Monday, June 15, 2009

Meet the pie

Well, I was finally cooking something new again last night — meat pies with spicy buttermilk dip from Food & Wine. We had some ground beef in the freezer to use up, and this was one of the few non-burger/meatball recipes I could find that also didn't involve deep-frying. I felt a bit like Cher in Mermaids making hors d'oeuvres for dinner, but hey, that's not so bad…

Natchitoches Meat Pies with Spicy Buttermilk Dip
adapted from Food & Wine

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup ice water


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 pound ground beef chuck

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 onion, finely diced

1/4 green bell pepper, finely diced

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme

1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice (I didn't have allspice, so added a dash each of nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper)

Hot sauce, preferably Tabasco

1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk


1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


Hot sauce, preferably Tabasco

1 scallion, thinly sliced
  1. Make the dough: In a food processor, combine the flour and salt. With the machine on, add the oil and process until the flour is moistened. Sprinkle on the ice water and pulse 5 or 6 times, just until the dough is moistened. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead just until smooth. Form the dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the filling: In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the ground beef and cook over moderately high heat until no pink remains, breaking up the meat with a spoon, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper and bay leaf and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cayenne, cloves, thyme, coriander and allspice and cook over moderately low heat for 3 minutes. Season with salt and hot sauce and let cool.
  3. Discard the bay leaf. Transfer the filling to a food processor and pulse until chopped.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a floured work surface, roll out each disk of dough to a 12-inch round. Using a 4-inch biscuit cutter, stamp out 6 rounds from each piece of dough. Brush the edges of the rounds with some of the egg wash and place a rounded tablespoon of filling to one side of each circle. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and press to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork. Transfer the pies to the baking sheet and brush with the egg wash. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  5. Make the buttermilk dip: In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, celery salt and lemon juice. Season with salt and hot sauce. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the scallion. Serve the pies with the buttermilk dip.
I cut the recipe in half for the dip part because we didn't have a whole lot of sour cream and I figured we wouldn't eat all of them anyway. BUT, I'm pretty sure the sour cream was too sour (i.e. bad!). The whole thing tasted skunky, so I kept adding things to try to fix it: more lemon, a little lime, some dill, more salt… it never was quite right. But the pies themselves had great flavor. The boy thought they were a bit on the dry side, but I happen to disagree. I think the proper dip would have made them perfect.

1 comment:

  1. EMPANADAS rule!!!! Yummy but a lot of work.