78. Ghana: Meat Pie

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Ghana has existed since medieval times. Its name comes from the former Ghana Empire of West Africa: “Ghana” was the title given to ruling kings. The Portuguese arrived in 1471 to the land they called the Gold Coast (for its abundance of the stuff), and mercantile trade of African products to Europe commenced. Because of geography, Ghana became the center for the brutal trans-Atlantic slave trade on land subsequently colonized by the British and the Dutch (of course we had a part in it). Now Ghana has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and political stability. It’s considered to be Africa’s success story. The Ghanese are very superstitious they are very firm believers in black magic and witchcraft, when you go to church on Sundays the services will be very loud with a lot of music to drive out the evil spirits.

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Things you didn’t know about Ghana:

  • The name Ghana means warrior king and dates back to the days of the Ghanian empire during the 9th and 13th centuries.
  • The trade in Ghana was built on salt and gold, that’s why British merchants later referred to it as the Gold Coast
  • Ghana was ranked as Africa’s most peaceful country by the Global Peace Index.
  • Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence post-colonialism. It gained its independence on March 6, 1957.
  • Ghana has the largest market in West Africa. It’s called Kejetia market and it’s located in Kumasi, the Ashanti region’s capital. There you can find everything under the hot Ghanaian sun, from local crafts, beads, cloth and sandals  to second-hand jeans and clothing, and meats, fruit and vegetables.
  • Water is not drank from bottles but from little plastic bags.

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Ingredients: 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, 300g minced meat, 1 medium onion, 1/2 teaspoon tomato puree, 2 teaspoon all purpose seasoning, 1 small maggi (stock) cube, salt to taste, 1 large green pepper, chopped in little cubes

For Pastry: 400g (3 1/3 cups) self raising flour,  255g  butter cold, pinch of salt, 60ml (1/4 cup) cold water, 1 egg, whisked
For filling

Add a little oil to a large frying pan and heat up. Add the mince and onions and cook on medium heat until it browns, stirring in between.

Mix in tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes. Stir into mince with all purpose spice, maggi (stock) cube and salt. Remove from heat and leave to cool, then stir in chopped green peppers.

For Pastry

Sift flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.

Add butter to the flour. Rub in using your fingertips. Add all the cold water at once and use your fingers to bring the pastry together.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead very lightly.

To assemble

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Rolling should be be carried out in short, sharp strokes, with light, even pressure in a forward movement only. Turn the pastry as you roll.

Cut circles in the dough and place a quarter cup of mincemeat in the centre of the circle.

Fold dough over making it into a semicircle. Take a pastry brush and dip in water and moisten edges of dough circle then pinch sides together with a fork. Use a fork and poke holes on the top of the meat pies.

Place pies on baking tray.

Brush the tops of meat pies with egg wash and bake in oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until the pies are golden brown.

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