Almost every culture has their own version of the meat pie, but this Nigerian Meat Pie recipe is among the very best, worldwide, believe you me!
Nigerian Meat Pie Recipe-
For the pie dough-
- 2.2 lb. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1.1 lb. margarine
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup cold water
For the pie filling-
- 2 medium-sized Irish potatoes
- 2 medium-sized carrots
- 500g (1.1 lbs) of minced meat (beef, goat, and lamb are favorites, although you could use chicken, for a less hearty, heavy meat pie)
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 2-3 tbsp. of Vegetable Oil
- 2 Knorr cubes (an absolute must ingredient, African blend of spices and seasonings totally unique)
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 250 ml (1 cup) Cold water
- garlic powder (optional, for those who like that garlicky flavor)
- salt to taste
- 2 large eggs
For the filling-
- Wash and peel the Irish potatoes and the carrots, then chop them into very small (1/4″ to 1/3″) cubes.
- Peel the onions until you get to the tender layers, then wash, slice, and chop them into small chunks.
- Heat the oil in a pot over medium to medium high heat, then add the diced onions. Stir and cook until soft and translucent. Add in the minced meat and vigorously stir. Keep cooking and stirring until the meat is nicely browned.
- Now add in 1 cup of water, thyme, and (crushed) Knorr cubes. Cover the pot. As soon as the contents starts boiling, add in the diced potatoes and carrots, stir and blend all the ingredients together well. Cook until everything is well done, stirring occasionally.
- Dissolve 2 tablespoons of the all-purpose flour in a half cup of cold water and mix that thoroughly into the cooked pie filling. This step is the secret to making a meat pie that comes out of the oven nice and moist. The flour additive keeps the filling from drying up during the baking.
- Now salt the filling to taste, stir the contents well, and turn the burner off. Set the filling aside while you make the pie dough.
For the pie dough:
Note: Nigerians often refer to margarine as butter, and visa versa. But do not substitute butter for real Margarine in this recipe, for two reasons. One, butter is too hard, will not blend into the mixture as easily, and two, even if you use melted butter, or butter softened to room temperature, you simply will not get the desired result of a crumbly texture. Butter is much heavier than Margarine, which will ruin the elasticity of the dough, and produce a baked crust that is too greasy.
- Put the 1 kg (2.2 lb) of flour in a large bowl; add in 2 teaspoons of baking powder and one teaspoon of salt. Resist over-salting, you really don’t want this dough to be very salty. You want – and will get – most of the pie’s unique flavor from the filling. Mix dry ingredients together thoroughly.
- Scoop the margarine in small bits into the bowl of flour. It is important that you make the bits of margarine very small; it will make it much easier to mix and blend them into the flour.
- Using your fingers, mash and mix the margarine into the flour well enough until the whole blended mixture take on a texture of a bowl full of crumbs.
- Now, start adding in cold water in small amounts, and at the same time folding the mix until you have a stiff ball of dough. This takes a surprisingly small amount of water, so be careful not to add too much at a time. Before you know it, you will have a large ball of nicely stiffened dough. To make sure you don’t overdo it, have only one half cup of water at your side during this step.
- Now knead the dough very well, and then put it back in the bowl. Allow it to sit 6 or 7 minutes. This last step is what will give the dough more elasticity
To cut, fill, close, and bake the pies-
- Pre-heat the oven to 170°C (335°F).
- To make sure the meat pies do not stick during baking, take the oven tray you will bake them on, rub Margarine on the insides, and set aside.
- Break open the egg, and beat the yoke and whites together, set it aside for use very soon.
- Take your knead dough, and now knead it some more, then roll the dough out, until you have it down to a thickness of about 5mm (1/5″).
- Now you cut the dough into circles. For this you can use the lid of a small pot, or a pizza pie rolling cutter, or anything else handy in your kitchen that will do the job.
- Once you have all your dough cut into rounds, discard any excess dough.
- Into the center of each dough round, scoop some filling – just enough so that you can easily still close the dough up together without any filling spilling or oozing out. If you over-fill the first one, hey – no worries, you have lots of attempts to go, and soon you will get the proportions just right.
- Now rub the whipped egg mixture on the inside edge of dough where it will meet at the point of roll-up/closure. This step is important, because it is the egg mix that will “glue” the folded pie together and keep it sealed during the baking process.
- You’re almost done. Now you fold up one side of the round dough to meet the other, lay the half circle you now have on one side and, using a fork, crimp the two edges together for a secure, tight seal. Repeat this for all your filling-holding dough rounds.
- Place all the sealed pies on the baking tray, and take a few seconds to admire your culinary artistry (wink), then put the loaded tray into the oven.
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the type and heating capacity of your particular oven. The first time you make Nigerian meat pie, you should check on them in a half an hour, and you may even find that you will need to let them bake for a full hour. You will know the pies are done when they turn a pleasant golden brown color. Since the filling was already cooked prior to baking the pies, it is really just the crust you are concerned with at this final step.
- Serve your Nigerian Meat Pie fresh out of the over nice and hot, or later – they store well, refrigerated, and can be reheated for a tasty meal anytime.