Crusty on the outside, moist and spicy on the inside, Nigerian Meat Pie is a delicious snack that will be hands down the star of any meal, any time of the day. The light, small, and flavor-packed Nigerian meat pies will leave your guests begging for more!
Ground beef is best-enjoyed when seasoned with herbs, spices, and vegetables. Such a rich mince mixture could only get more delicious when used as a pastry filling. While it may not be as straightforward as it sounds, the end product will be quite rewarding.
The meat pie is a worldwide sensation, we encourage you to try the West African interpretation, the so-called Nigerian Meat Pie. Flaky and buttery shortcrust pastry and juicy mince filling guarantee an instant melt in your mouth!
The idea of making meat pie can sound intimidating. First of all, you want the crust to be light and flaky. It comes down to how you mix the dry and wet ingredients and how long you knead the dough.
The rule of thumb is to start with the dry ingredients, adding the margarine and egg, and finally a bit of milk. In general, you don’t want to overwork the dough; one minute should be more than enough.
Then, the filling has to be in the right amount and perfect consistency. For this, you first need to make sure the ground beef is fully cooked through, the onion is translucent, and the vegetables are tender. Finally, adding some flour will thicken the filling and bring it to that magical viscosity.
You must be quite impatient to know the tricks to the perfect Nigerian meat pie, so let’s not waste any more time.
- For the Nigerian Meat pie filling:
- 1 Cup Carrots diced
- 1 Cup Potatoes diced
- 1.25 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Flour (to thicken stock)
- 1 lb Ground beef
- 1.5 tbsp vegetable Oil
- half bulb onion
- 1 scotch bonnet
- 2 Bouillon Cubes (Knorr or Maggi cubes)
- Seasoning (salt, pepper)
- FOR THE NIGERIAN MEAT PIE PASTRY:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 500g margarine
- 4 Tbs of Sugar
- 1 Tbs of baking powder
- 1 Tbs of salt
- 4 Eggs
- 1 Cup Milk
- FOR THE GLAZE:
- 1-2 Eggs (Egg white only)
Directions for making the Nigerian Meat pie filling
- Add some oil in a pan and saute the onions for about 1 minute then add the scotch bonnet, Bouillon cubes, and seasoning powder. Stir together.
- Add the ground beef and cook until it's well browned then add the carrots and potatoes and cook till tender.
- Under low heat, add 2 teaspoons of flour to the filling (this will thicken the filling so the mixture is not a gooey mess)
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Directions for making the Meat Pie pastry
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl - flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- Add the margarine and whisked egg into the dry mixture and knead until you get a crumbly texture similar to breadcrumbs.
- Now, add a little bit of milk at a time until the texture becomes more solid (and less crumbly).
- Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead for 1 minute. Place the dough back in the bowl.
- Roll out the dough to about 1/4 of an inch thick.
- Cut out your desired size circles using the cover of a small pot or a round dough cutter.
- Next, scoop about 1 tablespoon of filling (overfilling prevents you from sealing the pie properly)
- Crack 1-2 eggs in a small bowl and remove egg yolk. Whisk egg white together for use as an egg wash.
- Use a pastry brush to apply a light coat of the egg white to the edges of the pie (to help seal the pie)
- Fold the pie over to seal (and crimp the edge if not using a pie cutter).
- Optional: Use a fork to create about three indentations/vents on the pie (believed to prevent air pockets in your pie)
- Brush the surface of the pie with the remaining egg wash and arrange the meat pies on a parchment paper-lined tray. Alternatively, spray oil on the baking pan or rub the baking pan with margarine.
- Bake at 250-300ºF for about 30-45 minutes or till the bottom of the meat pie is golden brown. (Heat over 350ºF makes the pies less moist and creates more of a crunchy crust than a buttery soft crust).
Serve hot with a cold drink. Enjoy!
Love spicy meat-pies? You can add any hot pepper of your choice to your filling.
* Meatpie recipe adapted from Chef Lola’s Kitchen.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 720Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 7gUnsaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 1186mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 22g
Ingredient Substitution In Nigerian Meat Pie
The first dilemma many people have is whether to find a way of baking this delicious meat pie in a healthier fashion or to avoid baking altogether.
One of the ways you can make a healthier pie is by replacing white flour with whole wheat flour.
That way, you can enhance the nutritional value of your pie without sacrificing the crusty and flaky texture. You only need to watch out for extra hardness of the dough, which you can fix by adding an extra egg for moisture.
P.S: You can omit baking powder if you don’t have any on hand. It is not necessary for a shortcrust pastry.
P.P.S: You can use cold water instead of milk in your Nigerian meat pie.
When it comes to your filling, feel free to add more vegetables, or leave some out. Particularly, green bell pepper will be a great choice of addition.
The key to a juicy filling is to not overcook your vegetable and mince. Speaking of mince, you could try replacing it with bite-sized chicken pieces. For seasoning, you can use curry powder or curry paste in addition to salt and pepper.
Tips For Flakiness
As we previously mentioned, you shouldn’t over-knead the dough. But even before that, there are ways to ensure flakiness. First and foremost, always use cold milk and cold margarine.
This might create cracks on your dough at some point, but you can simply add another tablespoon of cold milk or water. In general, you shouldn’t let the dough stand for too long at room temperature.
Speaking of margarine, we wouldn’t recommend substitution with butter.
In West African countries, margarine and butter might refer to the same thing, but this might confuse our readers in the States. Margarine is one of the key factors that provide flakiness.
Using butter can give you a hard and greasy dough in the end. We also encourage you to use unsalted margarine, but if you use salted butter, avoid adding any more salt into the dough mixture.
Following the same logic, you want your filling to cool down before adding it onto the dough.
- This Nigerian Meat Pie recipe calls for a parchment paper-lined tray, but you can use a nonstick tray or a foil sheet.
- A foldable pie cutter can save you tons of time so that you don’t have to fold your circles manually
Like any other meat pie, your Nigerian meat pie should be kept refrigerated. Once covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, the pie will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge.
Alternatively, you can freeze your pie for up to 2-3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions About Nigerian Meat Pie
What are the ingredients of meat pie?
See our recipe card for a detailed look.
Why is my meat pie dough breaking?
In that case, your dough must be too dry. You can solve this issue by sprinkling some cold water over it.
Is it better to freeze a meat pie before or after baking?
Freezing a pie beforehand can actually provide a better crust. When you freeze it after baking, the crust will eventually become soggy.
Nigerian meat pie is one of the most loved tea time treats in West Africa and around the world. Now you know how to make this tasty and filling comfort food.
Once you give it a try, you will develop your own skills and tricks to optimize its texture to your liking. Let us know how it went in the comments down below.
IF you like our Nigerian meat pie recipe, we’ve got even more. For more African food ideas, check out our complete List of Nigerian food you should absolutely try. Here are a few suggestions for you: