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Natchitoches Meat Pies



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Natchitoches Meat Pies

Lasyone's Meat Pie Kitchen - Natchitoches, LA
Gourmet January 1996

6 ounces ground beef
6 ounces ground pork

1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
4 cups plus 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 cup milk
Vegetable oil for deep-frying

In a large heavy skillet combine beef, pork, scallions, 3/4 teaspoon salt,
and spices and cook over moderate heat, stirring and breaking up lumps,
until meat is just cooked through (do not overcook).
Sift 2 1/2 tablespoons flour over meat mixture and stir well. Remove
skillet from heat and cool filling to room temperature. Drain off any fat.
Into a bowl sift together remaining 4 cups flour, remaining 2 teaspoons
salt, and baking powder. With a pastry blender or your fingertips blend
in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg and milk
and toss until incorporated. Form dough into a ball.
On a floured surface with a floured rolling pin roll one third of dough
into a 14-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. With a 5 1/2-inch round
cutter cut out 4 rounds and stack between sheets of wax paper. (My
friend Mrs. Cloutier says she uses the top of an old coffee pot as
a cutter.) Roll and cut out 8 more rounds in same manner with
remaining dough, stacking rounds between sheets of wax paper.
Put a heaping tablespoon of filling slightly off-center on each pastry
round. With fingertips dipped in water dampen edge of pastries and
fold over to form a half circle, enclosing filling.
With a fork dipped in water crimp edges of pastries and prick tops
of pies once or twice.
In a deep heavy kettle (10 inches in diameter) heat 1 1/2 inches oil to
350 degrees F. on a deep-fat thermometer and fry pies, 3 at a time,
turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Transfer pies as fried with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Makes 12 pies (cocktail-size meat pies can be made by cutting
smaller rounds and using less filling per pie).

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