World War Z; Biohazard Zombie Meat Pies
The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.
-book blurb for World War Z, Max Brooks
Last week I broke my zombie book rule--READ ONLY WHILE IT’S DAYLIGHT. Not surprisingly, the zombies made their way into my dreams so I’ve been sleeping with the light on. Which means I haven’t been sleeping properly and I’m not looking so great at the moment. It didn’t help that I found World War Z a very s-l-o-w read!
I had difficulty connecting with the style. Written as an interview, I kept waiting and hoping for something exciting to happen. Rather like digging through a box of Cheerios for the promised prize, only to never find one.
So try that for a combo--a book that bores me, and one that can only be read during the day because it terrifies me. Although it is a bestseller, it just isn’t my cup of tea.
And since it’s a zombie book, there's very little reference to food. A mention of a Starbucks and Falasha restaurant, a shot of ‘kill devil’ rum, dehydrated food, Mooseburgers and wild berry desserts pretty much covers it.
While I’m usually pretty focused on replicating the food from books, this time I wanted to make something that said ‘ZOMBIE’. As cool as it sounds, Mooseburger wasn’t going to cut it.
What I actually wanted was to make these with green ketchup, but I'm apparently seven years too late to buy it off the shelf. And no green tomatoes could be found to make it from scratch. But could you imagine it with a big zombie virus label for a zombie party? That would be cool.
Biohazard Zombie Meat Pie Recipe
6-8 sheets savoury puff pastry (You can make two individual pies per sheet)
one small onion, finely chopped
500g beef mince
1/3 cup tomato sauce/ ketchup
2 tbsp worchershire sauce
pinch of salt
sprinkling of pepper
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 beaten egg (optional for glaze)
Mix together all the ingredients, excluding the pastry.
Use your pie tin as a template (we had smaller individually sized ones), cutting a circle out of the pastry, 1 cm away from the pie tin edge. You'll be able to cut out 4 circles per sheet. Take one of the cut circles of pastry and place it into the pie tin. Fill with the meat mixture.
To make the top of these pies, you need the biohazard symbol printed out first.
If you can cut the paper design out, awesome. I misplaced my scissors (as always), so laid it over the pie crust and poked holes along the edge, then took off the paper and used a small sharp knife to cut out the sections. Also, the broken circle behind the menacing curves, I made shorter so the crust wouldn't fall apart. You can also switch it so you cut out the design from pastry and lay it on top the pie crust, but I like the cut out version. It's more graphic.
Now, this works out all well and dandy if you're only making one or two of these. But if you're making them up for a party, I'd suggest making your own biohazard cookie cutter (check out this DIY guide to making cookie cutters from Sweet Sugarbelle using aluminium oven liners), otherwise your hands are going to be cramped.
With your pie crust top cut out, place it on top of the meat filled pie tin. Take a knife and cut off the excess around the edge, and use a fork to press down the edges all the way around. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C/ 355F for ~15 minutes, until the pastry is becoming golden on top (larger pies will take longer).