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Natchitoches Meat Pies with Spicy Buttermilk Dip
© Anna Williams

Natchitoches Meat Pies with Spicy Buttermilk Dip

  • ACTIVE: 1 HR
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 40 MIN
  • SERVINGS: Makes 12 pies
  • MAKE-AHEAD

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.

Dough

  1. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 teaspoons salt
  3. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  4. 1/2 cup ice water

Filling

  1. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1/2 pound ground beef chuck
  3. 1 large garlic clove, minced
  4. 1/2 onion, finely diced
  5. 1/4 green bell pepper, finely diced
  6. 1 bay leaf
  7. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  10. 1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme
  11. 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  12. 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  13. Salt
  14. Hot sauce, preferably Tabasco
  15. 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk

Buttermilk Dip

  1. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  2. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  3. 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
  5. 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  6. Salt
  7. Hot sauce, preferably Tabasco
  8. 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. 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. 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.

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