Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Natchitoches Meat Pies with Spicy Buttermilk Dip

"Things like being careful with your coriander--THAT'S what makes the gravy grander!"

That's the line in Sweeney Todd's "God, That's Good!" that inspired this week's recipe. I, once again, went to Foodily and searched "meat pies coriander". This recipe from Food & Wine popped up, and while I assumed I wouldn't love it, I decided to make it anyway. (The reason I thought I wouldn't be a huge fan of this recipe is because of the spices--allspice and cloves, to be specific.)

I made minimal changes to this recipe. First of all, I ended up having to use store-bought pie crust. This is what happened why I tried to make my own dough:
Thank goodness I still had a packaged crust in my fridge from the first meat pies. "Waste not, want not," I always say. The next change I made was I used a red bell pepper that I already had instead of a green one. And the last change was omitting the thyme. Because if you've been reading this blog since the beginning, you'll remember I've sworn off thyme. Forever. Yes, really. Oh, and while the recipe suggests using Tabasco, I used our favorite hot sauce, Tapatio.

The procedure/assembly was easy, and it actually didn't taste as "spicy" as I'd anticipated. Since I had enough dough scraps to make one more pie, I decided to fry one, in hopes that it would encourage my husband taste it. He did, and, surprisingly, liked it! I did, too. And I almost liked them better without the dip. It's a little heavy on the celery salt. I don't think I'll make these particular pies again, but I could definitely make a version of them with different spices.

Natchitoches Meat Pies with Spicy Buttermilk Dip

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup ice water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound ground beef chuck
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/4 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Hot sauce, preferably Tabasco
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk

Buttermilk Dip
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Hot sauce, preferably Tabasco
1 scallion, thinly sliced

MAKE THE DOUGH In a food processor, combine the flour and salt. With the machine on, add the oil and process until the flour is moistened. Sprinkle on the ice water and pulse 5 or 6 times, just until the dough is moistened. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead just until smooth. Form the dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the ground beef and cook over moderately high heat until no pink remains, breaking up the meat with a spoon, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper and bay leaf and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cayenne, cloves, thyme, coriander and allspice and cook over moderately low heat for 3 minutes. Season with salt and hot sauce and let cool.

Discard the bay leaf. Transfer the filling to a food processor and pulse until chopped.

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a floured work surface, roll out each disk of dough to a 12-inch round. Using a 4-inch biscuit cutter, stamp out 6 rounds from each piece of dough. Brush the edges of the rounds with some of the egg wash and place a rounded tablespoon of filling to one side of each circle. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and press to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork. Transfer the pies to the baking sheet and brush with the egg wash. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.

MAKE THE BUTTERMILK DIP In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, celery salt and lemon juice. Season with salt and hot sauce. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the scallion. Serve the pies with the buttermilk dip.

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