If you can't get to Louisiana fast enough, make these authentic Natchitoches Meat Pies in your own kitchen- baked or fried!
Once you make these savory French meat pies, you'll understand why they're so popular in Louisiana!
The town of Natchitoches is the original French colony, the oldest Parish in the Louisiana Purchase, home to the famous Natchitoches Hand Pies, and where the Southern classic movie "Steel Magnolias" was filmed!
Due to its French heritage, it is pronounced "Nack'-a-tish." The lady on YouTube pronounces it "Nack-a-tosh" but that's wrong, according to Ann and Kelly at the Official Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Why you'll love this meat pie recipe
Easy meat pie recipe with and easy homemade pastry, ground beef, pork and Cajun seasonings! Make it as mild or spicy as you like!
Another thing, you can bake or fry these meat pies - either way, they're delicious.
- It's authentic-if you can't get to Louisiana, this is the next best thing
- All-natural-no additives, preservatives or fillers
- Easy to make ahead of time - cook the filling and make the pastry dough the day before!
- Easy to reheat and have as a snack
- This meat pie recipe can be used for baked meat pies or fried - your call!
If you love New Orleans or any part of Louisiana, then you'll love these meat pies! I like to serve them with smothered okra and tomatoes, or sometimes with collard greens, purple hull peas, sauteed yellow squash and onions or just by themselves as a snack!
Almost every culture has a meat pie, and this authentic Natchitoches Meat Pie recipe is native to Louisiana, via French immigrants, both Cajun and Creole.
In the northern United States, meat-filled pies are called "pasties," which were a typical lunch for coal miner's way back in the day.
The Spanish have "empanadas," which are basically the same concept, but with different seasonings.
There's a lot of recipes for meat pies out there, but I tried to stay true to the Official Natchitoches Meat Pie Recipe as possible; it turns out, my Grandmother's handwritten recipes is the same as the published original! My recipe is an adaptation of the original (I added a few seasonings.)
Here's what you'll need
This meat pie recipe uses simple ingredients and offers great flavor! Make these as mild or spicy as you like!
Filling ingredients: Ground beef, ground sausage, onion, green bell pepper, bay leaves, cayenne powder, ground sage, milk, flour, salt and pepper
Pastry ingredients: flour, baking soda, butter, salt
I forgot to get out the ground sage for this picture:(
How to make Natchitoches meat pies
- At first glance, this meat pie recipe looks difficult, but it's easy if you break it down into 4 -easy steps:
- Make the filling
- Make the pastry dough
- Assemble the pies; refrigerate for 15 minutes
- Cook (bake or fry)
- Before you get started, read the recipe and notes 3 times.
- Brown the beef and sausage; drain and set aside; saute onion and bell pepper
- Add cooked meats back into the skillet with the cooked onion and bell pepper
- Add remaining ingredients and slurry; cook 5-7 minutes, or until mixture thickens; remove from heat; set aside
A note about making the pastry
When you add the cold bits of butter to the pastry, you can combine it by hand or give it a quick pulse in the food processor.
I always combine it by hand because the food processor isn't big enough to mix the entire amount of flour and butter together at once and I'm afraid if I pulse it in batches, it won't combine properly.
The dough should be grainy, but after you knead it a few times, it begins to stick together. Do Not Overwork the Dough.
While this mixture is cooling, make the pastry; place dough on lightly floured surface and roll out to ¼" thickness
Once the dough is rolled out, cut out circles ( I use a small salad plate as a template).
Place about ⅓ cup of cold meat onto the cold pastry disc. Fold top over meat, forming a half-moon. Press edges together with a drop of water on your fingertip.
Score edges with fork; trim with pizza cutter or knife and cook.
How to fry meat pies
- Get a large, heavy-bottom stock pot and add 4 cups of oil; NOTE: the amount of oil will vary; it depends upon the size of the skillet and the number of pies you're making. Pour enough oil into the skillet to barely cover the hand pies.
- Heat oil to 312ºF; gently place pie in oil
- Cook 3-minutes; flip and cook other side 3-5 minutes
- Drain on paper towel; repeat
How to bake meat pies
- Preheat oven to 400ºF
- Lightly oil baking pan
- Combine egg and water to make an egg-wash; brush egg wash over meat pies
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown
How many pies does this recipe yield?
This recipe for Natchitoches Meat Pie yields about 6 pies that are 7" in diameter. You can make meat pies larger or smaller - your call!
How to make in advance
- The best way to make this ahead of time is to cook the meat pie filling and prepare the pastry dough and store them separately in the fridge. Cover dough securely with plastic wrap.
- When you're ready to assemble them, roll out the dough to ¼ " inch thickness and form the discs.
- Place about ⅓ cup of cold meat on pastry and cook
- If you want to assemble the meat pies in advance, follow the instructions above and place covered hand pies in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
Freezing and reheating meat pies
You can freeze the meat pies before OR after you cook them.
Put the uncooked meat pies in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. When ready to cook, allow pies to come to room temperature, then fry or bake. (If baking, don't forget the egg wash!)
For pies that you've already cooked, allow pies to thaw a bit, then reheat in a 350ºF oven, uncovered, until the center is warm (about 15-25 minutes)
How to reheat Natchitoches Meat Pie
Preheat oven to 350ºF; place thawed meat pies on lightly oiled baking dish, uncovered
Bake 10-15 minutes, until the internal temperature is 160ºF
Some folks in Louisiana like a dipping sauce with their meat pie. I make a sauce with mayonnaise, Louisiana Hot Sauce and a little salt. Just combine it together and season to your liking. Or you can just sprinkle a little of the sauce over the pie. Or, serve these meat pies with a remolaude sauce!
What to serve with it
- Read the entire recipe (including Recipe Notes) three times before you start
- Don't worry if the edges of your meat pies are raggedy; trim them with a pizza cutter
- Refrigerate the assembled meat pies 15-20 minutes before cooking (or freeze them for 10-12 minutes)
- Use a thermometer to ensure the frying oil is around 312ºF before you place the meat pies in it
- Once you place the pies in the oil, use a spatula to splash a little oil over them (this ensures they won't fall apart)
- Use leftover dough to make extra pie rounds; just gather up dough remnants (from your circles), form them into a ball; flatted, roll and make another pie
- If you have leftover meat, save it and make a "faux" Shepherd's Pie
This vintage, authentic Natchitoches meat pie recipe is as authentic as it gets! If you can't get to Natchitoches, Louisiana, this is definitely the next best thing!
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♥ If you make this recipe, leave a comment and rating below! Thank you!
Authentic Natchitoches Meat Pie
Meat Filling Ingredients
Egg Wash (if baking)
Meat Pie Assembly