April 01, 2008

beef pot pie?

ok since chicago weather basically sucks for about 9 months out of the year, this day being one of those, i mostly want comfort foods all the time. not only was it cold outside, but i was also working in a freezing cubicle which i like to call "the igloo".
needless to say, i wanted a lovely warm meal for dinner. i daydreamed about what to cook... let's see, what did i have in the freezer?
shrimp. eh. blackened salmon. eh. pork tenderloin. hm. a mystery pack of meat from whole foods. hm?
.. what was that package again? ah, beef stew meat! that'll do it.
now what to do with that stew meat.
stew? redundant.
ok i got it - beef pot pie. beef pot pie? ok, whatever. i like chicken pot pie, so it's worth a shot. at the very least, it will be warm, with meat and veggies inside. if i burn the bottom puff pastry, oh well.
so after work i made a quick stop at the grocery store for frozen puff pastry. one of these days i may venture to try a homemade puff pastry recipe, but for a tuesday night dinner, it's going to have to be store-bought. oh, and i also bought a can of (nasty) mushroom soup. gross, but i think it will do the trick.
i didn't do much measuring, but here's the approximated recipe.

beef pot pie
1lb beef stew meat
1/2 can mushroom soup
1 cup beef broth (or veg broth)
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
a few carrots, diced
a few mushrooms, sliced
kosher salt & pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 pack frozen puff pastry - contains 2 sheets.

first! take puff pastry out of box and allow to thaw.
set oven to 350ºF
heat oil in a pan and add onion. while the onion is browning, add the minced garlic. add the stew meat, salt, pepper and paprika (my new favorite spice) and stir to brown all sides of the meat completely. add the veggies at this point. i cut the meat into smaller pieces so that it would cook faster and evenly. once the meat is mostly cooked through, add the broth and mushroom soup. depending on how fast the meat and veggies cook, i added a little more broth a few times. cover, and allow the ingredients to combine and the sauce to thicken. it should take about 15mins.

by this time, the puff pastry should have thawed and the sheets can be opened up. i sprayed a casserole dish with PAM and layed the first sheet of pastry into the dish and up the sides. whatever hung over, i trimmed away and set aside.

once "stew" is cooked thoroughly, and sauce thick enough for your liking, cool it a bit before adding to the casserole dish. once added, cover the top with the 2nd pastry sheet. i used the trimmed pieces of pastry to cover up any holes that may occur.

the casserole dish goes into the oven at 350º for about 25-30mins.

result: my first bite instantly brought me back home to south africa! i didn't intend on it, but this "pot pie" turned out like a steak pie from cape town, south africa (or brits will know what i'm talking about too). it was just lovely! i must say.. i actually impressed myself. :) to make it exactly like a south african steak pie next time, i will add a lot more pepper to make it a classic "steak n pepper pie"

so was this really a "beef pot pie"? not really! :) yum!