I for got to add butter in my first recipe so i wrote this one instead
The meat pie is a very versatile dish because it can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner; as a snack or a meal. Really, you can look at this pie as a one stop shop to fulfilling your dietary needs – there’s protein, vegetables, dairy and carbs, all in one convenient nifty delicious package! Surprisingly outside of Ghana, our meat pies are not as popular as they should be, and a delicious authentic meat pie is hard to come by. There are many versions and varieties of pie’s out there but there’s nothing like a freshly made meat pie that reminds you of home!
If you are anything like me, you are daunted by the thought of actually making your own meat pies. I thought my first attempt would result in a hot inedible mess that would shame me forever but to my surprise they turned out perfectly! The trick to making meat pies is that it is more of a ‘process’ of remembering certain key steps instead of actually memorizing a recipe. So to make sure that you have a completely ‘uh-oh’ free time when making your pies I will list out the most important steps here.
Make sure that your butter/margarine is cold. I recommend cutting your butter into 1-inch thick chunks and then placing that in the freezer till you are ready to get started.
DO NOT overwork your dough. You want to keep the butter as chunky as possible so that you get a really delicious flaky crust.
Another helpful hint is that the amount of butter you use should be roughly 1:2 with the flour plus a little bit more. What I mean by this is, if you don’t have your recipe on hand, as long as you remember to use 1 part butter + a bit extra to 2 parts flour your pie dough will turn out great.
When rolling out your dough, always place the unused pieces in the fridge till you are ready to work with them. This will help keep your butter solid.
My last tip is concerning the filling. It’s not so much a tip as a recommendation, there is no one specific recipe or combination of ingredients that are meant to go into a meat pie, I have seen fillings using ground beef, corned beef, tuna etc.( as far as I know…if I am wrong please correct me!!!). So if you are cooking for yourself use flavors, spices and ingredients that taste good to YOU, and feel free to experiment with different flavors and fillings.
- In the instructions below I’m giving you the recipe I used in this particular meat pie, I don’t think peas are traditional to meat pies but that is what I had a craving for! Again the possibilities are endless and you can choose to go with whatever you enjoy.
(This makes about 15 medium-sized pies. You can cut down or
double the ingredients depending on how many meat pies you want to end
up with and how large you make them)
Here are the ingredients for the pastry
300g Butter (cut into 1” cubes and cold)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp nutmeg (optional)
A few tbsp of COLD water tip: drop a few cubes of ice in the water to keep it super cold
Milk/egg wash (I personally like to add a few tsp of milk to an egg and whisk together)
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion diced
1 cup frozen green peas
1 maggi cube
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp powdered pepper
Salt & pepper to taste
Pre-heat your oven to 400F/200C.
Sift flour, salt & nutmeg (if using) together.
Add chunks of butter to flour mix, and using a metal spatula, start to ‘cut’ the butter through the flour. You can use your fingers instead of a spatula, but you have to make sure you work quickly and that the heat from your fingers does not melt the butter.
Once your flour and butter combination starts looking sandy or grainy, with some largish chunks of butter (check picture) you can start adding COLD water 1 tablespoon at a time.
As you add in the water, start to bring the dough together with your hands.
Add just enough water to form a ball that is not too dry.
Wrap your dough, press down on it slightly to flatten it into a disc-like shape and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
As the dough rests, you can start to make your filling.
Start out with 1 – 2 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add your diced onions and sauté for a few minutes until onions are translucent( about 5-7 mins)
Turn your heat up to medium-high and add the ground beef. As the meat starts to cook add your seasonings. Continue to cook until meat loses all redness.
Add your peas and turn heat back down. Allow filling to cook for a few minutes and then it is ready to go!
Remember to taste to make sure your flavors are where they need to be.
Now that your filling is done, it’s time to roll out your dough. This is the part that takes the most practice and patience. Just remember that you are not going to get it perfect the first time, or the second, or the third time….i think you catch my drift. It takes some work to get it right, so DON’T get frustrated!! Your pies will still taste delicious even if they have a funny shape J
Cut your disc of dough into 4 equal pieces. Put 3 pieces back into the fridge
Lightly flour your working surface, and also flour your rolling-pin ( I know not everyone may have a rolling-pin, and I have been known to substitute a fairly large empty bottle for a rolling-pin) *Make sure you have excess flour within hands reach, you will need to properly flour your surface and pin to make sure no dough sticks*
Starting at the center of your disc, roll the dough outward towards the edge. Go back to the center and roll in the opposite direction. Keep rotating your disc of dough as you roll, this helps keep the dough from sticking to your surface and also helps keep the circular shape.
Once the dough has been rolled out to your desired thickness, it is time to start filling your pies! If you want consistent looking perfect pies, you can use a bowl to indent the dough and then cut out your circles. Put together the leftover dough to be rolled out in the next batch.
Now that your circles are completed, put a few tablespoons of filling towards one edge of your circle, but leave enough space between the filling and the edge for your egg wash. Try to put a generous amount without over filling your pie.
Dip a pastry brush in your egg wash and run it all around the edge of your circle.
Gently pick up the side of your dough without filling and flip it over to meet the opposite edge.
Press down on the edges of your dough to seal your filling. Using the back side of a fork, press against the sealed edges to secure them. Also use your fork to poke 2 or 3 sets of wholes in your pie.
Finally brush all over with your egg wash and place pie on the baking tray.
Repeat steps 1 through 8 for all your pies. Place in the oven add back for 18-20 minutes, or until your pies are golden brown.
A few extra notes: Making pies is an easy but very time intensive process, so make sure that you have enough time to make all the different components of the pie. A few tips that can help the whole process go by quicker:
Make ahead and freeze: Most of the components for these pies can be made ahead and frozen till you are ready to use them. The dough can be refrigerated; the filling can be made and frozen. You can even decide to make a huge batch, bake some and freeze the rest prior to baking. Whenever you have a pie craving, thaw out as many as you’d like and then bake!
Use prepared pie crust. Depending on where you live, you may have access to pre-packaged pie crust. While I do prefer to make m