Natchitoches Meat Pies

(Pronounced NACK-uh-tush)

 

24 Pies

 

These spicy fried pies originated in the 1700's in Natchitoches, Louisiana where street vendors chanted, "Hotta meat pies! Get your hotta meat pies right here!" The street vendors are gone, but the town holds a festival in September every year in honor of their famous meat pies.

New Orleans has adapted these pies and they appear on many of the restaurant menus throughout the city.

The pies make great appetizers when made half size, and they can be made ahead and frozen.

 

Filling

3/4 pound lean ground beef, (not extra lean)

3/4 pound ground pork

1 cup finely chopped onions

1/4 cup finely chopped green onions

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, (less for milder pies)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup beef broth, (bouillon is okay)

Crust

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup lard, or vegetable shortening

1 egg

1 to 1 1/4 cups milk

oil for deep frying

 

Brown the ground beef and pork in a large skillet, stirring to break up the bits. Add the onions, peppers, celery, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, and cayenne. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are wilted; add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to incorporate. Whisk in the beef broth and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

Crust: Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixer bowl. Cut in the lard or shortening until it resembles small peas. Mix the egg and milk. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until dough just comes together. Don't overwork the dough; it will be quite stiff.

Cut the dough in half then roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness on a floured cloth. Cut into 3 inch circles and stack. Take each circle and roll out to 1/8" thickness, between 5 and 6 inches.

Assembly: Place 2 heaping tablespoons of the cooled mixture onto each circle. With your finger wet the edge with a little water, fold over and crimp with a fork. Set aside on parchment until ready to fry.

Heat a deep fryer with oil to 360. Fry the meat pies in small batches until golden brown on each side. Serve with Cajun Tartar Sauce.

 

Cajun Tartar Sauce

 

 

 

1          large egg

1          tablespoon minced garlic

2          tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1          tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

2          tablespoons chopped green onions

1/2      cup vegetable oil

1/2      cup olive oil

1/4      teaspoon cayenne

1          tablespoon Creole mustard

1          teaspoon salt

      

 

     Place the egg, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, and green onions in a food processor and puree for 15 seconds.  With the processor running, pour the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream.  Add the cayenne, mustard, and salt and pulse once or twice to blend.