Natchitoches Meat Pies
Even if you can't make the Christmas Festival of Lights in the beautiful town of Natchitoches, LA, you can cook one of their favorite festival foods at home. Ground beef and pork cooked with Cajun flavors and wrapped up in a soft yet crispy fried dough is next best thing to being there.
This recipe contains oil (vegetable), beef (ground), pork (ground), onions, bell peppers, garlic (fresh), crushed red pepper, salt, flour (all-purpose), salt, baking powder, shortening, eggs, milk, black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork (I tried it with pork sausage and it was great)
- 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
- 1 small bell pepper, finely chopped (green is more traditional but you can use any color that you like)
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for preparing surface
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup milk
- black pepper to taste
- 1. Pour vegetable oil in a large frying pan set over medium high heat; brown meat in oil. Add the onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently until vegetables are soft, approximately 5 minutes; add garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until ready to use.
- 2. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together into a large bowl or in the bowl of a food processor (this makes quick work of this step); process or cut in shortening by hand until it looks like cornmeal. Stir the eggs and milk together before slowly stirring into the flour mixture; mix well to form a soft dough.
- 3. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions. Dust a clean dry surface with flour. Roll each dough portion into a ball. Place each ball on the floured surface one at a time before rolling it into circle about 6 – 8” in diameter. Spoon approximately 2 heaping tablespoons of the meat mixture onto one side of the circle, leaving a 1” clean edge all around. Brush edges with a little warm water. Fold the circle over the meat mixture matching the edges, forming a semi-circle. Fold the edges in half up towards the meat leaving a 1/2" edge. Press the edge with the tines of a fork to crimp. Repeat with the remaining meat and dough.
- 4. Heat deep fryer oil or pour enough oil into a medium size frying pan to come up to a 1” depth in the pan; heat over medium high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering place 1 – 2 pies in the pan and fry to a golden brown on each, approximately 3 minutes or so. Remove from the heat and drain on paper towels. Serve hot or at room temperature.