Thursday, January 4, 2007

Beef Pot Pie

Adapted from "Joy of Cooking," by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker
  • 2 pounds boneless stew meat such as chuck, short-rib meat or bottom round, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried herbs (thyme, marjoram, savory, oregano and/or basil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil, bacon fat or beef drippings
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 small rib celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 to 3 cups beef or chicken stock, dry red or white wine, or beer
  • 2 to 3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 to 4 boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 turnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Minced parsley
  • Dough for 1 double-crust 10-inch pie, or 2 12-ounce containers refrigerated biscuit dough
  • 2 tablespoons beaten egg (about 1/2 large egg)
Pat meat dry and season with herbs, salt and black pepper. Dredge in flour. Heat oil or drippings in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, shake excess flour off meat and place pieces in Dutch oven in batches, being careful not to crowd. Brown on all sides and remove with slotted spoon as pieces finish browning.

When all pieces are browned, pour off all but 2 tablespoons oil (or add more if necessary) and add chopped onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cover and cook, stirring often, over medium heat until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Return meat to Dutch oven.

Add bay leaves, salt, black pepper and enough stock, wine or beer to cover meat at least halfway.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until meat is fork-tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Add chunks of carrots, potatoes and turnips and parsnips if desired, then cover and cook until vegetables are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Add additional stock, water, wine or beer as necessary to prevent scorching.

Remove pot from heat. Skim off any fat from surface, remove bay leaves, add parsley and adjust seasonings.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place one layer of pie dough in 2 1/2 quart casserole dish, fitting into bottom and sides and leaving overhang. Pour beef stew into prepared casserole and top with second layer of dough. Trim, leaving generous (1/2 inch) overhang, then crimp to seal.

Brush with beaten egg and bake 30 to 40 minutes, until crust is golden-brown and filling is bubbling.

If using biscuits, layer bottom of 2 1/2 quart casserole dish with biscuit rounds, overlapping if necessary. Pour in filling. Bake for 30 minutes, then add layer of biscuit rounds on top of filling and bake an additional 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Serves 4 to 6.

Thanks to Amy at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette

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