I have had several requests for this recipe over the past few days so I thought as a Louisiana Christmas present to all of y'all I would post it here as well.
The photo is from nolacusine.com; the recipe is mine.
Natchitoches Meat Pies
Pronunciation: Nack-e-tesh Meat Pies
A bit of history: Natchitoches Meat Pie
Time: 4/5 hours in one setting. I make the meat filling one day which takes about 1 hour and refrigerate it over night. The next day I will actually make the pies; which can take up to 2-3 hours.
Quantity: Meat filling -- 24 pies; Pastry -- 12 pies
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 -1cup all-purpose flour
1 lb ground beef (80/20 split-- you kind of need the grease)
1 lb ground pork
1 minced green bell pepper
1 minced small onion
2 minced celery stalks
1 generous tablespoon of garlic
Tony Chacerie's for seasoning (salt and cayenne/black pepper/white pepper to season if you can't get Tony's. If that is the case, use more pepper than salt, and use all three types of pepper.)
1. First you make a roux. To do this add your oil to a large cast iron skillet and put a little heat to it (medium to medium high is fine). Very slowly and with constant whisking add the flour until you come to a thick sauce consistency (don't add any more flour after that point). It should be blonde in colour. This is what they refer to as a blonde roux.
2. Incorporate all the meat and vegetables above into the roux. This is a very thick mixture and will take several minutes to incorporate it all together.
3. Continue to cook the mixture. Stirring it on a regular basis as well as gently adding seasoning. I like spice so I typically dust the entire mixture several times throughout the cooking process. (Husband always swears I use too much until he tastes it).
4. The meat filling is done with the meat is cooked. It will have a light brown colour in nature. Once it has cooled to room temperature, package it and throw it into the fridge.
3 cups all purpose flour
4 tsps baking powder
dash of salt
1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
1/2-1 c milk
1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a large bowl.
2. Cut the vegetable shortening into the dough until it is very small pieces.
3. Make a well in the flour mixture. Add the egg and 1/2 c. of milk.
4. Stir until you have a thick but spongy dough. You may need to add more milk to incorporate all the flour. The amount of milk I need always seems to vary between where I am in the States and the time of the year.
5. On a well floured surface, knead the dough briefly to check the consistency through out. The dough should have some give to it like pizza dough.
6. There are two methods to rolling out the door. One is to roll out the complete ball to 1 cm and cut out circles in the dough (the bowl I use to cut the dough is about 20 cm in diameter). The other is to pull off just want you need to roll out a circle for the meat pie. There is no wrong way to do it.
*Note about the pastry*
Want a short cut? Store bought pie crust (not the kind already molded into a pie tin), crescent dough, pizza dough, and/or puff pastry will all work. Or if you would like to use your own pie crust recipe (like my mum) that works too.
Making the actual Meat Pies
1. To fashion the meat pies, add the meat filling to half of the circle of dough. Fold the dough over to cover all the filling and seal the edges. I usually fold over the edges to seal the pies; most people use a fork.
2. Heat the oil in a deep skillet. Or how ever you prefer to fry foods.
3. When the temperature of the oil is right (flick a little water onto the oil, if it pops and sizzles then its the right temperature), add a meat pie to the oil. Let it cook until it is golden brown and then flip it over. Once it is golden brown on both sides, remove it from the oil and add the next one. Keep doing this until you have fried all the pies.
Crawfish -- This is one of the most common variations of the Natchitoches Pie. The only difference to the above recipe is change out the meat for the same proportion of crawfish tails.