|From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)|
These tasty turnovers, along with the Festival of Lights, are native to Natchitoches (pronounced NACK-uh-dish), Louisiana and are traditionally served on Christmas Eve. They’re usually made bigger, more of a hand pie, but I like them as an Hors d’oeurve for holiday parties. I served these tonight with a Creole Mustard Aioli for dipping. The recipe:
Natchitoches Meat Pies Recipe
For the Filling
2 Tbsp Butter
1/2 lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Ground Pork
1/2 Cup Spanish Onion, finely diced
1/2 Cup Red Bell Pepper, finely diced
1/4 Cup Celery, finely diced
1/2 Cup Green Onions
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Tbsp Homemade Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Crystal Hot Sauce
Kosher salt, black pepper, and Cayenne to taste.
1/2 Cup Beef Stock
1/8 Cup All Purpose Flour
Melt the butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat, when hot add the ground meats, cook until browned and cooked through. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, and green onions, cook until the vegetables are wilted. Add the garlic, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and seasonings, cook for 2 minutes more. Make a slurry of the stock and flour, add to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for about 5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
For the dough:
4 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Iodized Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Lard
1 Cup Milk
Combine the dry ingredients in the mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, with the speed on low add the lard to the dry ingredients and let the mixer cut it in until the fat is broken up into pea sized pieces. Beat the egg and combine with the milk. Add the wet to the dry with the mixer on low, in a slow steady stream. Mix until the dough just comes together. The key is to not overwork the dough.
Cut the dough in half then roll it out to 1/8 inch thickness on a floured counter. Cut into either the more traditional 5 inch circles or as I did about 3 circles, I used an empty French Market Coffee can.
To assemble and cook:
Place 1 heaping Tablespoon (doubled for the larger size) of the cooled mixture to each circle. With your finger wet the edge with a little water, fold over and crimp with a fork. Set aside on a floured surface until ready to fry.
Heat 4 inches of oil in a dutch oven to 360 degrees. Fry the meat pies in small batches until golden brown on each side.
Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes!