June 29, 2012

Leftover Beef Stew, Reinvented --> Beef Pot Pie

 Leftovers at my house are a big problem. Often times, I will make too much of a certain recipe, and the remains will sit in the fridge uneaten (no matter how delicious the dish was) for several weeks, until it molds, and then is thrown away. A total, total waste of food. But my family has this peculiar quirk - if a dish has been eaten, it cannot be eaten again for at least a week. No matter how scrumptious it is.

Because of this ridiculous quirk, I've had to work hard at cooking in smaller portions. But sometimes, I just have extra no matter how hard I try. In which case, I have to reinvent the recipe less it become a moldy mess in my refrigerator.

So, when I found myself with some leftover beef stew today, I realized I had an awesome opportunity to make some pot pie.

You should totally try some. This was majorly delicious.

You Will Need:

For the Filling:
  • Salt
  • 2 to 4 cups leftover beef stew (depends on how deep your pie will be)
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 a leek, chopped
  • Any other vegetables (peas, green beans, spinach, corn, etc.) you have on hand
  • 2-4 tbsp flour

For the Crust:
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, cold
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-3 tbsp dried herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, or any combination of)
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

To Cook:

For the crust:

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, butter, egg, herbs, pepper, and water. Mix with a pastry blender, knives, or use room-temperature butter. Continue to mix until dough becomes doughy and sticks together. Shape into a ball and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Take out dough, and roll out onto a flour surface. Divide into two equal parts.  Roll each part into a decently shaped pie circle.

For the Filling:

In a large bowl, combine beef stew, onion, leek, and vegetables. Mix until stew sauce coats everything. Add in flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until sauce is desired thickness. Salt to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

For the Pie:

Preheat oven to 375. Grease and flour your pie/casserole dish (I used a light olive oil), and line with the first circle of pie crust. Put down a cloth bag full of dried beans in the crust to hold it in place, and bake for about 10 minutes, or until set.

Remove beans. Fill pie crust with filling, top with your second crust circle. Brush with olive oil, cut in some pretty designs, and just generally prettify it. Bake for ___, or until crust is golden.

In an effort to work with this month's theme of beauty, I decided to spice up our plain ol' dining room table with some stuff lying around. So one tablecloth, a few folded cloth napkins, some potted thyme... and voila.

I got this:

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