REFERENCE: Amazing Cajun Meat Pie Recipe

This is completely off-topic, but sometimes real-life trumps the artificial priorities created by geeks. I came across the most amazing cajun meat pie recipe, and it turned out amazing!

So, fearful that if I merely saved the link it might some day fail me, instead I am saving the entire recipe here:

http://www.kitchencalculus.com/2008/11/cajun-meat-pies.html

My warmest thanks to Kristopher of Kitchen Calculus

– Peace,
-MV

======================
Cajun Meat Pies

One of the most amazing recipes ever comes from a 1984 cookbook Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen – Cajun Meat Pies.

Now, I have made this recipe for more than 20 years, and over that period of time countless people of Cajun stripe have told me, no, there is no such thing as a cajun meat pie. Others, well they chime in with, oh, it’s just an empanada. A Cornishman friend of mine says it’s just spicy pasty. Maybe. Me, I won’t doubt Chef Prudhomme.

In any case, like all great recipes that become family recipes, this one has changed a bit over time. I can honestly say I have dozens of friends who clamor to be invited this time of year, because they expect me to make Cajun Meat Pies. My son, he’ll eat the leftover fillings for days, just warming it up in a bowl. Frankly most of them are disappointed if of a fall evening they don’t find Cajun Meat Pies on the boards at suppertime. If I’m invited to an autumn or winter party where appetizers are the communal fair, I’m almost hissed at if I don’t arrive with a few dozen mini-pies in tow. (you can make the rounds smaller, say 3″ instead of the 6″ pies for supper) Roundly disappointed, they poke at whatever tasty morsel I do bring, all the while mumbling about how “meat pies would have been good too.” “Maybe next time you could bring meat pies?” “Are meat pies too much trouble, I could help?”
Many who adore them are not spicy food eaters. Now, don’t get me wrong, they are hot. They have a combination of herbs, spices and chili that make them very satisfactory with a spicy/hoppy/full-bodied beer like our Local Hero Twin Lakes and their spectaular Jubilicous. Green salad, with a nice bright dressing (citrus or balsamic) always is a good idea. Champagne goes with meat pies too, believe it or not. Or white wine if you’re seeking less flair for the spice. I also tend to put guacamole and sour cream on the table, for the spice wimps. My daughter uses the pie as a sour cream vector, but the sour cream helps temper things.

You must pay special attention to the spice ratios and amounts – normally, I’m a very approximate cook when it comes to seasoning – but not this recipe. Add the spice, and make sure your other ingredients are exact as well – an extra 1/2 c of potatoes can mess it up, make them wimpy.

Chef Prudhomme’s original slate called for a pastry dough covering, deep fried. After years of trying to get it right, I’ve abandoned all that, and end up using a pizza dough recipe and baking the pies. Also, my filling has diverged a bit from Chef’s, but I stand by it. Still plenty cajun.

Cajun Meat Pies

(start a pizza dough batch rising. see below.)

1/2 lb unsalted butter
1-1/4 c chopped vidalia (sweet) onion
1-1/4 c chopped celery

Saute 5 minutes, medium heat. And then add

3/4 lb ground pork (although, sometimes I just use 1.5 lbs of the local guy’s Meatloaf Mix – beef, pork and veal)

and add the spice payload

1-1/4 T minced garlic
2-1/2 t. Salt
2-1/2 t. ground cayenne pepper (yes, really)
2-1/2 t. sweet paprika
2 t. ground black pepper
1-1/2 t ground white pepper (yes, really)
2 t. dried sweet basil
1-1/2 t. dried thyme leaves

brown pork and seasonings (spice payload) with onion and celery for about 10m. medium heat.

Add

3/4lb. ground beef (if using the meatloaf mix, don’t add this beef)

brown about 6m. Add

2 c. grated red potatoes
2 c. beef stock
1/2 c. water

simmer 8-10m stirring. Makes about 6c. of filling. Keep warm. (but not simmering, other wise the potatoes get mushy.)

Simple Pizza Dough Recipe
I prefer using a nice bready pizza dough, not the Napoli-esque crispy stuff. This is a lot of pizza dough, but then there is a large amount of filling for the pies. You could halve it.

Mix 2-1/4 t. yeast in 1 c. warm (104 degF) water. Let it get foamy (4-10m).

Into a mixing bowl,
add yeast mixture
2 large eggs
1/2 c. olio (good extra virgin olive oil)
2 T. sugar
2 t. salt
1 c. warm water

Add in
7 c. bread flour and knead it well. Let it proof for an hour in a warm spot.

To assemble the pies.

Preheat oven to 425 degF. Use a pizza stone if you have one.

You need to make a bunch of half moon shaped pies. Roll out 1/4 of dough into a big area.. Fairly thin, like a pizza or a stromboli. Cut aprox 6″ circles (a bowl with a thin rim works well) and put about 1/4c. of filling on one side, fold over and pinch with fork. (You can use a little beaten egg or water on the seam to help seal it) Sometimes I sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top, and some more sprinkled paprika before baking them.

Once you have a bunch, bake in the oven until the bread is nice and brown (about 10-15m) But for heaven’s sake, make sure they don’t burn on the bottom or over-bake the bread.

Platter them up. Avoid fighting over the last ones. This is how much I love my friends – Cajun Meat Pie much.
Posted by Kristofer at 2:00 PM

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