January 2024 Food Challenge: To sauce or not to sauce

In 2017, Australians ate a whopping 270 million pies, or about a pie per person per month. Our New Zealand cousins even eat more than Australians, with each Kiwi eating around 15 pies per year.

Pies are valued so much by Australians that the Australian Bureau of Statistics tracks meat pie sales within the national accounts.

When buying a pie, often there is a selection of fillings to choose from, these can be meat, chucky meat, scallop, curry, tomato and onion, corn beef and white sauce, chicken, pumpkin, vegetable and the list goes on.

Pie connoisseurs tend to chose their favourite pie type when buying and often add an accompaniment. The most popular accompaniment is a sauce. For this month’s food challenge…

Do you sauce your pie and with what accompaniment do you add?

  • Tomato Sauce
  • Barbeque Sauce
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Mustard sauce
  • Chilli sauce
  • Mushy peas
  • Gravy
  • Other
  • Don’t add an accompaniment
  • Don’t eat pies
0 voters

You can also let us know below what your favourite pie type is and if there is anything special you do when enjoying a pie.


Thank you to all participants of the December challenge.

Congrats to @YVONNE1 @isopeda @brudith for receiving the food champions award.

@phb, @vax2000, @Gaby would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year!


My favourite: meat pie, golden flaky crust, compact tasty filling and Hot! :yum:


Agreed, @Gaby! :yum: And no sauce is necessary! :wink:


Latin: De gustibus non est disputandum.
Translation: There’s no accounting for taste.


Nonsense isopeda! Must have sauce - sweet Chilli or tomato or sometimes anchovy sauce.


Shepherd’s pie is my favourite .


If the pie has a good tasty filling, then nothing needs to be added.

But as most meat (beef) pies have incipid fillings, got to add some spicy tomato sauce for some flavour. Same for sausage rolls and pasties.



A nice hot (non-sweet) chilli sauce can do wonders for an insipid pie, pastie, or sausage roll - or any hot dog, for that matter.


Love Cape Grim chunky beef pies in Tassie, but I prefer chunky meat rather than chucky meat (your typo, I hope! : )) and a good quality tomato sauce like Johnno’s (another Tassie product - we are really spoiled in the food area down here : ) ) only enhances the experience.


Ok, at the risk of opening up a bitter debate (:laughing:) here it goes:

A sauce is not intended to cover up lack of taste and flavour of a badly prepared/baked pie. A sauce is an intrinsic part of the taste and flavour of a pie and must be well suited and appropriate so that it blends in without dominance while taking it to another dimension.


HP sauce is a must for me, but I will make do with tomato sauce in an emergency :sweat_smile:


It does. Seafood of many types, Apple, Apricot, berries of many types, etc.

It’s not absolute that we are only considering the traditional individual savoury filled pies typical of a day out at the footy.

On one account a quality pie IMO does not need a sauce. It comes with a ready made sauce inside. However ready made pies do vary in quality and latency (time lost) in the heated cabinet. In which instance I’d add a spicy tomato sauce to add that something extra especially if it was beef based. Not so if a curry pie.

Certainly there are some combinations worth further praise. The principle of a suitable accompanying sauce (thanks @Gaby) to enhance the experience. A pie floater is paired with pea purée and tomato sauce the other essential ingredient. I like both pie floaters and curry pies (beef or lamb).

For the curry pie how would it go to serve with Dahl and chilli, another take on the great pie floater?


My favorite supermarket pies. Another Tassie one, National Pies.


I didn’t use any adjectives which mean ‘improve’ because I do think that a sauce is part of the pie package taste. Even with filled pasta like cannelloni or ravioli there’s still a sauce to go on top as part of the whole dish.
A hot spicy tomato sauce goes well with a beef based filling; a blended herbs sauce with chicken; a legumes based one with curry.
Even an apple pie needs a topping of ice cream or fresh cream to bring it all together.
Although there’s an art in pairing pies and sauces, what counts in the end is our own individual preference which ‘non est disputandum’ :laughing:


Now a prime experience of a pie is the crisp pastry that can be just turned to soggy stuff if one goes bonkers with a sauce. Just a little bit is good.

The whole concept of a pie floater just baffles me.

I like a good quality bakery plain meat pie with mushy peas. The mushy peas have to be well cooked and thick. Many bakeries don’t make mushy peas anymore which is a bit of a shame as they are great in a pie (pie top removed, mushy peas added and top replaced).

They are a bit messy to eat on the run though. Best eaten with cutlery.

We now make our own mushy peas which we consume with a range of different foods (home baked pies, fish and chips, sausages etc).

In Tasmania, one can’t also go past a good scallop pie, eaten as is.


Thank goodness! Someone who agrees with me on that one! :grinning:


steak and cheese - we test pies on every road trip - the best so far is Brighton Bakery in Scarborough, Western Australia
Context: we’ve travelled across / around Australia 4 times - most recent Dec 2023, 10,400km Perth to Brisbane return. A lot of pie testing