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Nigerian Meat Pies Recipe

Why It Works

  • Grating chilly butter into the flour makes it simpler to rapidly mix them with out overworking the dough.
  • Refrigerating the dough after shaping and once more after forming the meat pies ensures it’s absolutely chilled and relaxed previous to baking.
  • Entire wheat flour provides taste and tenderness to the dough, whereas all-purpose flour supplies energy.
  • Docking the tops of the pies earlier than baking permits steam to flee.

Meat pies, or beef hand pies―flaky pastries full of a curry-spiced combination of floor beef, onions, potatoes, and carrots―are widespread at residence and as road snacks in Nigeria. Rising up in Warri, positioned on the southern coast of Nigeria, my household would purchase them from quick-service eating places reasonably than make them at residence. They have been tasty sufficient, but it surely wasn’t till I went to Lagos on vacation that I fell in love with the meat pies at Mr. Biggs, the preferred quick-service restaurant chain in Nigeria. 

At Mr. Biggs, you might get essentially the most scrumptious meat pies, rooster pies, sausage rolls, and the most effective jelly doughnuts ever (I’ve not had a single doughnut that comes shut, however I digress), all of which have been childhood favorites of mine. Their meat pies encompass a crumbly, flaky crust that’s filled with an fragrant filling of meat, carrots, potatoes and curry powder, and so they’re at all times served scorching. 

Launched to Nigeria throughout British colonial rule, meat pies resemble Cornish pasties and Jamaican beef patties in look however really differ in some ways. The pastry for meat pies, identical as with Jamaican beef patties, is a shortcrust made with chilly water, not scorching water, which is conventional for Cornish pasties. Butter or margarine are the fat of alternative in meat pies, in contrast to suet in Jamaican patties and lard or white shortening in Cornish pasties. Lastly, the filling for Cornish pasties is raw previous to stuffing, whereas the filling for Nigerian meat pies is cooked beforehand.

Severe Eats / Maureen Celestine

In relation to making meat pies at residence, there are two major components to organize: the meat filling and the shortcrust pastry. Each of those could be made forward of time to assist shorten the method. For the shortcrust pastry, I exploit a mixture of all-purpose and entire wheat flour, which contributes to the tenderness of the dough. As well as, a ratio of two elements flour to 1 half butter by weight ensures a crumbly, flaky texture. If you happen to aren’t in a position to make the pastry from scratch, you’ll be able to substitute with store-bought puff pastry. For the filling, it’s conventional to make use of floor beef, nevertheless it’s equally scrumptious with chopped, shredded, or floor rooster or finely-chopped mushrooms. The inclusion of inexperienced bell pepper provides a contemporary, vegetal taste and aroma, and seasoning the combination with Nigerian-style curry powder delivers heat and barely spicy notes. 

Whereas this recipe yields particular person hand pies which can be good for snacking, you’ll be able to fairly simply convert it to make one massive pot pie that may be served household fashion by spooning the filling right into a medium ovenproof dish and topping it with a single piece of rolled-out dough. No matter kind you determine on, take pleasure in your meat pie with a salad alongside.

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