Nigerian Meat Pies (Remixed!)
When I first started this blog, I told myself that one of the first recipes I would feature would be meat-pies. Some posts later, I’m now just getting to it, sue me! j/k!
Meat pies are to Nigerians what empanadas are to Mexicans and what beef patties are to the Jamaicans. I guess the main difference would be the addition of potatoes. Typically, meat pies are simply pastry, ground beef, spices and potatoes.
I for one am not a fan of flaky pastries, I just can’t stand ‘em, all crumbly and sticking to your gloss/ lipstick, falling onto your clothes…you get the pic by now, no? That’s why Mr. Biggs in Nigeria still remains one of my favorite places to get chicken pies, albeit their pastry was a little harder than normal, but it didn’t flake!
Normally, I use sweet potatoes, but I decided to mix it up even more and add 100% whole wheat flour!
To learn to make meat-pies, here’s what you’ll need:
**Should make about 15 meat pies**
1 pack lean ground beef
1/4 sweet yellow onion
1 garlic clove
Ginger (size of garlic clove)
1 tbsp Goya Adobo seasoning w/ cumin
1 tsp Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy seasoning
1 tsp Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning
1.5 knorr cubes
1 tsp ground red pepper
1 m sweet potato
2 cups unbleached white flour
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
2.5 sticks butter
1 egg (for glazing)
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 tsp salt
1. Peel sweet potato. Put in pot and cover with water. Boil till very soft.
2. Dice garlic, ginger and onions. In a fry pan, add 2 tbsps olive oil. Fry garlic/ginger/onions till fragrant (about 2 minutes) on medium heat. Add ground beef. Mash and add seasonings. Continue to cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
3. If sweet potato is done, cut into 5 slices. Add to cooking beef. Using a potato masher, mash mixture together thoroughly. Stir and reduce heat to low. Let simmer 5 more minutes, then turn off heat.
4. In a deep, large bowl, add flour. Cut butter sticks into cubes. Work each butter cube into flour (till you get a crumbly mix). Add 1/4 tsp salt, stir.
5. Add 2 tbsps of water at a time and knead dough (till it forms a ball). *If dough is sticky, sprinkle some flour and knead some more*.
6. Divide dough into four parts. Using a rolling pin (or wine bottle), roll dough (not too thick and not too thin). Using a circular object (I used the cover of my smallest pot), cut out circles. Add meat mixture to center of dough using a tablespoon (be generous).
7. Have a small bowl filled with water for sealing. Dip one finger in water and swipe inner lower half of dough. Flip other over mixture and press edges together with your fingers. Repeat with rest of dough and meat mixture. Once done, break egg, whisk and brush over dough.
8. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees. Bake till top is golden brown (about 30 minutes).
Some like to use a fork to press the edges, creating a pattern, but it’s so typical of Nigerian meat-pies and since this is my remixed version, I decided to do otherwise. You can also use a sharp knife to slice the top of the dough to release pressure or use a fork to poke, totally up to you, though not very necessary in my opinion.
Even though I used wheat flour, it was barely detectable and super yummy too! If you’re not feeling the wheat flour, by all means, use white.
There will be some oil in the pan from the meat, but not to worry, once you turn off the heat, it will be absorbed right back into the mixture, so don’t drain it, otherwise your meat-pies will be dry on the inside and that’s a recipe for hiccups with all that dough!
My original intention was to make heart-shaped meat pies with it being Mothers Day and all, but I couldn’t find heart shaped pastry cutters for the life of me (well, I only checked one store, but they should have had it!) and I didn’t want to go through the hassle of hand cutting the pastry into hearts, so I just made ‘em regular.
If you want to make them heart shaped, you will need two sets of the heart shaped pastry, one to hold the filling and the other to seal and cover. If and when I do get the cutters, I’ll make this again. In the meantime…