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Nigerian Meat Pie
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Recipe courtesy of Gabi Odebode for Food Network Kitchen

Nigerian Meat Pies

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 12 pies
In Ghana, Nigeria and other West African countries we call these savory crescent-shaped pastries meat pies, though around the world they are also known as hand pies, empanadas and dumplings. Most of the time, we serve them as appetizers or a snack before lunch or dinner. In Nigeria, meat pie is made with ground beef, carrots and potatoes that are sauteed with herbs and spices and stuffed in a buttery dough pocket. My version is similar, but I use mixed vegetables like corn, peas, carrots and string beans (I love how the corn adds sweetness) and I omit potatoes, which can sometimes make a meat pie almost too filling for a snack or appetizer.





Special equipment:
a 4-inch round cutter; a pastry brush
  1. For the filling: Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until it starts to brown and release a little liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring, until the onions are slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mixed vegetables and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low. Stir in the bouillon powder, curry powder, granulated garlic, thyme and cayenne pepper, if using, and continue to cook until the meat browns completely and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust with salt if needed. Allow to cool. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  2. For the dough: Add the flour, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a large bowl and mix with your hands or a whisk. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture is crumbly. Using a tablespoon, gradually add 1/2 cup warm water while kneading until a dough forms. The dough should not be sticky or dry; adjust with a teaspoon of water and knead if the dough is dry, or dust with 1/4 teaspoon flour and knead if it is too sticky. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest until it has a slightly softer feel, about 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle the parchment with flour. Whisk the egg in a small bowl with a fork or whisk to make an egg wash.
  4. Lightly dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour to prevent sticking. Unwrap the dough, cut it in half and re-wrap one half. Roll out the other half into a 10-inch square. Use a 4-inch round cutter to cut out circles from the dough. Re-roll the dough and cut additional circles. Add about 1 tablespoon of the filling to the middle of each dough circle. Dip a brush in the egg wash and brush the edges of the dough. Fold the dough over the filling so the edges align to form a crescent shape. Seal the meat pies using the tip of a metal fork to press the edges down. Place the pies on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. (Save any leftover filling for another use.) Brush the pies all over with the egg wash. Use a toothpick to poke 3 small holes on top of each pie for ventilation while baking.
  5. Bake the pies until the crusts are golden, glossy and flaky with a bit of crunch on the edges, about 20 minutes. Allow them to cool until warm to the touch.