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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Our Best Bites Natchitoches Meat Pies

I actually answered that we were eating Sweeney Todd's Meat Pies when my family asked what was for dinner. Disclaimer: No humans were harmed in the preparation of this yummy meal.

Oh, and per the cookbook, natchitoches is pronounced: nack + it + esh

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper (I used 1/2 jar of roasted red peppers I had leftover from another meal), chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
2+ t Creole or Cajun seasoning (I used 4 t)
Tabasco sauce, to taste (I used 1/2 t)
1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
Pie Crust, your favorite recipe or my favorite recipe follows the instructions
1 egg
1/4 c water

In a large skillet brown the sausage and beef. The cook book suggests cooking both together, halfway through to drain the fat and add the chopped veggies then. I didn't want the veggies to absorb the rest of the fat not yet cooked out. So I browned each meat separately as they don't cook at the same pace. I drained the fat and removed one from the pan and then cooked the second, drained. I then put both cooked meat and all the veggies back in the pan. Cook until the veggies are tender and onions translucent.

Add Creole or Cajun seasoning and Tabasco Sauce. Add beef broth, bring mixture to a boil and then cook for about 20 minutes, or until the liquid has all evaporated.

Divide pie crust into 4-8 sections (depending on how many meat pies you want and the size of pie you want.) Roll out each pie crust into a circle. Scoop about 1/3 c of the filling, if making 8 pies, onto one half of the crust. If you have counter space, you can lay out all the crust circles and use up all the filling before you start forming the pies. Fold the crust over and seal the edges. I pinched and then used a fork for a pattern.

Whisk the egg and water together and then brush over the pies.

Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes (until golden brown). I put tin foil on the cookie sheet to both avoid the pies sticking to the pan and to help in cooking a flakier crust.

These are best fresh from the oven, not so good reheated (they get soggy.) The cookbook says that once you form the pies, if you know you are not going to eat them all, skip the step of brushing the egg/water mix atop, place the extra pies in the freezer until frozen solid, then put into a freezer bag (I like to use my food sealer) and they can be cooked when needed at 400 for 40-45 minutes. Not a bad idea...

Flaky Pie Crust

***when I made this meal, I used the suggested recipe from their cookbook. I didn't like it so much - way too much shortening for me, I could actually taste the shortening. So this is my favorite pie crust recipe, plus it is from my Great Good Food cookbook which is one of my favorite cookbooks and it is full of healthy recipes (in fact, I think I am going to start experimenting with more recipes from that book next, watch out!***

2 2/3 c flour
1/4 t salt
4 T sugar
1/2 c canola oil
6 T ice water
1 t skim milk

Mix dry ingredients
Add oil and mix with pastry blender (or your hands) until becomes crumbly mix
Sprinkle with water and milk and blend with pastry blender (or hands).
This will make two full pie crusts.


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