Once you make these savory French meat pies, you'll understand why they're so popular in Louisiana! A light pastry filled with savory ground beef, pork, peppers, onions and seasonings--fry or bake!
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 recipe
- 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
The recipe for these beautiful Louisiana meat pies comes from of my Grandmother. 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! This recipe is an adaptation of the original.
Here's what you'll need:
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
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
While this mixture is cooling, make the pastry; place dough on lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/4" thickness
- Get a large, heavy-bottom stock pot and add 4 cups of oil
- Heat oil to 312ºF; gently place pie in oil
- Cook 3-minutes; flip and cook other side 5-minutes
- Drain on paper towel; repeat
- 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
How many pies does this recipe yield?
This recipe for Natchitoches Meat Pie yields about 6 pies that are 7" in diameter.
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, bring the dough to room temperature, roll it out and form the discs. Warm the meat on the stovetop just a little before you put it on the dough.
How to cook meat pies:
Preheat oven to 400ºF, place pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet; brush on egg wash; bake 20-25 minutes, or until crispy brown on the outside and internal temperature reaches 160ºF.
Use a tall stock pot or Dutch oven and heat oil to 312-325ºF. Once oil is hot, use a long-handled, slotted spoon and slowly lower raw pies in the oil; work in batches; Fry pies 2-4 minutes; drain on paper towel
How to reheat
Preheat oven to 400ºF; place thawed meat pies on lightly oiled baking dish; bake 10-15 minutes, until the internal temperature is 160ºF
Natchitoches Meat Pie
- Dutch oven or tall stock pot
- Long handled slotted spoon
- Meat thermometer
- Two mixing bowls: one large, one small
- Paper towels and plate to drain pies on (if frying)
- Baking sheet and parchment paper (if baking)
- Pastry brush (if baking)
Meat Filling Ingredients
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 lb. ground pork
- ½ large onion finely diced, about 1 cup chopped
- 1 green bell pepper finely diced, about 1 cup chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced, or 1 tablespoon prepared minced garlic
- 4 cups oil , canola or vegetable
- ¼ cup flour all purpose
- 2 teaspoons ground sage
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon = mild; if you like spice, add more cayenne
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups water
- salt & pepper to taste
- 8 cups flour plus a handful for rolling out dough
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 whole eggs
- 2 stick butter cold, unsalted, cut into tiny cubes,
- 2 cups milk
Egg Wash (if baking)
- 1 whole egg lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon water
- In a heavy skillet, add beef and pork; cook thoroughly until no pink is visible; drain and set aside
- In same skillet, add onions, green onions, bell peppers; saute 3 minutes on medium high or until green bell peppers are tender; add garlic; stir
- Add cooked meat back into onion mixture; add cayenne, sage, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves; allow to cook for 15 minutes on medium;
- While meat is simmering, make a slurry: In a two-cup measuring cup, add 2 tablespoons flour and fill the measuring cup with warm water; mix with fork until smooth; pour this flour/water mixture (slurry) into the skillet with the beef; combine well. (The "slurry" will thicken the meat mixture.)
- Allow this to cook for about 5-8 more minutes, or until the beef mixture begins to thicken; once the mixture thickens a little, turn off the heat; remove bay leaves; taste for salt & pepper; cover and set aside; now make the pastry dough
- Get out two bowls: one large, one small
- In the large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder
- In the small bowl, add egg and milk; slightly beat together until combined
- Slice cold butter into small (tiny) cubes
- Add the tiny cubes of cold butter to the dry ingredients; "cut it in"using your fingers; (crumble the butter pieces and combine with the flour until butter until the mixture looks grainy)
- Once the flour mixture looks grainy, gradually fold in the egg/milk mixture; combine with a spatula
- Sprinkle some flour onto a clean surface; place the dough on the counter and roll it out till it's about 1/4" thick
- Cut dough circles out of the dough that are approximately 7" in diameter; use a saucer or the bottom of a 9" salad plate as a guide--doesn't have to be perfect!
Meat Pie Assembly
- Spoon 1/3 cup of the cold meat mixture onto the center of dough disc; fold one side of the dough over the meat so the edges of the circle form a half moon; press the ends together; use a fork "cinch" the dough together; trim with a pizza cutter or sharp knife; repeat process for the remaining meat and dough rounds; set aside
- Refrigerate pies for 15-20 minutes
- Heat a heavy bottomed stock pot with oil; bring to 312-325ºF; if oil begins to smoke, remove pot from burner and reduce heat immediately
- Use a long handled, slotted spoon and place formed pies into hot oil; work in batches; usually 3 at a time; remove cooked pies and place on paper towel; repeat until all pies are done; each pie takes 2-4 minutes
- Preheat oven to 400ºF
- In a small bowl, make an egg wash. Add one whole egg and a teaspoon of water to the bowl; combine well
- Use a pastry brush and coat the top of each pie with the egg wash
- Place pies on a parchment covered baking sheet
- Bake pies for 20-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF
- Cook the beef, pork and onion mixture; set aside, meanwhile
- Make the pastry dough; cut out 7" rounds
- Assemble the meat pies
- Bake or Fry until internal temperature reaches 160ºF
- Make the dough ahead of time; cover and refrigerate it
- These can be baked or fried; frying is quicker
- Use a heavy duty stock pot for frying
- Expect to have about 6 pies and some leftover meat filling
- Use the leftover meat to make a faux Shepherd's Pie later in the week!
- This recipe for Natchitoches Meat Pie yields about 6 pies that are 7" wide.
- I always have leftover meat. This recipe will yield more if you start out with a smaller diameter, but they will be more "bite size" than entree size.
♥ If you make this recipe, leave a comment and rating below! Thank you!