My F&W
quick save (...)
Natchitoches-Style Meat Pies
© Kana Okada

Natchitoches-Style Meat Pies

  • ACTIVE: 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: Makes 16 meat pies

Chef Way At Besh Steak, John Besh prepares mini meat pies with house-made dough and a rich, spiced filling of beef, pork and chicken liver sautéed in duck fat.

Easy Way A meat-pie shortcut for the home cook: Use store-bought empanada dough instead of making your own. The cooks at Besh Steak use duck fat to sauté the meat filling. At home, butter is a perfectly fine substitute and much easier to find.

  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  3. 1/2 pound ground pork
  4. 1/4 pound chicken livers, trimmed and finely chopped
  5. 1 onion, finely chopped
  6. 1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
  7. 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  8. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  10. 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
  11. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  12. 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  13. 16 empanada wrappers, thawed (see Note)
  14. Vegetable oil, for frying
  15. Ranch dressing mixed with chopped cilantro, for serving
  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the beef, pork and chicken livers and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, 8 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, cayenne, cloves and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 6 minutes. Tilt the pan and spoon off the fat. Add the broth and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Scrape the filling into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, until chilled.
  2. Arrange 8 empanada wrappers on a work surface. Lightly brush the edges with water and spoon half of the meat filling into the centers. Fold in half, pressing out any air, and seal; crimp the edges with a fork. Transfer the pies to a wax paper–lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
  3. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place a rack on top. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 375°. Fry the meat pies in batches, turning once, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Drain on the rack and serve with the ranch dressing.
Make Ahead

The meat filling can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.


Empanada wrappers are available in the freezer section at most supermarkets; look for the Goya brand.

VARIATION To bake the meat pies, arrange them on 2 parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Prick each pie with a fork, brush the tops with beaten egg and bake at 425° for about 20 minutes, until golden.

Suggested Pairing

Rich, spicy Washington state Merlot.



Average Rating



Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    You might also like
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.

    Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.

    Join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers and epicurean insiders at the culinary world's most spectacular weekend, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 19-21.