So the first pair of sock blockers was a bit small and I had another go. This time I printed out a picture, blew it up to size and traced it onto cardboard making a template. I used the template and a craft knife to cut out the sock forms. These fit perfectly and will get a test drive as soon as the second leaf sock is finished. There’s still a good bit to knit on that, I’m only about halfway through the first repeat on the cuff.
In preparation for a get together this weekend with knitting friends I made some Natchitoches meat pies. Last Sunday Karen asked me if I missed living in Louisiana and I replied really only the food. That got the wheels turning and my mind on what to cook for this weekend. At first I thought I’d do gumbo but I need something that’s more easily transported, hence the meat pies. I’ve frozen them and I’ll take them down frozen and then bake them there. These are traditionally made with a mixture of pork and beef but I’ve done an all-beef version. They are also traditionally fried so I’ve tweaked the dough for baking. It’s very tender and crumbly so be very gently when forming the pastries. They freeze beautifully and since the filling is cooked you only need get the crust nice and brown and warm the center through.
Natchitoches meat pies
1 pound ground beef
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 small bell pepper, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
Tony Cachere’s seasoning (or other Cajun seasoning) to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup veggie stock
3 green onions, thinly sliced
for the crust (make two batches)
3 cups flour
8 tablespoons vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Tony Cachere’s seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten with a teaspoon of cold water
Heat a large skillet over high heat, add the meat and let sit a couple minutes to sear and brown. Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper and break up the meat with a wooden spoon while mixing in the veggies. Stir in the garlic and seasonings and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until meat is completely cooked and broken up into small pieces. Whisk the flour into the cold stock and stir into the meat mixture. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens. Transfer to another container and refrigerate until completely chilled.
Combine all ingredients for the crust except ice water in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a cornmeal consistency is achieved. With the processor running, add just enough ice water to bring the mixture together into a ball. Transfer to cling wrap, form into a disk, and chill at least an hour. Repeat for second batch of dough.
When the filling and dough are completely chilled remove from refrigerator. Divide each dough into 8 equal portions for a total of 16. Roll out dough portions one at a time forming about a 6 inch disk. Diving the filling into 16 equal portions. Spoon a portion of filling into the center of the dough disk, brush edges with egg and bring one edge to meet the other forming a semi-circular pastry. Press edges gently to seal and trim off excess dough. If the crust breaks, brush with a bit of egg and use excess dough to seal. Transfer to a baking sheet and freeze at least 2 hours. Store between sheets of wax paper in ziploc bags with the air pressed out.
When ready to serve, bake at 400 F for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.