Photos by Cynthia LeJeune Nobles.

In the kitchen: Mary Olive Pierson’s meat pies

To achieve the distinction of being featured as one of inRegister’s favorite recipes from our 30-year archives, a recipe should be timeless, and Mary Olive Pierson’s meat pie recipe from the 1996 issue is certainly that.

Although “pie” is a buzzword for this time of season, usually signaling sugary berries or whipped-cream-topped pumpkin, our palates can also crave a savory version to satisfy our hunger–insert meat pies. Whether this Louisiana classic will be gracing your Thanksgiving table or a casual Saturday spread, these pies have potential to be the star performer of any culinary occasion.

Meat Pies

March 1996 issue
“We always had meat pies around my house. When I grew up and was out on my own, I started making meat pies. I have a lot of friends who like to eat, and they like to eat meat pies.” 
Mary Olive Pierson
8 cups all-purpose flour
2½ tsp. salt
2 cups vegetable shortening
2¼ cups ice water
Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening until fine, then add ice water and mix well, forming a large ball. Make individual pie circles by breaking off dough and rolling into 1½-in.-diameter balls. Roll out to 6-in. circles on a floured board, to about 1⁄8 in. in thickness. Use more flour if necessary to prevent sticking. Refrigerate between layers of waxed paper overnight. Remove about 1 hour before stuffing.
Meat Pie Filling:
2 lbs. lean ground meat
2 cups finely chopped white onions
2 pods garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
¼ bell pepper, chopped
1bunch green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
Crystal hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together first 7 ingredients. Season to taste with hot sauce and salt and pepper. 
To make pies, flour a board, keeping it floured as you work. Place 2 heaping Tbsp. filling on 1 side of dough circle. Fold dough popover fashion, and seal edges with a floured fork. Fry at 350 degrees until golden brown, 1 side at a time, or deep fry. Freeze extras before frying by wrapping pies in waxed paper and putting in plastic zip-top bags; remove at least 30 minutes before you plan to fry.