Natchitoches (Nack-uh-Tush) With Spicy Yogurt Dipping Sauce

I came across this little stuffed meat appetizer pie in a Food and Wine Cookbook,  Best of 2010.  I made a couple of small changes.  I didn’t care for the crust, it was a bit tough.  I used my own pie crust recipe-worked like a charm.  I did, however, love the idea for a spicy tart dip.  The recipe suggested using buttermilk, but I always have plain yogurt on hand, so I made my version of it.

The name really piqued my curiosity so I googled.  Turns out these meat pies were popular in the late 1700’s in the small Louisiana town that shares the name.    It is said that the meat pies were easy for working men to transport to work and were easy to eat.  I LOVE food history! 

I enjoyed making these little appetizers but they were time consuming.  I think it would make an interesting dinner (make them larger) and I think kids would dig it.  (maybe cut back on some of the spice)  I’d serve a nice green salad with a vinaigrette.  The sharp vinegar cuts the richness of the meat filling. 

Brown the meat in a little olive oil.  Add minced garlic, green pepper, and onion.  Cook until vegetables are soft.  Add tomato paste, cayenne pepper, ground cloves, dried thyme, ground coriander, allspice, sugar, and water.  Add a couple of pinches of salt and a couple of dashes of Tabasco.  Allow to cool completely. (be sure to do this, the crust dough will not fare well with warm filling)  Prepare the egg wash and preheat the oven to 350′.

Roll out a pie crust disc into a 12-14″ circle.  Using a 4″ biscuit cutter, cut out as many circles as possible.  Working one at a time, brush half of the circle’s edge with the egg wash.

Add a tablespoon of the cooled meat mixture to one side of the circle.

Fold the circle over the meat and seal the edges.

Crimp the edges with a fork and poke the center of the pastry with the fork to vent steam.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheet.

Brush the tops with the egg wash.  Bake for 25 minutes.  While they’re baking, prepare the dipping sauce.  Enjoy!

Natchitoches Meat Pies with Spicy Yogurt Dip

Dough:

My pie crust recipe, doubled and chilled for 30-40 minutes

 Filling:

 1 tablespoon olive oil

½ lb. lean ground beef

1 large clove garlic, minced

½ cup onion, finely diced

1 small green pepper, seeded and finely diced

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

2 tablespoons water

2 pinches salt

Two shakes of Tobasco

1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk

Yogurt Dip

 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sour cream

½ cup non fat greek yogurt

1 teaspoon ground celery seeds (or ½ teaspoon celery salt)

Two shakes hot sauce

1)  Prepare crust and wrap discs in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 30-40 minutes.

2)  Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil.  Add meat and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, and bay leaf.  Cook 7-9 minutes until veggies are soft.

3)  Stir in tomato paste through water.  Cook for 3-5 minutes.  Discard the bay leaf and allow the mixture to cool.

4)  Preheat the oven to 350’.  Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

5)  Roll out the pie crust to a 14” round.  Using a 4” biscuit cutter, cut out as many circles as you can.  Brush the edge of half of the round with the egg wash, add a tablespoon of cooled meat mixture to one side of the circle.  Fold over, press to seal.  Using a fork, crimp the edges and poke the center of the tart to vent.  Place on cookie sheet.  Brush with the egg wash.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

6)  In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients until well blended.  If sauce is too thick, thin out with a little milk.

 *Make a day or two ahead and warm in 350’ oven for 10 minutes.  Whisk the sauce and serve.

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Comments

  1. Cindy Powell says:

    Hi Angie! Here’s a little something extra (lagniappe, as they say in Louisiana) for you to enjoy knowing. The play/movie “Steel Magnolias” is a true story, written by the brother of the main character. In real life, this took place in Natchitoches. (I’m from that area but now live in Wheaton IL)

    I haven’t made these pies in a very long time, but have enjoyed doing so in the past. In my opinion, it is a recipe that could use a little tweaking & it looks to me like you’ve got it just right! Now I’m inspired!

    I really do like your website…..became aware of it through WTTW. Keep it up!!
    Cindy Powell

    • Thanks for your comment Cindy! Yes, I read about the Steel Magnolia connection, very cool. Let me know of any other interesting foods from Louisiana and we’ll make a post of it! Have a great St. Patty’s Day!