African Meat Pies
Published Aug 25, 2017
Updated Feb 27, 2024
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African Meat Pies have a buttery, flakey crust and a hearty beef filling. They are a party favorite and popular in African countries like Cameroon, Nigeria, and Ghana.
This African variation of beef empanadas are baked, not fried. I love making them for family picnics. They can be enjoyed as a complete meal!
If you love tasty snacks like this also check out FLAVOURFUL FISH ROLLS – CAMEROONIAN FISH ROLL RECIPE and this guide on How To Make Puff Puff.
African Meat Pies Are Perfect For Celebrations
An Updated Recipe
Watch how to make perfect African meat pies:
African Meat Pie
For the dough
- 4 cups all-purpose flour 500g or half kg
- 1 cup unsalted butter - softened 226g or 16 tablespoons
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg - beaten
- 1 cup cold water
For the filling
- 1 pound ground beef about half kg
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 stem green onions - chopped sub with leeks
- 4 large garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 habanero pepper optional
- 2 medium Irish potatoes - peeled and diced about 1 cup chopped
- 3 small carrots (or 1 large carrot) diced
- 8 green beans diced
- 2 small bell peppers (1 yellow, 1 red) sub with half a medium bell pepper
- 2 small stock cubes (Maggi) about 4g per cube
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon flour
- 2 tablespoons oil I used olive oil
For the egg wash
- 1 egg - beaten
How to Make the Filling
- Pour oil into a pot and heat for 2-3 minutes. Add in onions and saute while stirring from time to time until fragrant.
- Add the minced garlic and stir to bring out the flavor. Let it cook with the onion for about a minute.
- Add the ground beef and use a wooden spoon to break it as it cooks. This helps prevent it from forming chunks of meat. At the same time, incorporate the meat into the garlic/onion mixture. Stir meat until fully scattered and it has changed from pink to brown.
- Add a cup and a half of water to the meat. Add in potatoes, bay leaf, white pepper, salt, stock cubes and habanero (if you choose to use it). Cover and cook for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are soft and break easily when touched.
- Add in half a tablespoon of flour and stir well. Let the flour cook with the meat for about 3 minutes.
- Add the green onions/leeks, carrots, green beans and bell pepper. Mix well to combine. Turn off the heat - the filling is ready.
How to Make the Dough
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add in softened butter and mix until the flour and butter are well incorporated.
- Add beaten egg and cold water. Mix to form a dough. Transfer to a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Place dough back in the bowl and place in the fridge until ready for use.
How to Make the Pies
- Cut the dough into two. Place one half on a floured surface and roll out to about 1/8 of an inch thick.
- Use a pie maker or a round lid (I used the lid of a water jar) to cut circles out of the rolled dough. Remove the excess dough from around the circles.
- Place about a tablespoon and a half in the middle of each circle. Be careful not to overfill the circles! Now add a slice of hardboiled egg on the filling (note that I only used the hardboiled egg for half of the pies in this recipe. If you would love to use egg on all your pies, use two hardboiled eggs instead. )
- Cover each circle to form a semi-circle. Press the edges with your hands then press with a fork.
- Repeat the pie-making process with the rest of the dough.
- Place all the pies in the refrigerator to rest for about 5 minutes. While they rest, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (or 180 degrees C).
- Remove pies from fridge and brush generously with egg wash.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown.