Thursday, November 26, 2009

Meat Pies

JPG asks in comments for Milady's meat pie recipe. Meat pies are a staple in Natchitoches, LA and are a tasty treat that have long been enjoyed in those environs. Many variation on the recipe abound, but they're basically a pie crust cut into rounds and stuffed with a meat filling. However, my lady has the recipe nailed and she has graciously shared it with many others over the years.
Meat Pies

Meat Filling:

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork sausage
1 c. green onion, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 pcs garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
Salt, pepper, red pepper to taste (or Tony’s Creole Seasoning)
2 Tbs flour


1 qt plain flour
2 tsp (teaspoon) salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
¾ cup shortening
1 cup milk.

Brown meat and add seasonings. which have been chopped into small pieces. When meat is done, but not dry, remove from heat and add two tablespoons flour. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Make crust. Sift dry ingredients together, cut in shortening. Beat egg and add to milk, add mixture slowly to flour until proper rolling consistency. Roll very thin. Cut into rounds about the size of a coffee saucer (6”).

Add one large tablespoon of meat filling to the center of the crust. Fold over and seal. A trick to sealing the crust is to wet your finger with water, wet the edge of the crust, almost like wetting an envelope. Stick the edges together. Then dip a common dinner fork in flour and press the edge.

These can be frozen for later or cooked immediately. If you want to freeze them, place the single pies on a cookie sheet and slide into the freezer. After a couple of hours, put in zipper bags. A gallon bag will hold eight or nine pies. To cook, heat oil to 360 or thereabouts and cook until golden brown. Or bake at 350 until golden brown.
One recipe will make 8 or nine pies, depending on how big you cut the crust and how much filling you put into the pie. They're good stuff and they're traditionally deep-fried, but baking them is good too, and probably more heart-healthy.

There are plenty of variations to this basic recipe. You can use venison instead of beef, or seafood, or just about anything that will fit into the crust. You can make 3" circles instead of 6", add a teaspoon of filling and make mini-pies. Your imagination is the key, but this basic recipe has made countless thousands of pies and has proven itself time and again.

Bon apetit, and happy Thansgiving.


JPG said...

Many thanks for your very prompt reply, Sir. And to Milady as well.

I look forward to trying it out. The "1 qt plain flour" threw me for a moment. I mentioned to Holly that I'd always considered a quart to be a liquid measure. She agreed but commented that a quart is four cups, which looks more conventional. It's just a matter of semantics, after all.

Thanks again, and we hope that you and all of yours have a great Thanksgiving.

Rivrdog said...

These seem to be the same sort of food as the traditional Pasty, served in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, mostly. Folklore says that the Youper iron miners invented them because they could be wrapped in a towel and kept warm from the start of shift until lunch, and they were fast eating.

Last year, I noted that a local Polish bakery was selling them.

I think meat pies (the hand variety, not the ones in a dish) are extremely universal, and in this country, they seem to be an Acadian tradition, since the Acadians ("Cajuns") originally ranged from 100 miles east of me in Oregon, East and North into Canada, and South into the Caribbean.

Pawpaw said...

You're right, Rivrdog, that meat pies are a type of folk food. Every culture probably has a variation depending on local availability and cooking styles. (Can you say Burrito?) Every culture that I know of has a stew and most have some method of cooking a steak on a grill.

I didn't know that the Acadiens had made it to Oregon, though. I'm kin to a bunch of them who washed ashore in Louisiana. However, I don't think that the meat pie is as much from the Cajun tradition as it is from the Creole. We've got lots of both down here and the recipes have tended to cross-over, because good good is universally celebrated.

Old NFO said...

Oh man, I miss those things! Going to the store in the morning to get the fixins!!!