How to Make Natchitoches Meat Pies
Have you seen the movie Steel Magnolias? Of course, you have! In case you’re wondering, Ousier is my favorite. Also, this Meat Pie recipe “freezes beautifully”.
Well, the movie was filmed in Natchitoches, Louisiana. To help you out, it’s pronounced like KNACK-UH-DISH. Natchitoches is a charming town in Northern Louisiana that is well known for its Meat Pies. Some of my mom’s family hails from this area & every Christmas we make Natchitoches Meat Pies.
What is a Natchitoches Meat Pie?
If you’re wanting to know how to make Natchitoches Meat Pies, you’re probably wondering what exactly is a meat pie. You’re in luck because I did a little research. A Natchitoches Meat Pie consists of a crescent-shaped flaky dough filled with a variety of meats & spices. Traditionally, the pie contains ground beef & pork. The meats are cooked low & slow with green onions, salt, pepper & cayenne. Then you get your deep fryer ready, fry them up & enjoy.
A Natchitoches Meat Pie is very similar to a Spanish beef empanada. This makes sense as Natchitoches, Louisiana is located on the Old Spanish trail & connects with the historic Natchez Trace. Natchitoches was also a French outpost that traded heavily with Spanish controlled Mexico. No doubt there was a sharing of culture, food & ideas that created this Northern Louisiana delicacy.
Why the Christmas Tradition of Meat Pies?
Christmas is the season for Natchitoches Meat Pies, but why? According to my Aunt, her grandmother worked at a clothing store, so Christmas Eve was the only time she could make the Meat Pies. Her daughter, my Grandmother (or Mammy as we call her) then continued the tradition of Christmas Eve Meat Pies.
The deep fryer ran & ran as hoards of family & friends ventured over to dine on some Meat Pies. It’s a well-known fact that our family makes Natchitoches Meat Pies every year As a small child I ate them. As I grew older, I helped roll the dough & seal them. As an adult, I make my own for my family.
Want to try making them for your family? Here’s our recipe for How to Make Natchitoches Meat Pies
Ebarb Family Recipe
Meat Pie Pastry
- 4 1/2 cups of flour
- 3 heaping teaspoons of baking powder
- 1/2 cup of shortening
- 1 egg
- milk to make dough soft
- 3:1 ratio of very lean ground pork to ground beef
- Chopped white & green onions
- Bell Pepper
- Red Pepper
- Garlic (if desired)
- All-Purpose Flour
Brown the meat with chopped onions, green onions, celery & bell pepper. Add parsley, red pepper, salt, pepper & garlic to taste. After the meat is browned, add enough flour to bind the meat. Cool completely before assembling the pies.
To assemble, roll out the dough on lightly floured surface. We use a bowl to cut a circle of dough. Place cooled filling on one side of the pastry round. Using a small amount of water, dampen the edge of the dough with your fingertips. Fold the dough over & prick the dough with a fork to fully seal.
Heat a deep fryer with peanut oil to 350 degrees. Fry until both sides are golden brown. Also, the meat pies freeze very well. No need to thaw before frying a frozen meat pie.
THE VERDICT – How to Make Natchitoches Meat Pies
We are Really Into Meat Pies. Think I’m kidding? This year, my Aunt’s home was badly damaged during Hurricane Harvey. She has no working kitchen but she still made Natchitoches Meat Pies on Christmas Eve. Now, that’s some dedication to tradition & they look damn good too!
We live in Oregon, which is far from Louisiana. Even though we can’t be together with all of our family on Christmas, we can enjoy the food & love that binds us.
I know Jessica enjoys her Grandmother’s Eggnog every year, but what are your family’s Christmas traditions?
Also, check out Cane River Cuisine if you’re interested in more Northern Louisiana food. I’ve heard my Maw Maw made the cream puffs so many times the pages eventually stuck together.