Natchitoches Meat Pie
For the Filling:
1 teaspoon solid vegetable shortening
1½ pounds lean ground beef
½ pound lean ground pork
1 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 cup chopped bell peppers
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
For the Dough:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup milk
Heat the shortening in a heavy pot (preferably black cast-iron) over medium heat. Add the beef and pork, and cook, stirring, until all pink has disappeared, around 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the green onions, garlic and bell peppers and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft and lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Season with the salt, cayenne and black pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour, mixing well. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Make the dough by sifting the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Cut in the shortening and incorporate into the mixture. In a small bowl, beat the egg and the milk together. Work the egg-milk mixture gradually into the dry ingredients until a thick dough is formed.
Divide the dough into 18 to 20 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough pieces into thin rounds. Using a saucer as a guide, trim the dough to make even rounds. Place a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture slightly off center of the round dough. Fold to make the edges meet and crimp the edges with the tines of a fork.
Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.