I am one person who does not bake. I don’t like kitchen wahala at all. My mother as a retired chef always tells me that a chef must bake at least one pastry or cake. Apart from my unconventional rum cake, I decided to try my hands on the Nigerian meat pie. I went researching using some Nigerian food blogs on how to make this particular type of pie and I really could not relate or understand some recipes and why they looked so similar yet different. So I said to myself “abeg do your own.” I tried making the meat pies the first time, but the crust came out a little dry so with the left over meat pie filling I had, I decided to try making some again. This time it came out perfect and flaky. “What did I do different?” I sat and asked myself. It was the butter, I used a really good baking butter and adjusted the ratio of flour to butter. Say for instance you want to bake the Nigerian meat pie with two cups of flour. Then you would use a stick of butter; where one stick equals half a cup. Secondly, I did not use any baking powder. Yeah, yeah I know no baking powder right? Well I had forgotten to use some, so I quickly asked my friend Shakirat of 9jafoodie.com(please be sure to visit her website as it is beautiful and her recipes are awesome) and she said try to make another mix with baking powder and fold the first one in. It was a practical advice, but my lazy behind was not having it, so I decided to ask my sister Ify, she runs a food blog of her own, eatingnigerian.com(Please be sure to visit her website. Only her pictures alone will send you to foodie heaven) and Ify said “No baking powder is needed for meat pie.” I said “well I want to do a new mix and fold in with baking powder.” “Well yes,” she said “but it is not necessary. I never use baking powder for meat pie.” Okay I decided to take the chance and try it out and viola! My baby girl even had the idea to make one into a dumpling which we tried. Everything turned out perfecto and screaming fabulousity! Ps…my recipe is a little long because I tried to explain each step. Please patiently follow the recipe and you will not regret it.
- 3cups of all purpose sifted flour.
- I tsp of baking powder(this is optional. I did not use any)
- 1½ sticks of cold butter which is approximately 170.11grams, 0.17kgs or ¾ cups of butter(if using salted butter; then no need for the extra salt in the crust)(Use a really good baking butter. It makes a huge difference)
- 1/4-1tsp. of salt(Optional since it depends on if the butter is salted or not)(taste the dough to make sure)
- ¼ tsp of nut meg
- 1 cup of cold cold evaporated milk or cold water to mix(you may do half cold water and half cold milk). I like to use milk when I make mine, and I have also used only cold water.
- 2 eggs (beaten for egg wash)
- A small bowl of water to seal the dough
- 1lb ground beef (any ground or shredded meat of your choice)
- one chopped red or green bell pepper
- One chili pepper
- 1 tsp Cameroon or powdered chili
- a handful of diced onions
- 2 fingers of carrots(diced)
- ⅓ cup of carrots
- 2 large diced potatoes or 6 tiny ones. (boil until aldente)
- 3 tbsps of flour mixed with warm water
- 1tbsp of cooking oil
- 1cup meat stock or water
- 1bouillon cube
- For the crust:
- Sift flour and mix all your dry ingredients along with butter until the butter has combined well with the flour and looks kind of grainy. The dry mix will also have a kind of an off white color. In little increments, pour in milk(and water if using any) and gently knead flour together until it forms a soft dough(Do not knead for too long and eye ball the liquids in order not to use too much). The dough should have a little stretchy feel once it has formed. Wrap it in a cling wrap or grocery bag and refrigerate for the dough to rest. (The longer your dough rests in the refrigerator, the better the crust)
- Dice all your peppers and onions. (Removing all the seeds from the peppers). In a sauce pan sauté the ground beef until it goes from pink to a light brown color. Drain off any excess oil and set aside. (you may skip the step of draining the oil from the meat and just add in your onions, peppers and veggies) In 1tbsp of cooking oil, add the vegetables and powdered chili except the potatoes and sauté for about 2 minutes, I cook it in the filling mix[/i]). Pour the meat into the vegetable mix. Season with salt, curry, thyme. Check for seasonings and add your meat stock or water in little increments until the liquids is at the same level as the mix. Then add in your potatoes. Check for seasoning again and add some bouillon if needed. Cover and reduce heat and let cook for about 5-10 minutes. Check to make sure the potatoes have softened. Check once again for seasonings; stir in flour and water mix in little increments to get the mix to your desired thickness, set aside and work on your dough/crust. Break the eggs into a bowl, whisk and set aside. Then pre heat oven to 325 degrees
- Sprinkle some flour onto a clean and flat work top. Cut out some of the formed dough with your hands and roll with a rolling pin until flat. With a round cookie cutter, cut out the shape you desire (I used the cover of a small pot and just press down until the shape was cut out). With a brush or finger tips rub some water on the edge of the cut out dough that faces you. Then
- generously pile the filling onto the dough circle(The Nigerian meat pie is nothing without a generous helping of the filling). Cover the dough carefully and score the edges carefully with a fork or your thumb; then place it onto a non stick baking sheet(if you don't have a nonstick baking sheet, use any baking sheet that has been slightly oiled or buttered. You may even use some foil wrappers to line your pan. Lightly rub the egg wash on each pie and bake for about 30-40minutes or until cooked through and golden brown (I sometimes use a lower temperature between 250 and 275 for about 40minutes or until cooked and golden brown) Once cooked, let the pies rest before serving. It can be used as a starter or a snack
!I also used butter for this recipe. If you cannot find a good pastry butter; then margarine works fine.
!for sealing, use a mix of water and flour. This helps to seal the pie.