Nigerian Meat Pies

  • Serves

    makes 10 pies


The spicy, curry-flavored meat pie, a staple of Lagosian food culture, came about when a traditional Cornish pasty met the Nigerian spice palate.


For the Crust

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 8 oz. butter, cut in 1" cubes and frozen for 1 hour
  • 6 tbsp. very cold water

For the Filling

  • 1 small russet potato
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. madras curry powder
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. ground beef
  • 1 tbsp. thyme, chopped
  • 14 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, for eggwash


Step 1

Make the dough: In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, sugar and frozen butter until the butter is broken up into pea sized clumps. Dump the flour mixture into a medium sized bowl and add in 6 tablespoons of the cold water. Using your hands, gather the damp dough clumps together and gently knead until they just come together. Place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and wrap it into a flat 6x6 inch disc. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Step 2

Make the filling: Cook the russet potato in boiling water for about 15 minutes until barely cooked through. Cool thoroughly by running under cold water. Peel (discarding peels) and chop into 1⁄4-inch cubes. Set aside.

Step 3

In a medium sized pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the madras curry and heat 'til fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the red onions, carrots and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, ground beef, and red pepper flakes, stirring to break up the ground beef, and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the reserved potato cubes, beef stock, and salt, and bring mixture to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove filling from heat and spread on a 1⁄4 sheet tray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill completely.

Step 4

On a well floured surface, roll out pie dough into a rectangle 1⁄8-inch thick. Use a 5-inch round pastry cutter to stamp out dough circles. Collect scraps, re-roll, and stamp out more circles until you have 10 circles total. Lay each circle out flat on a floured surface and place 2 full tablespoons of cooled filling in the center of each. Brush the edges of the pastry circles with a pastry brush dipped in water, and fold one end of the circle over the filling, aligning with the other end of the circle to form a half moon shape. Use the tines of a fork to press down gently on the edges where the ends meet to crimp the edges, completely sealing them. Place the pies on a baking sheet lined with parchment and chill for at least one hour.

Step 5

Heat the oven to 350°F. Whisk the whole egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush the top of each pie with the egg wash. Prick the tops of each pie with a fork. Bake pies for 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden brown and filling is just bubbling through the tops. Remove pies from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.

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