A few weeks ago, I shared a recipe for one of the snacks I enjoyed in elementary school, roasted peanuts. When it comes to foods which I enjoyed from the school tuck shop, meat pies and sausage rolls were among my favorites. I love to make meat pies because they can be enjoyed as an appetizer, snack or a light lunch option.
If you have by any chance lived on my side of the world in Zambia or other countries on the African continent, you will recognize just how close this recipe is to what you have eaten before. It is very simple, a soft flour dough filled with beef, potatoes and onions in gravy. You might have also eaten meat pies from countries such as Britain and Australia. The recipes for those kind of meat pies are very similar with a slight variation in the filling which most of the times includes carrots and celery sticks. I have also eaten the French version which includes mushrooms and use pork instead of beef. A word of caution, meat pies might look like empanadas but they are different. Empanadas are sometimes fried and tend to have mixture of sweet and savory with a complex mixture of flavors whereas meat pies are strictly savory with very few ingredients.
Recipe Makes 6-8 Prep. Time: 30 min Server: 6-8 people
6 oz. beef
½ onion (medium size)
1 golden potato (medium size)
¼ oz. minced parsley
1 ½ tbs. flour
½ tsp salt (to taste)
¼ tsp. b. pepper
2 tbs. cooking oil
1 cup beef stock
2 cups all-purpose flour
8 oz. margarine
¼ tsp. salt
2 tbs. flour for (rolling board and pin)
1 egg white (for brushing)
-Starting with the filling, dice beef into 1”x 1 “cubes. Dice potatoes into 1’’x 1’’ cubes and potatoes into 1/2″ cubes. Mince parsley.
-Add salt and pepper to beef cubes. Mix well then add flour and mix well again.
-Heat cooking oil in skillet at medium temperature. When hot, add onions and sauté for 1 min then add potatoes.
-Sauté for another 2 minutes then add beef cubes and stir constantly for 5 minutes then add ½ cup of the beef stock.
-Scrape the bottom of the pan and allow to come to a boil then add the remaining of the stock, cover the skillet and boil for 12-15 minutes to reduce the gravy.
-Occasionally scrape the bottom of the skillet while the filling is boiling to avoid burning.
-After 12-15 minutes, remove the filling from the fire and allow it to cool down to room temperature.
-Preheat oven to 350° F.
-Sift flour into mixing bowl. Add salt and mix well.
-Add margarine mix either by hand or using a mixer. As soon as the flour and margarine are well mixed stop. Do not over work the dough as this will harden the crust.
-Place dough on working surface and mix the dough into a round shape. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and start working with one part.
-Sprinkle four onto working surface and rolling pin if dough is sticky.
-Roll out dough to a diameter of about 9’’. Using a saucer to measure, cut out 6”
-Fill the center of the cut out dough with 1 ½ to 2 tbs. of the filling.
-Flip one half of the dough over the other half and press to close the edges.
-Using a fork, press about 1’’ of the edges to completely close the meat pie.
-Brush the top of the meat pie with the egg white. Place the meat pie on a greased baking pan.
-Repeat the steps above to roll out and make subsequent pieces of meat pies. Gather the remaining pieces from the cut out, mix them together and roll them out as well.
-Place baking pan in the middle of the oven and bake meat pies for 20-25 minutes or until the edges become golden brown.*
-Remove baking pan from the oven when the pies are ready, allow them to cool slightly. They are best served warm. Enjoy as a snack or a light lunch item.