Empanadas, which are elaborate Spanish turnovers filled with chopped meat, usually beef,
chopped fruit such as peaches or raisins, vegetables, olives and sometimes hard-boiled
eggs, have long been a specialty of Galicia in the northwest area of Spain.
Natchitoches, La., is known for its meat pies, which are turnovers filled with ground
meat and seasonings. The original Louisiana version is believed to have been developed
by the Natchitoches Indians and improved upon by the Spanish. Although most cultures had
meat pies, many dating from the Middle Ages, one of the most famous in Louisiana is the
salmis or game pie usually served at Christmas.
- ½ pound ground meat
- ½ pound ground pork
- ½ cup cooking oil
- ½ cup chopped onions
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
- ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 tbsp diced garlic
- 2 cups beef stock (see recipe)
- 2 9-inch pie shells
- 1 egg
- ½ cup water
- salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a heavy-bottomed sauté
pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Sauté beef and pork
until golden brown, stirring constantly, until all liquid has evaporated.
Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté three
to five minutes or until vegetables are wilted. This should cook
slowly for about one hour, adding beef stock to mixture to prevent
sticking. Season to taste using salt and pepper. Remove from heat
and allow to cool. Roll pie dough into circles and cut into halves.
Spoon a generous portion of the cooked meat mixture into the pie
shells. Brush a little egg-wash around the edge of the shell, fold
over and press the edges with a fork similar to apple turnover.
Place on a greased cookie sheet or pan. Make small slits in dough
to vent steam, egg-wash entire pie and bake thirty minutes at 400
degrees. Pie may also be deep-fried.