Recipe & Tips

Mini Spicy Plantain & Goat Meat Pies

A Result of a Little Girl’s Never-Ending Need to Play with her Food 

– by Foluso Salami 

Direction

I can still hear my mom’s voice cajoling me or warning depending on how long I’d been at the dining table playing with my food by creating different shapes with it or simply moving it aimlessly around my plate. “Folusoooooo! Eat your dinner”. “Stop playing with your vegetables” or the one that usually got me to eat as a child “If you don’t finish your meal you won’t have any snack for the rest of the day”. Somehow, that little girl who had no interest in her meals has grown up into a woman who loves food, fresh ingredients and is also very curious and eager to tinker with and tweak traditional meals or treats I enjoyed growing up Nigeria. I really do enjoy the traditional Nigerian Meat-Pie, it’s not something I get to eat often because it’s a tad involving but when it’s properly done the varying textures in the filling and that flaky crust is always so worth the effort that goes into making it. So, when my friend Gbolade asked me to come up with something Nigerian but different I thought to myself it’s another chance to play with food so of course I said yes!                                                        

Why not rethink the well-loved Nigerian Meat-Pie? Well, here’s the result of my rethinking and news flash- it’s absolutely delicious, if I do say so myself. Lol! It hits the perfect balance of savory, sweet and spicy!  For this its-okay-to-play-with-your-food recipe say goodbye to a flour crust, ground beef and potatoes and say hello to goat meat, plantain crust, habaneros and isu yes, yam ☺!  I’ve skipped the process of seasoning and boiling the goat meat because this is a process most are very familiar with, I personally prefer to keep the seasoning for the boiling of goat meat simple (salt, Cameroun pepper, thyme, and lots of onions) I like the goat flavor to shine, feel free to use a bouillon cube if you like. Just remember to save the great stock left over from boiling your goat meat.  

Let’s get started…

Recipe Yield

About 12 mini pies

Spicy Goat Meat Filling:

  • Cooked goat meat diced (2.5 cups)
  • Minced yellow onions 2 Tablespoons
  • 1 habanero or scotch bonnet finely chopped (optional)
  • Raw yam small dice (5oz/ 141g)
  • 1.5 cups of goat meat stock (12fl oz/ 325 ml)
  • AP Flour 1.5 Tablespoon
  • Salt
  • Cameroun Pepper or Black pepper

Method 

Add yam to the goat meat stock and cook on low medium heat for about 15 minutes, yam should be cooked but still have a bite to it.  Add onions, habanero, cooked goat meat. Mix well and add flour to thicken and cook on low heat for an addition five minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired, turn off heat and set aside to cool.  

TIP: This can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.

Plantain Crust

2 medium ripe firm plantains (1LB 6oz / 623g)

AP Flour (8oz/ 226g)

Butter (6oz/ 170g)

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper.

Method 

Rinse unpeeled plantains and cut each into two pieces, boil for 25 minutes. Drain water, peel immediately and mash thoroughly with a with a fork while hot, set aside to cool. Mashed plantain should look as pictured below. Cut your butter into cubes. Measure flour into mixing bowl, add salt, cooled mashed plantain and butter. This dough requires no liquid, the moisture in the plantains is sufficient. Mix using a dough hook with mixer on its lowest setting, smooth dough should come together and form a ball in about 3-4 minutes.  Knead for only a minute or two after dough is formed. If mixing by hand combine plantain mash and butter with fork then, create a “well” in you flour add plantain/butter mixture into the well then slowly using a fork or wooden ladle incorporate flour into well. Once a ball is formed Transfer the dough to a smooth flour dusted surface and knead as instructed above. It’s important not to overwork the dough to ensure a flaky crust. See picture of dough below.

Let’s Assemble & Bake Pies 

  • 1 medium egg beat as egg wash.
  • AP  flour for rolling dough

Preheat the oven to 350F. Dust some flour on smooth surface, using a rolling pin, stretch out the dough to about 1/8th inch thick. Use a circular 3.5 inches cookie cutter or edges of a round mug and cut the dough into big circles as pictured.

Place about 1 tablespoon of filling into center of the circle don’t overfill so it’s easy to close the Pie. use a pastry brush or the back of a teaspoon to gently brush the edges with egg wash. Cover with another circle of dough and create a seal all around as pictured. Crimp the edges decoratively with a fork and repeat till done.

Arrange the Pies on a parchment paper lined tray. Lightly brush the surface of  each pie with the egg wash. Do not let egg wash pool at the crimped edges it will cause it to brown unevenly and prematurely. Use a tooth-pick to poke a couple of holes intermittently on the top crust. This holes serve as vents and helps prevent air pockets in your pies. Bake at 350F or 177C for about 18-20 minutes or till it’s golden brown. 

Serve with your drink of choice and enjoy!

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