The pastry on the pie and the white bread multiply the complex carbohydrate combination which not only fills you up, but puts you to sleep.
Developed during a time where late-night booze-food shops were not common in New Zealand, the pie sandwich has been helping drunks sleep for generations. Try one the next time you go to New Zealand, or maybe the next time you have one too many pints on a night out.