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I have always been a fan of food you can pick up and eat with your hands.  These meat pies are one of my Natchitoches Meat Piesfavorites, it's hard to stop eating them.  They are great for travel food or picnics or you can even make them small for  hors d'oeuvres or appetizers.

Natchitoches Meat Pies are in the same family as empanadas.  Empanadas are in, Spain, Portugal, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Philippines, as well as the US and are essentially a stuffed pastry.  The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.

Natchitoches was made famous as the town in "Steel Magnolias".  And Natchitoches, (NACK uh dish), is known for its meat pies, which are turnovers filled with ground meat and seasonings. The original Louisiana version is believed to have been developed by the Natchitoches Indians and improved upon by the Spanish.

Recipe By     : Sitara
Serving Size  : 4    Preparation Time :1:20
Categories    : New Orleans/Louisiana              
                          Meat     Pastry

  Amount     Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
     --------      ------------       --------------------------------

       ½            pound           ground beef (very lean)
       ½            pound           ground pork
       ½            cup               oil
       ½            cup               chopped onions
       ½            cup               chopped celery
       ¼            cup               chopped green bell pepper
       ¼            cup               chopped red bell pepper
        1            tbsp              diced garlic
        2            cups              beef stock  
                                            pie crust  (see my pie crust recipe)
        1            medium       egg
        ½           cup               water
salt, cayenne  and cracked black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

1.  In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Sauté beef and pork until golden brown, stirring constantly, until all liquid has evaporated.

2.  Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté three to five minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Lower heat and cook slowly for about one hour, adding beef stock to mixture to prevent sticking. Season to taste using salt,  cayenne  and black pepper.

3.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

4.  Roll pie dough out and cut  into circles. Spoon a generous portion of the cooked meat mixture into the pie shells. Brush a little egg-wash around the edge of the shell, fold over and press the edges with a fork similar to an apple turnover.

5.  Place on a greased cookie sheet or pan. Make small slits in dough to vent steam, egg-wash entire pie and bake thirty minutes at 400 degrees.  (you can deep fry these, but baking cuts out a lot of fat)