This cooking/baking escapade came about because one of my girlfriends, who is pregnant, was craving Nigerian meat pie/patties and scotched egg. We agreed for her to come help out to make it and it turned out to be a very fun quality time together.
Although, I try to write short recipes, this will be a long post because we made 3 different crusts given that I wanted to know which would be the best / preferred crust moving forward. A first for me in this is frying the scotched egg, I always bake them, and another first is making meat pies.
When making your meat pie and scotched egg, you’ll need to ‘mise’ – ‘lay or set out all your ingredients’ so that you are just following assembly line as you build. This practice works well for all cooking but best when baking.
You will need the following items:
Uncooked sausage meat
Eggs (boiled for filling and beaten for coating)
Oxo- Beef Bouillon
All purpose seasoning of choice
Unbleached all purpose flour (small amount)
Plain bread crumbs
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
What I did:
Boiling the egg; I heard Bobby Flay give this tip on a random morning TV show –
Add your eggs to boiling water on the stove and cook for 9 minutes, after which you transfer to cold water, what this does is easy peeling and perfectly cooked eggs. In my case because I have two pregnant ladies who would be eating the end product with specific preferences, I boiled for 9 minutes but left the eggs sitting in the hot water a few more minutes with stove off before transferring to cold water. You can boil for less than 9 minutes if you don’t like the medium well egg.
Meat: to the sausage meat ( if you buy uncooked individual sausage, you will have to de-skin each one) I added oxo bouillon, 1 TBS all purpose flour, paprika and pinch of salt to taste. Then mixed everything together using my hands.
Mise the scotched egg ingredients: I poured some bread crumbs (a pinch of paprika added) into a long dish; whisked 2 eggs with maggi into a small bowl; peeled boiled eggs into another bigger bowl and meat in a separate bowl.
I used a small ice cream scoop to measure out the meat onto my chopping board, pressed into a round flat form with my palm, lifted it up into my palm and added the boiled egg to be wrapped with the meat. After wrapping, I rolled the ball in the whisked egg making sure to coat properly and then transferred to the bread crumbs rolling to ensure that it is well coated. This process was repeated until all my scotched eggs were created ready to be cooked in a dish. The scotched eggs were then shallow fried in a saute pan and rolled around in the hot oil to cook the meat all around. Only fry a few scotched eggs at a time so that you can keep up to avoid burnt sides.
Taste: My girlfriend was in palate heaven, she especially loved the meat coating the egg. My hubby and I also loved it. She did note that next time to add black pepper to give it a little kick. As you know, I always use pepper in my cooking but left it out this time for her, go figure! lol
NEXT UP IS MEAT PIE!
As I mentioned, I wanted to figure out which crust would be best. This is because I assumed or thought that there was a Nigerian style that is different to the norm. I had asked a friend because I like his crust, and he assured me that it was 2 :1 (butter to flour). Something must have been lost in translation because I discovered that would not make sense during the process of making my dough.
Anyway, below are the three pastry crust recipes we made:
*October 2015 Update on butter– use margarine or I can’t believe its not butter etcetera; IF you use bakers ‘unsalted butter’ what you will end up with is a standard flaky pastry crust perfect for pies i.e. apple etc., NOT the doughy flaky crust for Nigerian meatpie. WHY the bakers unsalted butter only has pasteurized milk cream and flavoring, while the margarine has all these other ingredients listed that results in the bready dough. Check out the list of ingredients yourself.*
200 g cold butter
400 g unbleached all purpose flour
2 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
50 ml ice cold water (leave out the ice)
400 g cold butter
800 g unbleached all purpose flour
120 ml ice cold water (leave out the ice)
625 g cold butter
620 g unbleached all purpose flour
You may use a converter to get the equivalent measurements in cups/lbs. As you have noted, the dough is at ratios 2:1 or 1:1 therefore based on what you have in your pantry, I suggest you use ratio calculations.
[Lard can be used in place of unsalted butter or mix both]
Meat filling :
Spring onions (diced)
Red potatoes (diced)
Oxo beef bouillon
Salt to taste
Egg or carnation milk for coating pie before baking
You will need:
Dough press or circular shape to cut your dough into desired size
Pastry mat or a clean dry surface to roll your dough on
Extra all purpose flour for dusting mat and rolling pin
Small kitchen scale
Ice cream scoop
What I did:
In a big bowl, I added the butter that is in small pieces for easy mix (I used regular butter but unsalted baking butter is great, just cut into small cubes) into the bowl and added my flour, using my fingertips I mixed both together until good uniform mix
[note, if you want you may use a mixer with a hook attachment to make your dough, just be careful not to over work it. You will know it happened when your butter is
melting /coming out of the dough]
Then for the dough stating egg yolk, I added the it and mixed with my fingertips before adding water; this was added slowly until my mix was doughy in nature. WHICH is how I arrived at the volume given in the recipes. There should be no flour on sides of wall of bowl after mixing. I then transferred my dough onto the pastry mat and molded it into a round ball. The dough were then wrapped in cling film and transferred into the fridge freezer to rest for 3 hours. All 3 types of dough underwent the resting period. You don’t have to rest your dough in the freezer, fridge is fine but it was not cooling well enough for me when I checked 20 minutes later (impatient, yes)
Meanwhile, the minced meat was browned in a saute pan with red onions, potatoes boiled, and the other vegetables prepped. We varied the filling combination in batches for the meat pie.
Each rested dough was brought out one at a time, rolled out onto the floured pastry mat to desired thickness. The dough press was used to cut out each pie shape; while the round dough was still inside the press, using the ice cream scoop the desired meat filling was added and the press closed with the meat pie inside to crimp the edges or you can use a fork to achieve same efffect.
If your kitchen is too hot, you can always put some of the dough you are working on inside the fridge to prevent butter coming out. I did that because the kitchen was hot. Also always make sure your working surface for rolling is floured.
Each meat pie was placed onto the parchment paper in the baking pan brushed with either beaten egg or carnation milk and moved into the preheated oven at 350 F. We later cranked up the temperature to 400F. Median cook time was 40 minutes, but I believe it is because our meat pies were big!
PASTRY VERDICT: type 3 was the most malleable dough and kept form better without shrinkage followed by type 1. The majority loved type 3 pastry with type 2 being the least favorite. I kinda like type 1 but I agree with the majority that type 3 pastry is the best, which can be addictive because it is more buttery and flakier!
Taste: Everyone loved it. I had mine again today with my blended strawberry and pear juice combo.
Phew! Long read.
Until next time!
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