Eating meat pie is an enjoyable experience. Just a bite of this crunchy, spicy and meaty delight has the power to awaken all your senses. There is meat pie, good-tasting and great-tasting meat pie. The procedure for making the latter is what I want to show you in this post. I have dreaded writing out this meat pie recipe for soooo long, because the details in making meat pies are numerous especially if you want to make meat pies that you and your guest will definitely enjoy. It has taken me weeks to write out this recipe but because I want you to be able to make your best meat pies EVER, I think it is worth the wait. Here’s a 3 minute video that shows you how to make meat pie in a few easy steps.
Meat, fish or vegetable pie?
Meat pies are tasty small chops, snacks or appetizers that are common in almost every African party or event. In fact, they are the epitome of small chops in Cameroon. Pies can be made in different variations depending on the filling. Some are made with a variety of vegetables mixed with beef, other with fish and potatoes and referred to as fish pie or made only with vegetables for our vegetarian and vegan (African) friends. Whatever ingredients you chose to include, you can create delicious meat pies you and your family or guests will enjoy.
Making the Meat Pie dough
The way you make the dough is crucial if you want to obtain crunchy or crispy pie. If you mess up the dough-making process, you end up with soggy or somethign more like stale pie. Hard-to-the-bite and not pleasant at all. Yikes!
Three things to take note of:
The flour to butter ratio.
O.k., this is one thing that is so key to a crunchy crust. If you add too much butter your pie will be too flaky to handle and guess what?, It will crumble when you just touch it. Grrrrrrr annoying right? I know!
Working the dough.
The key to a crunchy meat pie crust is to make sure your dough is not overworked. Overworking the dough makes it tough and difficult to handle. So be gentle and mix with love!!! 🙂
Chilling the dough.
By this I mean, keeping the dough to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 mins to help improve the flavor and the texture of the crust. As chilling allows the igredients to set, the end result is a manageable dough and a crunchy but not too flaky crust. Drool!!! 🙂
Making the filling.
The filling could be beef, poultry, seafood or even game. It all depends on you and your tastebuds. For this recipe, I’ll be making a beef feeling with lots of vegetables. Here are the next set of three (3) things to keep in mind:
Cooking the beef.
Beef has some amount of fat (saturated fat) which our organs need in little quantity for protection. So you want to make sure that you cut out any visible fats before you mince your meat or buy lean minced meat. Since there is some fat in the beef anyway, you do not need to add any extra fat to cook the meat. If you must add fat, add heart-healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil. Keep it low-fat for your health agreed? Great!
No extra water needed.
You really would not be needing extra water or broth to cook the beef to avoid having a runny pie filling. When the filling is to fluid, folding the pie becomes really difficult and the dough will be hard to stick. This implies more Woooork and a messy pie! We don’t want that.
Do not cook the beef to completion.
Remember that the pie will be baked, so I recommend half-cooking the beef and adding in the vegetables just before turning of the heat. Cooking will be complete in the oven.
Alright! Now that we are clear on what to keep in mind to make your meat pie the best, let’s get right into the recipe. I am pretty sure that you would love this recipe so please comment below to let us know if you made some meat pie.
- 1500g flour
- 250g butter
- 150ml milk
- 150 water
- 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tbsp. cane or coconut sugar (normal white sugar will do too)
- 500g minced lean beef
- 3 - 4 cups mixed veggies (carrots, green peas, red bell peppers, green beans etc.)
- 1 green pepper
- 1 large onion
- 1 tbsp. thyme, dried or fresh
- 1 thumb-size ginger
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
- 3 - 4 basil leaves
- 6 - 8 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp white pepper, level
- 1 tsp. black pepper, level
- Beef bouilllon cubes and salt to taste
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir. Then add butter.
- Using your finger tips mix well untill you no longer feel butter lumps in your fingers.
- In another bowl, beat eggs, add vanilla extract, sugar, milk, water and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly.
- Now, mix dry and wet ingredients in a food processor and process till you have a dough or use your fingers to form a round ball.
- Cover it up and refrigerate for 30 minutes. You can store half of the dough in the freezer in plastic foil for later use. It keeps for a month or more depending on the temperature.
- When you are ready to start filling the crust, roll it out and flatten on a flat surface sprinkled with some flour.
- In a large skillet or pot over medium heat, add minced beef, chopped onions and season with with thyme, ground garlic, ginger, scotch bonnet, and basil leaves. Add salt and cubes and cook for about 2 minutes. Beef's own oil will begin to ouze out. You can spice things up a notch by adding a few cloves, some cinnamon or even nutmeg.
- Now add vegetables and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, then turn off heat an set aside to cool.
- First preheat oven to 350F.
- Roll out your dough and cut it into small manageable pieces. Next, dust your working table or boardn with some flour so that your dough doesn't stick. You can also use a pasta machine to roll out your dough to the desired thickness.
- Using a raviola maker, cut out circles, then scope a tablespoon or two (depending on circle sizes) onto your dough.
- Carefully fold the dough over to cover the filling and use your fingers or a fork to press the edges together. You want to make sure you completely press the pie closed to avoid it from opeing up during baking.
- Use a sharp knife to cut a few slits into the top of your pies. This allows steam to escape when baking and helps to prevent the pie from cracking or bursting in the oven.
- Brush the top of your pie with egg or melted butter to avoid it from drying out while you bake. This step will also give it a golden brown and glowing color.
- Bake your pies on a non-stick baking sheet in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- Let it cool and enjoy.