Beef Pot Pie

Friday 11 October 2013

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 I am really grateful to my mother for having taught me the principles of thrift when I was a child.  Clothes were mended and handed down.   Anything that wasn't wearable any longer was turned into rags for cleaning and other chores, and when my mother cooked anything at all there was absolutely no waste whatsoever.  

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When a roast or a chicken was cooked, everything got used, right down to the bones, and she always bought meat with bones in it . . . my mom made the most beautiful soups from the leftover roasted bones . . . chicken soup, turkey soup, pea and ham soup, vegetable beef soup . . . and we loved them.   Her homemade soup was a real treat and we always looked forward to it.  

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One other thing she did was she used the leftover vegetables, gravy and some of the meat to make beautiful pot pies.  My mom made the best pot pies and we loved these more than anything that she made, probably even more than the actual roast dinners!  Turkey, chicken, beef, pork, they all got made into pot pies.  

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She would freeze them and then take them out a week or two later and we knew we were in for a real treat for supper!  You could keep those frozen pot pies that were all gravy and no substance.  We were so thoroughly spoiled by our mom's pies that those frozen pretenders fell far short of the mark.  

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Todd always loves it when I make him a pot pie from our roast leftovers too.  He is such a pie man Something else we have in common amongst the many things we share.   I love that about him.  Sigh . . . and I love homemade pot pies!  

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*Basic Flaky Pie Crust*
For a double crust pie, or two singles
This is my favourite version of pie crust.   I often double it and then freeze it for up to a month.  Wrap each disc in plastic cling film and then in foil.  Remove the pastry from the freezer and place in the refrigerator the day before you want to use it.  Works like a charm.

3 cups plain flour (420g)
1 TBS sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into pieces (4 ounces)
1/2 cup cold water (125ml)

To make in food processor:  Tip the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor.  Blitz a couple times to combine. Drop in the butter and pulse 5 or 6 times.  Fluff with  fork.  Drop in the shortening and repeat, also fluffing with a fork at the end.   Drizzle half the water over.  Pulse 5 or 6 times.  Fluff with a fork.  Add the remaining water, pulse 5 or 6 times more until the mixture begins to form large clumps.  Dump into a large bowl and test it's consistency.  Press some of it between your fingers.   If the dough seems a bit dry and not quite packable, add a tsp or two of more cold water and work in your fingertips.

To make by hand.   Tip the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl.  Whisk together.  Drop in the butter.  Cut it in with a pastry blender or rub in with your finger tips, until broken into the size of small peas.  Add shortening and continue to cut it in or rub it in until all the fat is in small pieces.   Drizzle half of the water over.  Toss well with a fork.  Add the remaining water, 1 1/2 to 2 TBS at a time, and continue to toss and mix, pulling the mixture up from the bottom of the bowl.  Dough made by hand often needs a bit more water.  If necessary add water 1 to 2 tsp at a time until the pastry can be packed.

Using your hand pack the pastry into two separate balls, just like you are making a snowball.  Knead lightly once or twice and then pat into 3/4 inch discs on a lightly floured work surface.  Wrap tightly in cling film and chill for at least half an your before proceeding as per your recipe for pie.

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*Beef Pot Pie*
Makes one 9 inch pie
My mother often made these with leftover roast beef, or even roast pork.  We loved them and in fact I would even go so far as to say we loved these pies even better than the roast dinner!

sufficient pastry for one two crust 9-inch pie
2 large mugs full of cooked roast beef, cubed
2 large mugs of cold cooked potatoes, cubed
2 large mugs of cold cooked vegetables, cubed
(I like to use peas, corn, carrots, swede and
chopped green beans)
1 small onion grated
1/2 tsp summer savory
salt and black pepper to taste
leftover beef gravy to moisten
(If you don't have sufficient leftover gravy, you can add some tinned
mushroom soup)
1 egg yolk, beaten together with 1 TBS milk

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.   Have ready a baking tray.

Line the bottom of a nine inch pie tin with pastry, having about a two inch overhang.  Set aside.
Mix together the meat, potatoes, vegetables, grated onion, herbs, and gravy with salt and black pepper to taste in a bowl.  Scrape into the lined pie dish.  Roll out the other half of the pastry to cover.  Place over top.  Trim the edgs and seal together.  Flute decoratively.  Cut a few vents in the top of the pie to let steam out.  Brush with the beaten egg yolk.  Place onto the baking tray and place into the heated oven.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Decrease the temperature to 180*C?350*F/ gas mark 5 and bake for a further 30 to 45 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and crisp on the bottom and the filling is bubbling and cooked through.  You may need to cover it lightly with foil if the pastry is browning too quickly.

Remove from the oven and allow to stand for about 10 minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.

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Have a great Friday and to my Canadian friends and family .  .  .


  1. Yum. I roasted a lamb leg yesterday. I have some leftovers but definitely not two cups of meat. I may had to make a more vegetable than anything else pie.

  2. Perfection.
    I can't wait for u to get the mixer:)

  3. I take this over the roast anyday, my favorite meal pot pie, yours of course look and sound perfection!

  4. I've made a many a chicken pot pie, but never a beef one.

    Now, I need to try it soon.

  5. How I miss pie! You're making me want to move back to the UK!


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