The famous Nigerian meat pie is buttery and flaky, filled with savory meat sauce. This meat pie will leave you longing for more.
WHY IS IT CALLED MEAT PIE
Meat pie, as it is well-known in West Africa, is everyone's snack time favorite. It's also popular in parts of Europe and South Africa. The Nigerian meat pie is not the same as what Latin America calls Empanadas or the Caribbeans' beef patties. This West African meat pie is more subtle regarding its flavor compared to the latter.
The aroma of the buttery, flaky crust and the filling (party on the inside) of the pie will lure you. I am one of those who usually consumes about half a dozen within a few hours if my husband and son don't get a hold of it before me. Please, don't throw the carbs bible at me because there will be no looking back once you try it.
THE INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE MEAT PIE
The list might be lengthy, but the main ingredients to have on hand for this healthy Nigerian meat pie are:
- All-purpose flour: You can use bleached or unbleached flour to make the pastry.
- Cold Butter: This is an essential component in making a buttery and flaky pie. You want cold butter to create a barrier for air pockets between the pastry and the filling. So when you are working the dough, it doesn't bleed into the flour; it stays solid and disperses into layers while it bakes.
- Cold Water: ice-cold water, to be exact. Using cold water helps the butter to remain solid, reducing the amount of time it will take the butter to bleed into the flour as you work it with your hands.
- Lean ground beef or turkey: This is the main component of the pie. You can substitute for vegetables if you don't want animal protein. Reduce the cooking time as necessary.
- Cornstarch: This is used as a thickening agent for the minced beef sauce. If it's too watery, it will bleed through the dough.
HOW TO MAKE NIGERIAN MEAT PIE
Generally speaking, most people get an instant migraine when they talk about the process of making a meat pie; it really isn't as uneventful as it may seem. I love the delicate process it takes to make the dough- from the cold butter and flour mixture to the precise cutting and sealing of the pie- It's like romance on the kitchen table.
Although I won't lie to you, most times, when I am rolling out big batches of dough, I turn on some hardcore dancehall on my phones' playlist, because let's face it, you need motivation for all that arm workout and then some. Also, I add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg while making the pie dough because the aroma is divine. ( I have a feeling most people of my West African natives won't like this.)
One other thing, do not overwork the dough while folding it. In my years of experience in pie making, I have seen a few doughs go to waste because I was either not paying attention or juuust too excited. If this happens to you, don't fret about it. Dust yourself up and try again (literally). It is also important that you chill the dough; this makes it easy to roll.
THE MEAT PIE FILLING
The filling of the meat pie varies by the cook. Usually, I love to add carrots, green peas, potatoes, and ground beef or turkey for the filling.
When preparing the filling, please do not use a lot of liquid as it may leave you with a soggy hand pie. Add a teaspoon of cornstarch to thicken up the sauce if you add more liquid than the recipe calls for. Allow the sauce to cool completely before proceeding to the next step.
HOW TO STORE MEAT PIE
Would you believe if I told you this meat pie could be frozen for up to three and half months, wrapped separately in cling wrap, and placed in ziplock bags? Yes! Thaw the hand pies in the refrigerator or at room temperature—Preheat in the oven or microwave when you are ready to eat it.
HOW TO MAKE NIGERIAN MEAT PIE AHEAD OF TIME
Making this Nigerian meat pie recipe ahead of time is excellent. All you need to do is:
Follow the recipe on the recipe card up until the step where you fold the dough over the feeling—no need to brush with egg wash or poke holes until you are ready to bake.
First, line the uncooked pie over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave at least half an inch of space in between each hand pies. Freeze for up to 4 hours, then wrap individually, placed in a ziplock bag, freeze for up to 4 months, or whenever you are ready to use it. For a fresher taste, freeze less than 2 months.
Preheat the oven, place the premade pies on a baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and bake.
So, there you have it, an African-style meat pie with a savory meat filling that is soon to be a favorite in your kitchen.
Share some with us on our social media if you make this recipe using the hashtag worldlytreat(#worldlytreat); we’d love to join the soirée. Also, don’t forget to pin it for later. Chat soon?
OTHER PIES TO TRY
Dulce de Leche Pumpkin pie
DECORATIVE PIE CRUST IDEAS
Brown Butter Sweet Potato Casserole (with Marshmallow)
PEACE & LOVE
NIGERIAN MEAT PIE
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (512g)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
- 1 cup cold butter plus 3 tablespoons (269g)
- 5 tablespoons ice-cold water
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon water
FOR THE FILLING
- ½ lbs lean ground beef or turkey (226.80g)
- ⅓ cup finely chopped onion
- 3 large potatoes, finely chopped
- ¾ cup finely chopped carrots (1 large)
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons chicken or beef bouillon powder
- ⅛ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- salt & black pepper to taste
- ⅔ cup beef stock (150ml) or water
- 1½ teaspoon cornstarch
- 3 thyme sprigs (½ teaspoon dry thyme is fine)
FOR THE PASTRY
- Combine the flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a food processor or bowl if using your hands.
- Cut the butter into small chunks and add to the food processor or bowl. Working swiftly using your fingertip, pastry fork, or quick pulse in the food processor, combine the ingredients making sure to scoop the bottom of the bowl until it looks like a crumbly meal. Transfer into a bowl if using a food processor. Add the iced water to the bowl.
- With floured hands, mix and knead the dough until it forms a ball. Be careful not to over mix as this will make your dough very hard.Divide the dough into three pieces and flatten it into a thick round shape. Wrap in a cling film and set them in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
FOR THE FILLING
- In a large skillet, add the minced beef and cook on medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Then add the onion and cook for a minute. Add the potato, carrot, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until the meat is brown and moisture has vaporized. Add the seasoning powder, ginger, curry, salt, and pepper and continue stirring for another minute or two.
- Add the beef broth, scrape the sides and bottom to get everything that might have been stuck on the side or bottom of the pan. Cover and allow to cook for 5-6 minutes.
- Combine the cornstarch with a teaspoon of water, and stir it into the minced beef sauce. Add the thyme (stems removed). Once distributed, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 6 minutes. You should have a stew-like consistency. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, Preheat the oven to 350°F
- On a floured surface, cut the dough into the number of patties you wish to make, using a rolling pin, roll out each piece of dough into a circle (either using a meat pie cutter or round medium size mug).
- Whisk the egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of water for brushing.Scoop a spoonful of the cooled meat filling onto one side of the cut-out dough, leaving a few inches, using a brush, brush the egg wash on the edge of the dough, fold one end of the dough to the other end. Crimp the edges with your finger and then with the tip of a fork providing a seal for the patties.Place the pies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Using the tip of a fork, poke 2-3 holes on the top of the pie as seen in the picture above to allow steam out while baking. Then brush the top of the pie with the egg wash.Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until pies turn golden in color.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy
HOW TO STORE MEAT PIEEnjoy the meat pie immediately or wrap it separately in cling film, and place it into a ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 3½ months Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Preheat before eating.
I can't wait to try these fingerlings! I can see how it would be hard not to eat just one. Really looking forward to preparing this for my family!
Right! Georgette. Who would eat such a savory pie and not go wild for more? I would love to hear about it when you do. Thanks a lot.
I have tried making the meatpie but it still does not come out as crunchy or flaky as it ought to be but mine tastes a little hard and non flaky so what went wrong.
Maureen Celestine says
Oh no! Sorry to hear that. I haven't had any complaints with this recipe. What did you do differently? I can help you troubleshoot the recipe to see what went wrong.
Marie Onye says
This has always been a super difficult recipe for me to make. I will try this to see how it comes out. I like how you layout the instructions all the time.
Maureen Celestine says
It's my pleasure, Marie. I hope it turns out great for you. Please come back and let me know how it went.
I'm not experienced with pastry, but this looked delicious. I had to add *substantially* more water to get a workable dough... I thought for sure that it would be overworked, but it did turn out flaky and tender (and tasty). Some fun changes I made based on what I had: I didn't have fresh potatoes but I had some packaged mashed potatoes. That meant that I did not need any cornstarch because they did a good job thickening everything up. I used less water than the package because I knew it would get too soupy. I also thought it might be fun to make miniature pies instead of the traditional shape, so I built them in a muffin pan - starting with the cups, then the filling, then the egg wash with a little top that I affixed with a fork the same way you would in your recipe at the edges. I will definitely make these a few more times and hopefully get better at making the dough. Thank you so much for this recipe.
Maureen Celestine says
Thank you so much, Galen, for leaving a review. I am happy to hear about your changes and how they turned out for you. Smart idea with the mashed potatoes and omitting the cornstarch. I would love to see what they look like if you don't mind sharing them with me on Instagram (@worldlytreat). As for the dough, did you measure using a kitchen scale or a cup? It's harder to get the exact measurement with a cup than with a kitchen scale. I'll make this meat pie again using a kitchen scale and see if there is a vast difference. If there is, I will alter the recipe card to emphasize a kitchen scale so you get the perfect result. Thanks again for stopping by; I hope you have a great holiday!