RECIPE: Make The Po’Boy Shop’s Cajun Meat Pies

The Po’Boy Shop’s Cajun Meat Pies
Courtesy of David Schmidt

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The Po’Boy Shop’s Cajun Meat Pies Courtesy of David Schmidt

I love the food at The Po’Boy Shop in Decatur — tastiest food this side of New Orleans. Would they share the recipe for their Cajun Meat Pies? I just love the filling and wonder what goes into it. Thanks. — Chris Voss, Atlanta

Mark Ferguson and David Schmidt, owners of The Po’Boy Shop, were happy to share this recipe they say may remind you of a Cajun empanada.

“My wife Linda and I came up with this recipe after trying meat pies years ago in New Orleans,” Schmidt said. “We’ve been making them for our home Mardi Gras parties for years, and they are always one of the first things to go!”

He says they initially made pie crusts from scratch. “However, when we made large batches it was a big task. We decided to try pre-made crusts, and they were excellent. We never went back! We didn’t feel like we lost any quality and certainly gained consistency. We make nearly everything at the shop from scratch, but this is one exception.”

The recipe makes 30 meat pies but don’t let that put you off. You can freeze them after they are shaped and then just pull out what you need. The recipe calls for these to be deep fried. We decided to try them deep fried and baked. After all, it’s pie crust, right? Both were delicious – just a bit different.

At the restaurant, these are served with a side of spicy remoulade. Beef base can be found in the soup aisle of your grocery store.

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The Po’Boy Shop’s Cajun Meat Pies
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped jalapeno, seeds removed
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon beef base
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • 2 (14.1-ounce) packages refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts per package)
  • Remoulade, for serving (optional)
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, thyme, cayenne, pepper and cumin. Cook, stirring frequently, until meat has browned, about 8 minutes.
  • Stir in yellow onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, green onion, celery and garlic and cook until vegetables soften, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle flour over meat and stir 1 minute.
  • Add broth, tomato paste, hot sauce, beef base and Worcestershire. Continue cooking until broth has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to a container and refrigerate at least 15 minutes. Filling can be made and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance.
  • To form pies, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Unroll 1 pie crust and lay on work surface. Use a rolling pin to lightly smooth surface and roll to about 13-inches in diameter. Using a 5-inch circular cutter, cut 7 rounds and set aside. Ball up scraps and reserve.
  • Hold 1 round in your palm and add 1 heaping tablespoon meat filling. Do not overfill. Fold the crust over to encase the filling and form a half moon shape. Press firmly around the edge, fluting the edge if desired. Arrange meat pie on prepared baking sheet and continue with remaining pie crust rounds, then continue process with remaining 3 crusts. Take scraps and roll 1/8-inch thick, then cut into rounds and fill each round. Repeat until all crust scraps are used.
  • Refrigerate or freeze pies until ready to cook. Pies may be cooked frozen.
  • When ready to cook, in a Dutch oven, heat 3 inches oil to 350 degrees. Carefully lower cold pies into hot oil and cook until golden brown. If cooking refrigerated pies, this will take 7-8 minutes. If cooking frozen pies, it will take 10-12 minutes. Do not crowd Dutch oven. Drain and cool slightly before serving. Repeat until all pies are cooked. (To bakes pies instead of deep fry: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange thawed or frozen pies on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake thawed pies for 20 minutes, bake frozen pies for 25 minutes.) Serve with remoulade, if desired. Makes 30 pies.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per pie: 192 calories (percent of calories from fat, 55), 4 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 12 grams total fat (4 grams saturated), 10 milligrams cholesterol, 352 milligrams sodium.

From the menu of ... The Po’Boy Shop & Basement Bar, 1369 Clairmont Road, Decatur; 678-974-8725,

Is there a recipe from a metro Atlanta restaurant you’d like to make at home? Tell us and we’ll try to get it. We’ll also test it and adapt it for the home kitchen. Because of volume, we can’t answer all inquiries. Send your request, your address and phone number to and put “From the menu of” and the name of the restaurant in the subject line.

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