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Natchitoches Meat Pies

February 10, 2013

Does anyone actually like Hot Pockets? I’m not gonna lie, I ate my fair share in college – but seriously, how is it that they go from frozen, to melt-your-taste-buds molten hot in a split second? Something ain’t right.

Which is why I absolutely love this recipe. It is the perfect home-made replacement for that late night college snack. Thanks to family ties in Louisiana, Alan remembers having these at his grandmother’s house as a kid. The authentic version is typically fried, and while we did try that once (and it was of course delicious), we prefer this baked version. They are the perfect make-ahead meal – just keep a batch in the freezer and pop in the oven when you need a quick lunch or dinner – they bake just as well whether fresh or frozen.


I highly recommend you invest in a simple set of Empanada¬†presses – like these, shown above. They make the process so much easier, and (as this set comes with several sizes) are perfect for making dumplings, hand pies, calzones… the list goes on and on. But if you don’t have these, the a simple press with a fork along the edges of the dough will do the trick.


adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Servings: 10 pies
Time: 1 hour to assemble, plus 35-40 cooking time

for pastry:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
6 Tbs lard (or Crisco)
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
add’l egg for egg wash when baking

for filling:
1 tsp canola oil
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 small onion, diced
1/ cup bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp Tony Chachere’s or similar Cajun seasoning
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 Tbs flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup green onions, diced

In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the lard and cut into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter, until the dough resembles a course meal. In a separate bowl, beat the egg & milk together, and then pour into the dry mixture. Work the mixture into a dough. (if dough is too dry, add water 1 Tbs at a time until it comes together.) Wrap in plastic wrap and set in the fridge until ready to use. (can be done up to 1 day ahead)

In a large skillet, heat to medium and add oil. Add beef & andouille and saute until beef is browned through. Add bell pepper, onion & spices. Continue to cook until veggies are soft, approximately 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (2-3 minutes). In a small bowl, combine flour & water, then add to the meat mixture and allow to simmer until it creates a thick sauce, approximately 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, mix in green onions and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Remove the dough from fridge and cut into 10 equal pieces. Lightly flour a pastry mat or other rolling surface. Roll out one of the dough pieces, to roughly 6 inches in diameter. Set rolled out dough on the Empanada press, and place 1/4 cup of filling in the middle. Lightly brush the edges of the dough with water, and close the press tightly. Gently scrape off any dough that hangs out the edge, then remove and repeat with the remaining dough. (If you are not using an Empanada press, simply fold the dough over, use a fork to crimp together as close to the filling as possible, then trim off any excess.) When finished, cut 3 small slits in the top of each to allow steam to escape when cooking. If freezing, lay out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once frozen, store in a freezer bag for up to 2 months.

When you are ready to cook (whether fresh or frozen), place pies on a lined baking sheet. Brush the top of the pies with an egg wash, and cook for 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the crust is browned.


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