Travels: Pies and Pilsners in New Zealand, March 2017

Words & Photo - Matthew Curtis

I spent the end of February and the majority of March visiting family in New Zealand. It was my third trip and as such my motives were clear: I wanted to eat pies and drink beer from as many interesting breweries as I could. New Zealand gets pies like few other countries do. They make us Brits, with our Gregg's and our Percy Ingle's, look almost amateurish by comparison. The NZ steak and cheese pie is the culmination of this - soft, shortcrust pasty forming the walls and base, which is then filled with rich chunks of steak soaked in umami rich gravy that's mixed with sharp, gloopy melted cheese before being topped with a buttery, flakey pastry top. It's simple in its perfection to the point that I often woke up early on that trip already craving my next one. Along with the sharp, thirst-quenching NZ hopped pilsner that I'd use to wash it down, of course.