Meat Pies (West African)

So many cultures have a variation of meat pies; they may go by empanadas, fatayas, samosas, dumplings, patties, and I am sure you can add to the list. There is just something about meat wrapped in a dough that is so satisfying. As for West African meat pies, you can say there are variations from home to home. But this recipe has the typical flavors of an African meat pie. They are also highly addictive so maybe plan to give some of them away or be stuck at home fighting temptation. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I can’t speak for all the other West African countries but meat pies are a classic Cameroonian party food. They are either baked or fried and sometimes filled with fish instead of meat. If you are vegetarian you can definitely use mixed veggies instead of meat. The dough of this recipe is buttery with a hint of sweetness while the filling is full of flavorful meat with a little heat. I won’t even go into any further explanations, just go make these meat pies.

Meat Pies (West African)

Crust

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 small bouillon cubes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 habanero pepper (blended or whole, optional)
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Method

Preheat your oven to 350F. In a bowl or food processor, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Mix in softened butter until incorporated then add eggs and milk. Mix all together until it forms a ball. Divide the ball into 8 to 12 pieces depending on how big you want them to be. Roll them them out and set aside.

Heat oil in a sauce pan then add onions and sautée until onions are almost translucent. Add garlic and stir until fragrant then add tomato sauce, crushed bouillon cubes, cumin black pepper and salt to taste. You can also add habanero pepper here. Stir and let simmer for about 5-8 minutes. You can add some water if the sauce starts to dry up. Add ground beef and stir until completely cooked, about 10 minutes. Taste for salt and adjust then mix in chopped parsley and turn the heat off.

Place about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture in the middle of your dough circles. Fold one side of the dough over the meat and seal it in by either pinching the edges with your fingers or pressing them with a fork. Line them on a greased baking sheet at least half an inch apart. At this point you can give them an egg wash but this is optional. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Let them cool for a few minutes then enjoy!

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