Warm a cool spring day with a hot pot pie

These easy meals can be adapted to different tastes by using a variety of flavorful meats and vegetables

As the damp and often cool days of spring continue and life continues its hectic ways, few things bring warmth like a hot pot pie.

It’s a relatively simple comfort food — meat, potatoes and vegetables simmered in a broth or sauce and baked inside a flaky pie crust.

You can make one large pie to feed the entire family, or place the pastry and filling in individual dishes to create a pie for each person — especially nice for nights when schedules don’t mesh and family members are eating at different times.

Although chicken pot pie is probably the most well known variety, you can use virtually any meat or create a vegetarian dish that will tantalize your whole family.

Pot pies are an easy way to use leftovers, although you can start from scratch as well.

You can make your own sauce or use a purchased gravy to add depth to the pot pie.

Similarly, you can make your own pie crust or purchase one at the store. You can use a top crust alone, or have a top and bottom crust. Just make sure the filling is hot when you place the crust on top. Then it will bake all the way through and be tender and flaky.

Although some people wouldn’t consider a pot pie without a crust, you can use other toppings, such as corn bread, mashed potatoes, phyllo dough, puff pastry, biscuit dough or popover batter.

When making pot pies, be sure the meat is fully cooked before adding it to the filling.

If you’re using puff pastry to top the pie, thaw it before using. To ensure the crust is golden brown and shiny, use a pastry brush to apply an egg wash (an egg beaten with a tablespoon of water or milk) to the top crust. Don’t forget to cut a slit in the top of the crust so steam can escape.

Following are pot pie recipes from  brit.co.

 

brit.co

 

Tater Tot Chicken Pot Hotdish

 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

Other chopped, sturdy vegetables, such as celery, potatoes or broccoli, optional

1/4 cup flour

2 cups whole or 2% milk

Enough chicken bouillon for 2 cups liquid

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thigh or breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Other herbs such as rosemary and parsley, optional

Black pepper

1 pound frozen tater tots

 

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt butter, then add onion, carrots and any other vegetables, and cook seven to 10 minutes, stirring until soft. Stir in flour so that it gets evenly distributed, then add 1 cup milk and stir until thickened. Add remaining milk and stir until thickened.

Add bouillon, chicken, peas, thyme, other herbs and pepper. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until chicken is fully cooked. Taste and adjust seasonings, if desired.

Transfer mixture to a 2 to 2-1/2-quart casserole dish or four to five mini cocottes, then cover with tater tots.

Bake in a 400-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until tots are golden brown.

Let cool slightly and serve,

Makes four to five servings.

 

 

 

Quick and Easy Thai Chicken Pot Pie

 

1  to 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

2 cups finely chopped sweet potatoes

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1 package oven ready chicken pot pie sauce

2 cloves garlic, grated with microzester

1 inch piece ginger, grated with microzester

2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

1 lime, juiced

1/3 cup chopped peanuts, optional

6 to 8 biscuits, cooked according to package directions

 

Place chicken, frozen mixed vegetables, sweet potatoes and scallions in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish, reserving a few chopped scallions for garnish.

In a small bowl, combine pot pie sauce, garlic, ginger, red curry paste and lime juice. Pour over pot pie mixture and stir to combine.

Bake in a 400-degree oven for approximately 40 minutes, until chicken and sweet potatoes are cooked through. Remove from oven and garnish with reserved scallions and chopped peanuts, if desired. Serve with biscuits.

 

 

Pizza Pot Pie

 

1 box of premade, refrigerated pie crust

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 pound mostly cooked sausage

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1/4 cup black olives

Handful sliced pepperoni

Oregano

1 Egg

 

In a food processor or by hand, blend cream cheese, mozzarella and some oregano until smooth. Set aside

Brown sausage until it’s either fully cooked or almost done cooking through. Add cheese mixture to hot sausage mixture. Fold in tomatoes and black olives until combined

Place one pie crust into the bottom of a nine-inch cake pan, then fill with the sausage mixture. Top it with the other pie crust and crimp the edges to seal it. Cut an X in the center.

Combine egg with some water and brush the top of the crust with the wash. Sprinkle with oregano and top it with as much pepperoni as desired.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until golden and hot.  Let pie cool a bit before cutting.

 

 

 

Butternut Squash and Beefy Mushroom Pot Pies w/Flakey Taleggio Crust

 

 

4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped, optional

2-1/2 pounds stew meat or short ribs, cubed into bite size pieces, optional

2 carrots, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (use 12 ounces if not using meat)

1-1/2 to 2 cups butternut squash, cubed

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 12-ounce beer

2 cups beef broth, plus more if needed

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 sprigs fresh thyme

Fresh thyme for stewing

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 bay leaf

1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed

6 ounces taleggio cheese, cubed

1 large egg, beaten

 

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Add cubed beef to the pot and brown all over. You may need to do this in batches. Once browned, remove meat from the pot.

If needed, add a drizzle of olive oil to pot. Once hot, add carrots, onions and garlic and cook three to five minutes, until soft. Add mushrooms and butternut squash and continue to cook five minutes. Add browned beef as well as the butter and flour, tossing well to coat the vegetables and meat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook one minute, then deglaze the pot with the beer, scrapping up any browned bits off the bottom of the pot.

Add beef broth, smoked paprika, thyme, rosemary, oregano, crushed red pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. If desired, add fresh thyme and rosemary. Stir in bacon, cover and simmer 2-1/2 to four hours.

Remove from the heat and stir in fresh parsley.

Grease six mini ramekins or leave stew in the Dutch oven. Divide stew among the ramekins. Unroll the puff pasty and cut it into six squares. Sprinkle a little cheese over top each ramekin, then place the puff pastry over the cheese. Tuck the sides of the pastry down into the ramekins.

Brush the tops of the pastry with beaten egg, then sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake in a 375-degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with fresh parsley and salt and serve.

 

 

 

Mini Chicken Pot Pies With Mushrooms

 

1 tablespoon oil

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast diced

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

1 pound mushrooms, sliced

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Salt

Pepper

1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock

1/4 cup flour

2 cups milk

2 tablespoons butter

1 sheet puff pastry

1 egg beaten

 

Heat one tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add diced chicken and brown four to five minutes, until golden. Stir in onion and mushrooms, reduce heat to medium and cook five to eight minutes, until softened.

Stir in garlic powder, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Pour white wine into the skillet, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Simmer until liquid has reduced.

Whisk flour into the milk to make a slurry. Pour over the mushrooms and chicken, stirring well, and simmer until thickened. Stir in the butter, then spoon into four lightly greased ramekins. Set aside to cool.

Cut eight circles slightly bigger than the dishes from the chilled puff pastry and top each pie with two pastry circles. Lightly brush with egg. Bake in 400-degree oven for 20 minutes, until pastry is puffed and golden and filling is bubbly. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

One-Hour Vegan Pot Pies

 

3/4 cup chopped yellow onion

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

1/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk

1/4 cup unbleached flour

2 bay leaves

1 pinch sea salt

1 pinch black pepper

1 batch vegan biscuits

 

Place two tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and a pinch of salt and stir. Cook about seven minutes, until soft. Add flour and stir with a whisk, then slowly whisk in the broth.

Add almond milk and bay leaves and stir. Simmer about 10 minutes, until thickened.

If it seems too thin, scoop out 1/2 cup broth and add one to two tablespoons flour and whisk. Return to the pot to thicken. Wait a few minutes. Repeat if necessary.

Cut out biscuits and set aside.

Add the frozen vegetables to sauce and cook four to five minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Discard bay leaves and divide mixture evenly between five or six lightly greased ramekins or a 8-by-8-inch baking dish. Top with biscuits and brush the tops with melted vegan butter. Place dishes on a baking sheet and bake in a 425-degree oven for 14 to 17 minutes, until biscuits are golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Let cool five minutes before serving.

 

 

Guinness Beef Pot Pie

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1-1/2 pounds stew beef

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 small russet potatoes, peeled and chopped

16 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced in halves or quarters

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 stalks thyme, leaves removed

1 stalk rosemary, leaves removed

1-1/2 cups beef stock

1/2 cup Guinness

1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Salt

Pepper

2 sheets puff pastry, thawed

 

Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add beef and brown on all sides, then place on a plate. Add onion, carrots, celery and potatoes to pot and cook five minutes, until they start to soften. Stir in mushrooms and garlic and cook three to four minutes.

Return beef to the pot, along with rosemary and thyme. Add stock and Guinness and use a spatula to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

Turn heat to medium low, cover and gently simmer one to 1-1/2 hours, until beef is fork tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Stir cornstarch mixture into the pot, and bring to a gentle boil to thicken for several minutes. Remove from heat.

Roll puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface. Cut into squares or circles to fit the bowls you have. Ladle some of the beef mixture into each bowl, then top with puff pastry. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 15 to 17 minutes, until pastry is golden and puffed. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

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