I have never made Ghanaian meat pies (turn overs) but I figured after years of watching Masterchef Australia this was a good time as any to give a go at this short crust pastry filled with a juicy and delicious meat filling and dare I say that it's probably the best tasting meat pie I've ever eaten.. Enjoy
Recipe Yields 20 mini pies
800g soft flour (pastry flour)
4 egg yolks
12 tablespoons cold water (depending on your flour, you might use more or less)
2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder (3 teaspoons)
1 egg whisked (to brush the surface of the dough)
457g minced beef
1 cup diced carrotSalt
1 big sweet potato, peeled and diced into cubes2 bay leaves
1 big onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
3 tablespoons finely diced garlic
1 tablespoon chili flakes (optional)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons corn flour (use plain flour if unavailable)
2 teaspoon herb mix * (see note)
1/3 cup veg oil* (see note)
1 tablespoon chicken seasoning
Although you can use butter and margarine interchangeably in this recipe, there is a difference in the crumb and to an extent the taste. Both are equally delicious but the butter gives you a softer and richer crumb and than the margarine. You can add an extra yolk and replace the cold water fully or partially with full cream milk if you use margarine and it'll add a bit more richness. The picture of the meat pies above was made with margarine.
My spice mix contains dried fennel, cumin, rosemary, parsley, thyme, coriander, fenugreek, mint and sage but any Italian spice mix will do since they contain most of these dries herbs.
My beef literally had no fat so I had to use more oil that I wanted to. If your beef has enough fat then cut the oil quantity by half and you'll be good.
This recipe can be halved with no issues. In fact, for the first few recipes I halved it and it worked perfectly.
For the pastry
Refrigerate butter/margarine until hard then cut into cubes. Meanwhile combine the flour, salt and nutmeg in a bowl. Add the cubed butter/margarine mixture and mix until it resembles a bread crumb. Add the egg yolks and mix to combine then add the cold water gradually just until a soft dough forms. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with a cling film and put into the refrigerator for 30 mins. If possible, do all these as fast as you can so the butter/margarine doesn't melt otherwise use a food processor by going through all the same steps above.
For the filling
Put oil in a non stick pan over medium heat. Allow oil to heat up then add the onions and bay leaves. Fry the onions for 30 seconds then add the minced beef. Stir and add salt. Cook for 3 mins then add the herb mix. Add the potatoes, carrots and ground turmeric . Stir, cover pan and reduce heat to low and allow the filling to cook until potatoes are soft. Combine the water and corn flour and add it it the filling when the potatoes are cooked through . Add the ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, chili flakes and chicken seasoning. Stir, adjust salt and turn the heat off. Skim off any excess oil but don't forget that the filling needs to be juicy. Add more water if filling is too thick, however, taste and adjust seasoning and salt if you add more water. Set filling aside to cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 170C
Stir the cooled filling and set aside. Lightly flour a clean and dry surface. Gently pat dough down with fingers to create a small circle. Lightly flour the surface of the dough and roll until 3-5mm thick about the thickness of the mouth/tip of a standard drinking glass. Cut dough with a 5 diameter cookie cutter or a wide mouth drinking glass (wider than the standard drinking glass).
Put 1 to 2 tablespoons or more of the filling at the center of the round dough and cover it with another cut dough, it should look like a small circle. Gently poke the edges of the dough with your fingers to seal it completely then use a fork to poke the top so the steam created when baking can evaporate. Knead and set the extra dough in the freezer to avoid the butter/melting. Bring it out when you're done filling first batch and repeat the steps until all the dough is finished. Keeping extra dough in freezer whilst filling ensures that the butter/margarine doesn't melt. Gently lift and stretch the edge of the dough when sealing so it seals properly.