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Natchitoches Meat Pies with Spicy Buttermilk Dip

Natchitoches, Louisiana, is renowned for its meat pies. Kelly English serves his mini version with a dipping sauce that combines two quintessential Southern ingredients: buttermilk and hot sauce.


slideshow  Southern Comfort Foods


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: Makes 12 pies

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  • 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

  • Salt

  • 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

  • Salt

  • Hot sauce, preferably Tabasco

  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced


  1. Make the buttermilk dip 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. Make the buttermilk dip 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. Make the buttermilk dip Discard the bay leaf. Transfer the filling to a food processor and pulse until chopped.
  4. Make the buttermilk dip 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.

Suggested Pairing

Natchitoches, located southeast of Shreveport, Louisiana, isn't exactly a wine destination, but these flavorful pies go great with a juicy red like a Sangiovese from the Texas Hill Country near Austin, a few hundred miles west.

Contributed By Photo © Anna Williams Published July 2009

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