Chef Curtis Stone can dish out fine dining with the best of them, but it's his humble recipes tapping into his Australian roots that are perfect for every home cook any night of the week.
The Michelin-starred chef and owner of Maude and The Pie Room by Gwen in Los Angeles, California, joined "Good Morning America" to take on the dollar dinner challenge and create two meals for four people under $20.
Just three days after Australia Day, the chef shared his recipe for a cultural favorite -- meat pies with a flaky, buttery crust -- and a second dish that uses the additional Bolognese sauce for a classic pasta.
Check out the full recipes below and gather all your ingredients to feed everyone for just $18.39.
Aussie Meat Pie
Serves: 4 (1 meat pie); 4 pasta dinner
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Make-Ahead: The pie can be assembled up to 2 weeks ahead and frozen in an airtight container. Do not thaw before baking, but add 10 minutes to the baking time (50 minutes total).
For the Bolognese Sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
4 carrots, finely chopped
2 pounds ground beef chuck
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups low-sodium beef broth
To assemble the meat pie
All-purpose flour, for dusting
Buttery Pastry Dough (recipe follows), shaped into 2 disks and chilled or 2 purchased pie dough rounds
1 large egg
1 tablespoon whole milk
Alternative to serve with pasta:
12 oz penne pasta
Optional garnishes: grated parmesan, fresh basil leaves
Buttery Pastry Dough
The secret to homemade pastry dough is to avoid blitzing your butter to smithereens in the food processor. Leaving pea-size pieces of butter in the dough is key, because they will melt in the oven and release water, which will become steam. The steam helps to puff up the dough and contributes to that melt-in-your-mouth texture. The dough can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Alternatively, it can be frozen for up to one month.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
About 1/3 cup ice water
In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse about 10 times, or until the butter is in pea-size pieces; do not overprocess. While pulsing the processor, add 1/3 cup of the ice water, then pulse just until moist clumps of dough form, adding more water 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary.
Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it in half, making one half slightly larger and shape each piece into a thick disk. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
Heat a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then add the onion, celery, and carrot and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not browned.
Crumble the beef into the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the beef, for about 5 minutes, or until the meat is just cooked and no longer pink. Add the tomato paste and allspice and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, or until the tomato paste is well blended.
Stir in the wine and cook for about 2 minutes, or until it evaporates completely. Reduce the heat to medium, add the milk, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, or until the milk has reduced by three-fourths and the sauce is thick and creamy. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, or until well blended.
Add the broth, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened and reduced by one-fourth. Season with salt and pepper. Set the mixture aside to cool. (You should have about 4 1/2 cups Bolognese sauce.)
Meat Pie Assembly
Position a rack on the lowest rung of the oven and set a baking sheet on the rack. Preheat the oven to 400°F. (Being close to the source of heat will help the bottom crusts bake and brown properly.)
Unwrap the larger disk of dough, set it on a floured surface, and lightly dust the top of the dough. Roll out the dough into a 13-inch round, occasionally rotating the dough and dusting it with flour to prevent sticking. Brush away the excess flour and transfer the dough to a 9-inch glass pie plate, centering it in the pie plate and letting the excess dough hang over the edges. Lightly press the dough into the dish. Refrigerate the pie shell.
On the floured surface, roll out the other disk of dough into a 12-inch round.
Transfer half of the Bolognese sauce to the pie shell. Arrange the second dough round over the filling. Trim the dough overhang to 3/4 inch. Pinch the crusts together and fold the overhang under. Crimp the edges to seal.
Make a hole in the center of each top crust. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and milk to blend. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the pie with the egg-milk mixture.
Place the pie on the preheated baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the crust is deep golden and the filling is bubbling. If the crust begins to brown before the filling bubbles, tent the pie with foil. Let the pie cool on a wire rack until warm before serving.
Cut the pie into wedges and serve.
To serve the Bolognese sauce with pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook, stirring often, for about 8 minutes, or until pasta is tender but still firm to the bite.
Using tongs, remove pasta from boiling water and add to the skillet of hot Bolognese sauce, allowing some of the cooking water to adhere to pasta. Cook for about 1 minute, or until sauce thickens slightly and adheres to pasta.Remove from heat.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately with parmesan, if desired.