Sunday, November 13, 2011

beef pot pies

In my last post I talked about my love for cooking. Now I'm on a mission to put good food on the table through time-saving prep and planning. I'm inspired by many of the awesome food blogs out there and the mountains of cookbooks in my pantry. I'll be preparing recipes, with my adaptations, then giving tips on how to get it on the table faster, even with a toddler on the loose. I'll also be sharing what didn't work, which, I think is just as helpful.

Lets get to it!

I loved the gloomy weather we had this weekend. It was one of those weekends where a mid-afternoon nap was required.

These beef pot pies went perfectly with the weather. It was all I served to my husband and toddler and it was just enough to fill our bellies. We even had leftovers for tonight! I just stuck them back in the oven covered with foil for 30 minutes on 350 degrees.

To me, pot pies are a fun way to eat a stew made of whatever meat and veggies you have on hand. This recipe was inspired by the talented gal at I didn't have all the ingredients that the recipe called for so I started throwing in what I did have. It turned out hearty and delicious anyways.

beef pot pies
adapted from


olive oil
1 1/2 lbs beef cut for stew (small cubes) (my market actually has it labeled "stew beef")
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp paprika, smoked or regular
2 c beef broth
1 tbs cornstarch
1/4 c milk
3/4 c frozen green beans
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper

Make it:

In a large pot over medium heat, add oil and beef, brown on all sides. Remove from pan.

Add onion, carrot and celery to the pot and cook over medium heat until tender, around 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add spices and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 

Add beef back to the pot and pour in broth. Stir, bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to a low simmer for 1 1/2 hours. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch and milk together. Pour into the beef mixture and stir. Add the green beans and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Pour stew into 4 individual baking dishes OR one 8"x8"baking dish. Make egg wash by beating egg with 2 tsp of water. Roll out pastry and brush with egg wash. Cut pastry into 4 squares for individual pies (don't cut if making one pie). Lay pastry over each baking dish. Cut 2 slits in the top of each pie with a sharp knife. 

Place pie(s) on a cookie sheet in case of overflow.  Bake pie(s) for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. 

To get it on the table faster, do some night-before prep:
  1. Make the stew. While it simmers go take a nice long shower. 
  2. Let the stew cool. Place the covered pot in the refrigerator. 
  3. Take the pastry out of the freezer to defrost in the refrigerator.
I started the stew at 8:30 and was in bed by 10:30. The only real work that goes into it is 10 minutes of chopping. No bigs. 

Look at you! Now all you have to do is re-heat the pot of stew for a few minutes, place in the baking dishes, prepare the pastry and bake. You'll have dinner on table quick. 

Eat this with your slippers on. 

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