East African Venison Meat Pies with Basbaas Sauce

Follow me

These spicy venison meat pies were inspired by Somalian/Ethiopian Sambusas and Nigerian meat pies. You could say these pies are where East Africa meats West Africa… whomp whomp. Anyways, I spiced the venison using Ethiopian Berbere seasoning (available in gourmet or African grocery stores, or online) and served them with a Somali basbaas sauce made from coconut milk, chilies, and cilantro. I used turmeric powder in the dough to turn it a beautiful golden color, a trick I learned when making Jamaican patties – not necessary, but fun. I made six big hand pies out of the ingredients, but you could use the same recipe to make smaller, empanada-sized pies, or one big round pie; you may just need to adjust the cooking time. The dough can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight, or you could just cheat and use puff pastry instead; I won’t tell anyone! 

Serving Size: 6 large meat pies

Time to make: 2 hours

Also works with: Any ground meat

Listen to our Podcast
Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, Amazon Music


Try our Delicious Wild Fish and Game Spice Blends!

East African Venison Meat Pies with Basbaas Sauce

Recipe by Adam BerkelmansCourse: Dinner, Lunch, SnacksDifficulty: Medium
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes

These spicy venison meat pies were inspired by Somalian/Ethiopian Sambusas and Nigerian meat pies. You could say these pies are where East Africa meats West Africa… whomp whomp.

Ingredients

  • For the Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons oil or duck/bear fat

  • 12 oz ground venison

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tomato, finely chopped

  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, finely chopped 

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon Berbere seasoning (more if you like it spicier, I used 2.5)

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • ¼ cup water

  • For the Dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)

  • 3 tablespoons cold butter

  • 3 tablespoons duck or bear fat (or use 6 tbsp butter total)

  • 1 egg

  • ¼ cup cold water

  • 1 egg yolk (for egg wash)

  • For the Basbaas Sauce:
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon oil

  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk

Preparation

  • Add the oil or fat to a skillet over medium high heat. Add the venison and onions and cook for 10 minutes, or until browned, breaking it up into a fine crumble.  
  • Add the tomato, jalapeño, garlic, ginger, cilantro, salt, pepper, and Berbere seasoning. Cook for 5 more minutes. 
  • Mix the cornstarch and water together into a slurry and add it to the skillet. Cook for a couple of minutes, until the mixture thickens up. Take off the heat and let cool. 
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, and turmeric powder. 
  • Use a cheese grater to grate in the cold butter, and add small dollops of the duck or bear fat to the flour if using. 
  • Mix well with two forks, a pastry cutter, or with your hands, until the fat is well incorporated. Form a well in the center. 
  • Whisk the egg and cold water together in a small bowl, then add it to the well in the flour. Gently stir everything together with a wooden spoon until a cohesive dough forms. Try not to overwork it. Add tiny amounts of cold water if necessary to bring the dough together. 
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  • Divide the dough into 6 balls. Drape the used plastic wrap over the balls so they don’t dry out. 
  • Flatten and roll a ball into an approximately 6” circle on a lightly floured surface. Spoon 1/6 of the cooled venison mixture onto one side of the circle. Fold the other side over the filling and pinch the edges well to seal. 
  • Repeat with the rest of the balls. 
  • Whisk the egg yolk in a bowl, then brush it onto the meat pies. Pierce each pie several times with a fork. 
  • Bake the pies for 20 minutes, spinning the tray around half way through. 
  • Add all of the sauce ingredients to a blender and blend well until smooth. 
  • Serve the meat pies hot or cold with the basbaas sauce. Enjoy! 

Adam Berkelmans

Adam Berkelmans, also known as The Intrepid Eater, is a passionate ambassador for real food and a proponent of nose to tail eating. He spends his time between Ottawa and a cozy lake house north of Kingston, Ontario. When not cooking, he can be found hunting, fishing, foraging, gardening, reading, traveling, and discovering new ways to find and eat food.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop