Nigerian Meat Pie
Nigerian meat pie is a hand pie or turnover and is one of the most popular snacks in Nigeria. I am presumptuous enough to say that it is the fastest selling item in any eatery or fast food restaurant in Nigeria. From the rich and expensive meat pie sold in casual dining and fast food restaurants to the cheap and almost empty ones sold in showcases at motor parks and open markets, Nigerian meat pies never fail to satisfy. It is a complete meal that can be taken on the go which is part of what makes it popular.
Nigerian meat pie is made with well-seasoned minced meat and vegetables, it is very filling and quite healthy if you ask me. There are basic ingredients that go into the filling, meat, carrot, Irish potato, dry thyme and seasoning cube. You can add whatever else you have on hand or you want to add so long as it tastes good.
It is similar to the Cornish pasty, the difference is that the filling for the meat pie is cooked before it is used to fill the pie dough while for the Cornish pasty, the filling is added raw. It also closely resembles the delectable Jamaican Patty, but the Jamaican patty does not normally contain any root vegetables.
The dough is light, soft, crispy and sturdy enough to hold the thick and heavy filling. My Easy pie dough (short crust pastry) is perfect for use in the Nigerian meat pie. Sometimes baking powder is added to ensure a lift to the pastry, this is not really necessary, if you follow the rules and tips for my easy pie dough, you will make lovely pie dough with a lot of lift each and every time.
I know Pie dough can be a pain and a lot of people shy away from pastry making because of the pastry dough, so I have made a comprehensive post on easy pie dough. It is unbelievably easy and straight forward. There are lots of tips addressing most of the pitfalls encountered in pie dough making. Follow the instructions and tips and your pie dough will be exceptional time and time again.
To make Nigerian meat pie
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 small onion (1/4 cup, chopped) 350g minced meat 2 small carrots (1/4 cup, chopped) 2 medium Irish potatoes (1/4 cup, chopped) 1 teaspoon dry thyme 1 seasoning cube dry chili pepper salt 1/4 cup water 1 tablespoon flour Easy pie dough 1 egg
line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, brown paper or aluminium foil. Set aside.
Pour oil into a dry sauce or frying pan and place over medium heat.
When hot, add onions and fry until softened.
Increase heat to high and add minced meat, fry until the meat has browned.
Add carrot, potatoes, dry thyme, seasoning cube, dry chili and salt. Stir and add water.
Cook till potato and carrots have softened but are not mushy.
Mix a slurry of flour with 2 tablespoons of water, stir and add to the pie filling, stirring the filling as you add.
Cook till it has thickened well. This will take about one minute.
Take off the heat and spread on a plate to completely cool down.
Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
Crack the egg into a bowl, add 1 teaspoon water or a pinch of salt and beat to mix.
Roll out the dough to 1/8″ to 1/4″ thickness.
Using a pie cutter or a circular plate, cut out circles to your desired size. I like the cute small meat pies.
Place pie filling on half of the circle making sure to leave some space around the edges.
Rub a little egg around the edges.
Fold the empty side of the pastry over the filling to cover it and meet the edge on the other side of the circle to form letter D.
Crimp the outer edges by hand or with the tines of a fork.
If using a pie dough cutter, place the circle on the side with the serrated zigzag edges, put some pie filling and close pressing hard to seal.
Place individual pies on the prepared sheet.
Snipe a hole at the top of the pie or prick with a fork.
Brush the pies with the egg wash.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
- The pie filling should not be watery at all, if it is, add more flour slurry to thicken it further. This is to avoid it making the pastry soggy.
- Ensure the pie filling is completely cool before filling the pie. If it is still warm, it will increase the temperature of the dough, melt the butter and you will end up with a crumbly, oily and soggy pastry.
- The Nigerian meat pie filling can be stored well sealed in a freezer bag or container in the freezer.
- Store pie in freezer and reheat from frozen in the microwave or oven.
- Any excess filling can also be mixed with scrambled egg or used to fill tortilla wraps or pita bread. It can be used to toss pasta.
- Do not use any water releasing vegetable, it will make your pastry soggy.
If you enjoyed the Nigerian meat pie, you will also enjoy the Nigerian fish pie, Nigerian Chicken Pie, Vegetable Pie, Easy Apple Hand Pie, Jamaican beef patty and Nigerian Cornish Pasty. Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.
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