Wednesday, 30 December 2015


Ah the good old Nigerian meat pie (yum!). To be honest, you’ve either tasted really nice ones or extremely unpleasant ones. I have had more of the latter to be quite frank, especially at parties, and you just wonder, why was this caterer so wicked?! The pastry, ends up dry like bread. Then the meat filling, well there’s hardly any. Or then finding some foreign substances inside like peas or sweetcorn – bet why?! After a few bites, next thing you’ll be looking for is a well of water to wash it down with. So anyway, rant over :)

In this post I’ll be sharing with you my recipe for the meat pie orders I make. This recipe will ensure you end up with delicious meat pie that has a buttery flaky shortcrust pastry, and a meat filling that is extremely flavoursome, rich, and semi-moist.


This recipe makes 15-20 meat pies.

I have separated the ingredients into 2 parts:
  1. Pastry 
  2. Meat Filling
For the Pastry:
  • 6 ¼ cups of Plain Flour (or 880g)
  • 500g of Butter 
  • 2 tablespoons of Caster Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 3 Eggs
  • And 1 egg for glazing the meat pies prior to baking
For the Meat Filling:
  • 500g Lean Beef Mince (the small pack from most UK supermarkets).
  • 1 Large Potato
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Scotch Bonnet Peppers (ata rodo) (not really for heat, more for flavour)
  • Knorr Chicken Stock Cubes
  • All-Purpose Seasoning
  • ½ tablespoon of Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Thyme
  • Oil 
Essential Baking Equipment:
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking Tray/Baking Sheet (non-stick)
  • Pastry Brush


The Pastry…

Please Note: In order to achieve a flaky pastry it is important that you use cold ingredients, so your butter and eggs should be really cold. You also need to make sure that you do not ‘overwork’ the pastry by over mixing or over kneading. So once all ingredients are combined together and you get a rough ‘round’ shape, that’s it, just leave your pastry dough to rest in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.

  1. Begin by measuring out 6 and ¼ cups of plain flour (or approx. 880g if using a scale) and add into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Next add in the other dry ingredients: 2 tablespoons of caster sugar, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and mix well into the flour.
  3. Now add in 500g of butter, be sure to divide the butter into smaller lumps, so you will not have to overwork the dough trying to incorporate the butter into flour.
  4. Incorporate the butter into the flour with your fingers (or a food processor), working quickly as you don’t want the butter to begin to melt due to the temperature of your hands. What you are looking for is for the mixture to still have small clumps of butter, this creates the desired nice, flaky texture. It should look like small-medium sized breadcrumbs.
  5. After this, create a hole/well in the middle of your pastry mixture, add in 3 beaten eggs, and incorporate well, keeping in mind not to over mix.
  6. Your dough should begin to take shape a bit now, but to help this along if needed, add in a splash of water, probably about ¼ cup of cold water.
  7. After you’ve worked the water in, take a handful of plain flour and sprinkle over the dough. Work this into your dough and once the added flour has disappeared. You pastry dough is ready. Stop kneading.
  8. Place the dough into a mixing bowl and cover with cling-film and leave to rest in the fridge (at least 30 minutes), while we work on the meat filling.

The Meat & Potato Filling…
  1. Chop the onions into tiny pieces (as small as you can get them), I personally don’t like having visible onions in my meat pies.
  2. Slice the 2 scotch bonnet peppers (ata rodo) also.
  3. Peel and cut the potato into small (ish) cubes and put aside for now – about 1 x 1cm cubes. These shouldn’t be too small or too thin or else they will get too mushy when cooked.
  4. Add a small amount of oil into a pan, just enough to fry the onions. You don’t want to fry the onions in a lot of oil as the beef mince produces a lot of oil from its fat.
  5. Once the oil is hot enough add in the chopped onions and fry these until translucent on low to medium heat. This should take around 3 minutes.
  6. Next add in the chopped scotch bonnet peppers and fry together for a further 2 minutes (ensure the onions and scotch bonnet peppers don’t burn). I would like to add that the ratio of scotch bonnet peppers to beef mince I’ve used will not make the meat pie overly spicy/peppery, it just adds a nice flavour and a little kick to it.
  7. Add in the beef mince and fry till brown and till all pink bits are gone, this should take 3 minutes. Make sure you break down the mince as small as you can while frying and incorporate the onion and scotch bonnet peppers in to the mince as much as possible
  8. After 3 minutes it’s time to add in the seasoning, add stock cubes, all-purpose seasoning, black pepper and thyme into the mince. Mix well and fry for a further 2 minutes.
  9. Now add in the chopped potatoes and ensure all the cubes are properly coated.
  10. Add in enough hot water to slightly cover the mince and potatoes,
  11. Lower the heat and leave to simmer for 4 minutes. This is to cook the potatoes just slightly. The potatoes should not be fully cooked or soft as it will still steam further in the oven within the pastry.
  12. Increase the heat and leave for a further 4 minutes, this will allow most of the water to evaporate.
  13. Once this time is up, evenly distribute 2 tablespoons of plain flour and mix well and quickly, so you don’t get any lumps. Adding flour thickens the sauce and makes the meat and potato filing lovely and moist. (However if you like your meat filling dry, you can skip adding water and just boil the potatoes separately then add to the fried minced beef).
  14. Once you’ve mixed in the flour, leave to simmer for 3 minutes to cook out the flour.

Putting it all Together…
Knowing how many meat pies you are planning to bake will save time faffing about with the pastry dough, as too much handling of the pastry dough will cause the butter to melt due to your warm hands – so to avoid this:
  • Cut the pastry dough into equal portions. i.e with a knife cut the dough in half, then in quarters, then eighths and so on until you have the total number of pies you wish to make.

  1.  Preheat the oven to 175°C/ 345°F/ Gas mark 4
  2.  Lightly dust your work surface with plain flour (not too much so this does not incorporate into the pastry dough).
  3. Take one of your dough balls and roll out evenly using a rolling pin, roll it out to your desired thickness (not too thick, you don’t want bread, and not too thin as you don’t want samosas either).
  4. Cut out a circle shape with a round side plate, bowl, or cookie cutter etc.
  5. Place a spoonful of the minced meat filling onto the centre of the pastry.
  6. Carefully fold over one edge of the pastry over to the other a press along firmly (you won’t need to seal the edges with egg with this recipe).
  7. Crimp the pastry edge with a fork to seal the meat pies.
  8. Place pie on a baking tray/baking sheet (you will need use baking parchment paper or lightly grease your baking tray if your tray is non-stick).
  9. Repeat until you have used up all of your pastry and meat filling.
  10. Using a fork, prick holes into the pies to let excess steam within the pies escape during baking. (This is so you don’t end up with soggy meat pies).
  11. Beat 1 egg, and using a pastry brush, brush the surface of the pies with beaten egg.
  12. Place in the middle shelf of the oven for 35-40 minutes checking quickly halfway through baking.
  13. Take the meat pies out of the oven and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes.

And they are ready to eat!

You can also watch the video of this recipe Here

Thank you for stopping by, hope you found this recipe useful :)

Monday, 21 September 2015

G I Z D O D O | Video Recipe

Gizdodo’ or ‘DodoGizzard’, whichever you might call it, there is no denying that this dish is so delicious and a real crowd pleaser. Gizdodo as I like to say, is basically a fusion of chicken gizzards and plantain (also known as dodo) stewed in a peppered sauce.

In this post I will share with you my recipe for the yummiest Gizdodo.

There are 4 main parts or steps to making gizdodo. Firstly you’ll need to prepare the gizzards. Secondly it’s the plantains. Then the third step would be to make the spicy pepper sauce. And then finally, you’ll need to combine the gizzards, plantain, and pepper sauce all together.


I have separated the ingredients into 3 parts:
  • Gizzards 
  • Pepper Sauce
  • Garnishes

So for the Gizzards you will need…
  • Chicken Gizzards (I used a medium-sized mixing bowl full of gizzards)
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Knorr Chicken stock cubes
  • A tablespoon of All-Purpose Seasoning
  • A tablespoon of Curry powder
  • A tablespoon Thyme
  • A tablespoon Dry pepper or Cayenne Pepper
  • Teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • Teaspoon of Salt

And for the Pepper Sauce you will need…
  • 6 Red Bell Peppers (tatase)
  • 3 Scotch Bonnet Peppers (ata rodo) (these are spicy so you can adjust to suit your tolerance)
  • 2 Yellow Onions,
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic,
  • Ginger (thumb-size)
  • Half a Red Onion
  • Knorr Chicken Stock Cubes
  • All-Purpose Seasoning
  • Salt,
  • Ground Crayfish
  • Palm Oil
  • Vegetable Oil

  • 4 Bell Peppers (mix colours: red, yellow, green, orange)
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 2 Spring Onions
***And let’s not forget, you are going to need PLANTAINS. I used 6 ripe (yellow) plantains***


The Gizzards…

  1. Firstly begin by thoroughly washing the chicken gizzards, ensuring you remove its yellow lining. Try not to remember where gizzards come from J
  2. Place the gizzards into a pot and with the hob on medium to high heat, add in 1 chopped onion, and 2 cloves of garlic. Adding garlic will not give the gizzards and unpleasant ‘garlicky’ taste, I am adding garlic as it is a good trick to remove the unpleasant scent of offals (you can also do this when cooking shaki/tripe).
  3. Next season the gizzards with the following: Knorr chicken stock cubes, a tablespoon of all-purpose seasoning, tablespoon of curry powder, tablespoon of thyme, tablespoon of dry pepper or cayenne pepper, teaspoon of black pepper, and a teaspoon of salt. Mix in all the seasoning and spices, ensuring the gizzards are well coated.
  4. Contrary to the norm, do not add water to the gizzards just yet. In doing so, it will ensure that all of the seasonings and spices added will penetrate the gizzards first. So you want to sear the gizzards on high heat with no water for about 5 minutes.
  5. After 5 minutes you will see see that the gizzards have plumped up a bit and have cooked in their own juices for a while. They will have also taken up the colours of all the spices added. NOW you can add water, make sure it is hot water (boiled). Ensure you add enough water to cover the gizzards. Leave this to boil away until all the water has dried up. Yes your gizzards will be ready only once all the water you’ve added has dried up – this might sound long, but it really makes a difference in the outcome of you gizdodo. Trust me.
  6. If you check on the gizzards after about 25 minutes you will see that almost 50% of the water originally added has been taken up by the gizzards and the stock is now slightly thicker, however it is still not ready.
  7. Now after approximately 40 minutes the gizzards should be done. You will know it’s done when all the water added has been completely dried up.
  8. Next cut up the cooked gizzards into bite size pieces. But make sure they’re not too small as they will shrink slightly during frying.
  9. Now it’s time to fry the cooked gizzards, so add enough oil to deep fry the gizzards (please note that you will also be frying the plantains in the same oil). Some people like to fry the plantains first so it sweetens the oil and then the gizzards, but I find that in doing so the plantains would have dried up and won’t be as moist when it’s time to add them to the peppered sauce.             
  10. So fry the gizzards on medium to high heat. After 7-10 minutes frying, the gizzards should be ready. They should be perfectly browned, however not too dry and not too crispy unless you will have chewy gizzards that are too hard to eat.

Now the plantains…
  1. Next cut up the ripe plantain, for gizdodo you will need to cut the plantain into quarters. 
  2. As stated earlier, fry the plantains is the same oil as the gizzards. Using the same oil gives the plantains a delicious sweet and savoury flavour. Leave the plantains to fry, this should take roughly 10 minutes and remove once plantains have fried to a lovely golden yellow brown colour.

Now it’s time to prepare the peppered sauce for the gizzards and plantains…
  1. To a blender or food processor add in 6 red bell peppers, 3 scotch bonnet peppers, 2 cloves of garlic and 2 yellow onions. I don’t use any tomatoes for this recipe, as it makes a huge difference using only red bell peppers.
  2. Also add in the ginger to the blender. You will need to grate the ginger into the blender because you don’t want a smooth blended pepper mixture (like regular soup), want you want is for the pepper mixture to end up rough and coarse, so you need to grate it so you can ensure the pieces of ginger are as small as possible as you don’t want to be biting ginger pieces.
  3. Next add water into your blender jug.
  4. Now as aforementioned, you want the pepper mixture to be rough in texture, therefore use the pulse function on your blender and pause at intervals to make sure that you don’t over blend. Do this until there a no large pieces of peppers or onions visible, but don’t let the mixture be smooth! What you should aim for is for the pepper mixture to be rough and course and mimic a finely chopped-up texture.
  5. Next it’s time to fry the pepper sauce, begin by adding palm oil and vegetable oil to a pot or a pan.
  6. While the oil is heating up slice up half of a red onion.
  7. Once the oil is hot enough add in the sliced onions and begin to fry. Continue frying till onions soften slightly.
  8. Add in the ground crayfish (a cooking spoon amount/2 tablespoons) – this makes a huge difference to the irresistible flavour of this dish. Continue frying the onions and crayfish till the bubbles reduce - the smell in your kitchen now will be one of a kind.
  9. Once the bubbles reduce add in the blended pepper mixture and mix well till the palm oil and peppers are well incorporated.
  10. Ensure your hob is on medium to high heat so that the sauce fries instead of boiling.
  11. After about 10 minutes add in your seasonings, for this sauce I used Knorr chicken stock cubes, salt, and all-purpose seasoning, make sure you stir well - (uncover your pot).
  12. After a further 15-20 minutes with the pot uncovered and the hob on high heat, most of the liquid should have evaporated, leaving you with a thicker darker red sauce that has a slight layer of oil on top/bubbling thorough. 
  13. The sauce is now ready and you can add in the fried gizzards from earlier. Stir well to coat all the gizzards with the delicious peppered sauce.
  14. Lower the heat and leave the gizzards to cook in the sauce for 5-7 minutes for all of the flavours to merry together.
  15. Once this time is up, add in the fried plantains and stir all together – leave this to do its thing on medium heat for a further 5 minutes.

Combing all elements of this epic dish...
  1. While this is going on, slice up your red, yellow and green bell peppers. For added texture I cut some of the peppers in squares and some in slices. Also chop up 1 red onion, and 2 spring onions. Adding peppers, onions and spring onions to gizdodo gives it that added bite and freshness which compliments dish so well.
  2. After the 5 minutes is up you will see that the gizzards, plantains and the peppered sauce has really infused with one another and looks delicious.
  3. At this point you can add in the chopped onions and peppers and mix well.
  4. After 2 minutes I add in the chopped spring onions. And after a further 2 to 3 minutes on the heat, your gizdodo is ready!
The end result, delicious gizdodo…chicken gizzards and plantain, stewed in a peppered sauce. Pair with your favourite rice dish or you could eat it on its own, it really is that delicious.

Thank you for stopping by, hope you found this recipe useful :)

Monday, 17 August 2015


    A quick snapshot, recipe and detailed video to follow...

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