Dad’s Louisiana Meat Pies

I remember the first time that Dad(or any of my family) had a Natchitoches Meat Pie. It was during the Nachitoches Christmas Festival of Lights. Not sure of the year, but it was the weekend of all the parades during the day. While wondering around waiting on the fireworks show and lighting of all the crazy amounts of lights, he saw this “Meat Pie” thing and just had to try one. I don’t remember how many he had, but he just knew he had to be able to recreate these things back home.

Not sure where he got is beginning recipe. I remember him making and sharing tons of these things. It seems that he would make these things at the drop of hat. What I don’t do here is make them as spicy hot as Dad did. He used a ton of crushed red. Some of those batches were meant for his co-workers who liked it extra hot! Most others would have a hard time eating even a single pie.

Base recipe for the meat filling

  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 lb Ground Pork
  • 1 lb Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lb Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 lb Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
  • 3-4 Celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/4 Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 Tbsp Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • Salt, Black Pepper, and Cayenne to taste
  • 1 Cup Beef Stock
  • 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • Some Extra Virgin Olive Oil(EVOO) so you don’t start with a dry pan.

Prep done

Mix the beef and pork together. Sometimes I feed the mixture into the grinder, so that the pork and beef are throughly mixed.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, drizzle in a 1 Tbsp of EVOO. When the oil is shimmering add the meant. Break up the big chunks and when there is no pink left empty the pan on a plate with some paper towels to get ride of the extra grease.

Now since the pan is empty, drizzle in a couple Tbsp of EVOO and put the heat to medium. Melt the butter. Yeah I know there is already a fat in play. I love me some butter. After the butter is a done foaming, add the Garlic and cook it till it is fragrant. You don’t want to brown any of the veggies. Reduce the heat to Medium-Low. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery sweat them until they are soft. Add a bit of salt to the mixture as this will promote all the veggies giving up there water and the their flavor for the greater good. Keep stirring so that everything is cooked evenly.

Now add back in the meat and mix everything together.

Add the Worcestershire and hot sauce.

Make a slurry with the beef stock and the flour, pour into the pan.

BTB-RTS(Bring to boil, reduce to simmer)

While simmering is where I make the final adjustments. First taste the mixture and add salt, pepper, cayenne, and any of the other spices to taste. The end mixture should be fairly thick. If it is still loose, then make up some more slurry and add as needed. Corn starch can also be used, but make sure you slurry it up first.

Set all of this aside to cool. No hot filling when making meat pies. I usually make this then night before and refrigerate. This gives the flavors time to mix and the mixture will thicken a bit more.

This will make about 30 meat pies.

Base recipe for the dough

  • 8 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Lard
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups of Milk

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachement. Roughly cube up the lard. Start the mixer on low and add the lard to the dry. Let the paddle cut in the lard until the lard bits are around pea size.

Whisk the eggs into the milk.

Change out the paddle for a dough hook. With the speed on low, slowly add the milk/egg mixture
into the dry. The dough should not be wet and be easily worked. It will look a little crumbly, kinda like pie dough before it is rolled out.

Time to roll out the dough. I used to used a rolling pin and elbow grease. I have found that the pasta sheeter on my KitchenAid stand mixer does a way better job. Attach the sheeter and open it to its widest setting and the speed on low. Grab a just over golf ball size bit of dough. Flatten it out, so that it will run through the sheeter. You may need to run it through a time or two, double it over until you get a clean smooth result. Move the sheeter to the next lowest setting, and repeat. I usually do a final run through on setting number 3.

Layout the sheet on a cutting board. Using largest bowl that will fill the width, place the bowl flat on the dough and cut around it to make the skin.

Stack these on a tray after sprinkling a little flour to keep them from sticking. Separate the layers with parchment paper.

This will make about 40 5 1/2 inch rounds. They can be made ahead of time as long as they are sealed tight in the container.

Putting it together

In a large high-walled pan(dutch oven), add a couple of inchs of oil and bring it up to 375 degrees.

While the oil is heating, place round flat on your board and brush off any flour.

Put about 2 tbsp of the filling in a line on the center of the round.

Wet one side of the round on the edge.

Fold the round over the filing pushing out all the air you can.

Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edge and place on a sheet of parchment paper.

Once the oil is at temparature, gently drop the pies one at a time into the oil.

You will probably want to flip them over at least once during the process.

Once the pies are golden brown, remove them from the oil to a cooling rack.

Thoughts

These pies are best when they are hot out of the oven. However, I eat them straight from the refridgerator all the time.

Remember to pout on some hot sauce as you go.

Since you have some left over rounds, why not grab some of your favorite pie filling(apple, pumpkin, cherry, etc…) use that as filling and make you some desert at the same time?

Enjoy!



Harold Pulcher