It’s amazing what stay-at-home dads can get done in the brief window between naptime, folding the laundry and making dinner. Neighbors Tim Moore and Chris Knowles have spent the past three months collectively caring for five kids under the age of four years old and getting ready to embark on Pie Hole, their Australian meat pie food truck.
“Aussie meat pies are kind of like an American version of a pot pie, but a million times better,” Mary Moore, Tim’s wife and partner in the business, says.
The Moores and Knowles (Chris’ wife Laura is also a partner) are also busy planning Pie Fest – a street festival to officially launch their business on Saturday, October 11, from 4 to 7 p.m. at 58th and Holmes. They’ll have face-painting for the kids, beer for the adults and free samples of their meat pies.
“We wanted to introduce Kansas City to Aussie meat pies,” Moore says. “It’s this real hearty, comfort-y food. There’s this doughy crust on the bottom filled with meat and cheese and gravy and awesome. And then this flaky, puff pastry shell on top.”
Unexpectedly, meat pies are close to becoming a trend in Kansas City. In March, Sporting Kansas City introduced meat pies at Sporting Park. Chris Knowles is known in their Brookside neighborhood for the traditional savory dinner from his native Australia. They were always just a way for him to be neighborly. But when he was laid off in March from the finance industry — Tim Moore had been laid off in January from the medical sales world — those pies suddenly seemed like a business opportunity.
As Mary Moore tells it, the two couples were joking around one night about starting a food truck. But the more they talked, the less it seemed like a joke. Over the past three months, they developed a business plan, designed their logo, found a commissary at Rosedale Congregational Church in Kansas City, Kansas, and purchased a 1978 Ford truck on eBay.
“The boys drove 40 hours straight to Las Vegas over Labor Day weekend so that they could be back in time for their wives to go to work on Monday,” Moore says.
The menu will have three meat pies. The Swagger Daddy is a steak, mushroom, onion and gravy pie that also comes in a pint-sized version known as the Eddie (all of the menu items are named for the family’s children). The Choopercabra is pork shoulder, green chile, tomato, onion and gravy (the Teddy is the smaller version). And the Mojo is a steak, bacon, cheese and gravy pie. They’ll also serve Kettle chips, soda (glass bottles of Mexican Coca-Cola) and water.
“You need a fork and the pan is basically your plate,” Moore says. “We serve them in paper bags we call pouches, a nod to Chris’ homeland.”
The meat – pork shoulder or beef – is first cooked in a slow cooker or pressure cooker until its fork tender. Then it’s piled inside a pan lined with pie dough. The other components are added before the dough is topped with a layer of puff pastry. It then goes into the oven for 60 minutes.
“I think of fall weather where you just want something warm and super filling,” Moore says. “It’s like a Thanksgiving meal in the palm of your hand.”[Image via Facebook: Pie Hole]