If you haven’t heard of Australian Pie Floater, you’re sure in for a treat. It’s an easy South Australian main dish from Adelaide that looks like a floating pie! A beef pie pastry is placed on top of a thick pea soup to make it looks like it’s floating—hence the name.
So you get a thick, mushy, creamy pea soup, with a crispy, flaky beef pie. What’s not to love? Serving it with ketchup (called tomato sauce in Australia) and you have a full dinner on one plate. Grab a pack of ground meat, puff pastry, and peas, and get cooking. Now you can make this iconic South Australian street food at home!
The Pie Floater dates back to the 1870s in the town of Adelaide, South Australia. It’s said that pie carts use to sell the dish as a quick and satisfying dinner. These days, they are served at pubs, restaurants, and bakeries.
Onion – adds flavor to the pies and the soup.
Ground lamb – you can also use pork, beef, or even chicken.
Stock – use beef stock for the pies, and chicken stock for the soup.
Vegetables – potatoes and carrots.
Puff pastry – use store-bought or make your own.
Make the pies first. Cook the onion until translucent before adding the meat. Cook the meat until it’s no longer pink. Cook with the rest of the ingredients, then cool. Now make the soup. Cook the shallot until translucent, before adding the potato, peas, and chicken stock. Cook for 20 minutes until the potato is completely cooked through. Blend until smooth.
To make the pies, use a pastry cutter to cut large round discs from the puff pastry. Add the meat and top with another pastry disc (use an egg wash or water to make the pastry “stick”). Make a slit on top and bake until golden. When you’re ready to serve, reheat the soup and ladle it into bowls. Place a pie on top. Add the pie just before serving to prevent it from becoming soggy.
Yes, you can! Make the soup (leave out the cream) and store it in the fridge. Add the cream before reheating in a pot on the stove.
Make the pies, and store them in the fridge. Reheat in the oven to make them crispy again.
Make this dish authentic by serving the pie upside down in the soup.
As a shortcut, you can use canned soup, but it might be necessary to thicken it. Do this by adding pureed cooked potato or carrot. You can also use a cornflour slurry made with 1 tsp cornflour in 3 tsp water.
Make the Pie Floater vegan by using vegan puff pastry, omitting the cream, and using a mushroom pie. Make sure to use vegetable stock!
The Australian Pie Floater is usually served with ketchup, but you can also serve it with BBQ sauce, mint sauce (which is a great match for the mint soup), or gravy.
Store the soup in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the soup in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Store the lamb pies in the fridge or freezer. Reheat in the oven to make them crispy again. Assemble it just before serving.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion until translucent. Add the ground lamb and cook until no longer pink. Add the tomato paste and flour and cook for another minute.
Add the stock and beer, and cook over medium-low heat until thickened (about 30 minutes). Stir in the cilantro and set aside to cool completely.
In a bit of oil in another skillet, add the shallot and cook until translucent. Add the potato, peas, and chicken stock. Cook for 20 minutes until the potato is completely cooked through. Add the cream and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth.
Use a pastry cutter to cut large round discs from the puff pastry. Add a large spoonful of the ground lamb and top with another pastry disc. Make a slit on top and bake the pies for 20-30 minutes at 400°F.
To serve, reheat the soup and ladle it into bowls. Place a pie on top.
If you don’t feel like cooking too much, you can use store-bought pies!