Natchitoches Meat Pies

One of the most popular pies in America comes from the city of Natchitoches, Louisiana. It is a turnover and it is celebrated farther afield than the state limits. It is made with ground meat, is quite spicy, and is deep-fried. The name of that town, incidentally, is pronounced NACK-i-tosh.

Ingredients

  • Pastry for Deep-Fried Turnovers
  • 3 tablespoons bacon fat or corn oil
  • ¾ cup finely chopped onion
  • teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • ½ pound ground lean beef
  • ¾ pound ground lean pork
  • 1 cup finely chopped scallion(s)
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped hot red or green pepper
  • Corn, peanut, or vegetable oil for deep-frying

Method

  • Prepare the pastry and let stand, covered, while preparing the filling.
  • Heat the bacon fat or oil in a skillet or saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until wilted. Add the beef and pork and cook, stirring and chopping down with the side of a metal spoon to break up any lumps. Cook until the meat loses its raw look. Add the scallions, parsley, salt, black pepper, and hot pepper. Let cool.
  • On a lightly floured board, roll out one quarter of the dough at a time to the thickness of about inch or less.
  • With a cutter 6 inches in diameter, cut out circles. Use a lid of a saucepan or a saucer as a guide.
  • Gather the scraps of dough and quickly form a ball. Roll out this dough to the same thickness, and cut it into 6-inch circles. Continue rolling and cutting circles until all the dough has been used.
  • Fill one-half of each circle of dough with about 3 tablespoons filling, leaving a margin for sealing when the dough is folded. Moisten all around the edges of the circle of dough. Fold the unfilled half of dough over to enclose the filling. Press around the edges with the tines of a fork to seal well.
  • Heat the oil to 375 degrees in a skillet or deep-fryer. Add the meat pies, 4 to 6 at a time, without crowding. Cook, turning the pies in the hot fat until nicely browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Drain well on absorbent paper towels. Serve hot.