Oh My Pies!
There is something about fall, the change in season and the opening of the State Fair of Texas. It reminds me of growing up in Louisiana and cooking. I especially enjoyed making the famous Natchitoches meat pies. They were one of my favorite things to make.
We traveled to Natchitoches and visited with our cousins. Each time we dropped by one of our favorite restaurants, Lasyone’s. Their Natchitoches meat pies were famous and still are to this day!
Natchitoches, Louisiana was the oldest permanent settlement in the vast Louisiana Purchase Territory. It was founded in 1714 by Louis de St. Denis. Quaint brick streets wind along the high banks of the former Red River bed.
Each year on the first Saturday of December, thousands of people flock to Natchitoches for the annual Christmas Festival of Lights. At dusk, a switch is pulled and beautiful decorations light up on both sides of the Cane River. The famous Natchitoches Meat Pies are among the favorite foods featured at the festival.
I’m sure you remember the annual Christmas Festival of Lights as it was featured in Steel Magnolias, a favorite southern movie.
Oh my pie . . . fry some Natchitoches Meat Pies!
Natchitoches Meat Pies
Fried pies filled with ground beef and a burst of creole spices. Delicious! Serve them during the fall and throughout the holiday season.
*Original recipes call for a blend of ground beef and ground pork. I prefer to make them with 100% ground beef. You can make them either way!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 1 t. salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
- 3 pods of garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped, mainly green parts
Crust: 3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 t. salt. 1 t. baking powder, 6 T. shortening, 1 egg, 3/4 cup milk
Filling: Heat the oil in a large skillet, combine the ground beef, onion, bell pepper, celery, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring often until the meat looses its pink color. Do not overcook until the meat if dry. Add the garlic during the last minute or two of cooking the meat. Add the flour, stir until it is combined with the meat mixture. Remove from heat, add the green onions. Place the meat in a large colander to drain off excess liquid. Cool to room temperature.
Crust: In a mixing bowl, add the flour, salt and baking powder. Whisk a couple of times to combine. Cut in the shortening. Add the beaten egg and milk. Mix lightly, pour onto a lightly floured surface, knead gently a few times and form dough into a ball. Wrap in wax paper. Chill for 30 minutes.
To Assemble: On a lightly floured surface, roll about half of the dough into 1/8" thickness. Cut into 5" rounds. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling on one side of the pastry round. Dampen edge of pie with fingertips dipped in water. Fold top over meat and crimp edges with a fork.
To Fry: Fry in a deep fat fryer at 350ºF. until golden brown.
Freezing: The uncooked meat pies freeze well. When ready to fry, do not thaw before frying.