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Natchitoches Meat Pies

Filling

1 1/2 lb Ground beef
1 1/2 lb Ground pork
1 c Chopped green onions (tops and bottoms)
1 tb Salt
1 ts Coarsely ground pepper
1 ts Coarsely ground red pepper
1/2 ts Cayenne pepper
1/3 c All-purpose flour


Pastry

2 c Self-rising flour; sifted
1/3 c Shortening
3/4 c Milk
1 Egg; beaten


Combine first seven ingredients in a large Dutch oven; cook over medium heat until meat is browned. Sift 1/3 cup flour into Dutch oven and stir well to combine with meat mixture. Remove from heat; let cool slightly. Drain meat mixture in colander; set aside.


Sift flour into a medium bowl; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and egg; stir with a fork until ingredients are moistened. Shape dough into a ball; divide into 3 parts.


Roll 1/3 of dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness; cut dough into 5 1/2-inch circles, using a saucer as a cutting guide. Place dough circles on a lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat rolling and cutting procedure with remaining dough.


Place a heaping tablespoon of meat filling on one side of each pastry round. Moisten edges of rounds with a small amount of water. Fold pastry over to cover filling; seal edges using a fork dipped in water. Prick pastry gently with a fork. Deep fry in hot oil (350F) until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper; serve warm. Yield: 26 to 28 pies.


NOTE: Freeze uncooked pies in plastic freezer bags; no need to thaw before frying. Also, dough may be cut with a biscuit cutter and filled with 1 teaspoon filling to make cocktail meat pies.

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