Monday, February 22, 2010

Beef Pot Pie

This is one of the few recipes I've come up with on my own. I absolutely love chicken pot pie, and I'll post my super simple recipe for chicken pot pie soon. About a year ago though, I was watching a lot of Food Network, particularly "30 Minute Meals with Rachel Ray." I started experimenting with foods more, in particular, beef. Steak isn't my favorite food, and I never eat it plain. But I got creative one day and came up with this lovely little dish.
First, you're going to start with about a pound or so of steak. This is the part where you're going to want me to tell you which kind of steak, because I'm aware there are different, um, varieties. Cuts? Anyway, that's neither here nor there because I have no idea. I've never paid attention since I don't eat it! Here's what I use: whatever my husband will let me use. He has "gourmet" steaks or something that I'm absolutely not allowed to cut up and use in something as mundane as a pot pie. If I happen to notice a steak in the freezer (obviously, I don't buy steak since I don't eat it) that looks less-fancy, I'll ask him if he minds if I use it. But as far as I know, pretty much any steak your husband won't kill you for using will work with this pot pie. It's forgiving.
Start by cubing your chosen steak into bite sized pieces. After cubing the steak, pat the meat dry.
Throw about a cup of flour in a gallon or quart sized baggie and add your meat. Toss this around till all the pieces are well coated.
Add the meat into a pan you've heated with olive oil. You can use a frying pan if it has deeper sides, since we'll be making our gravy in this pan as well. Throw in a little salt and pepper.
I like to cook my meat thoroughly and give it a nice sear on the outside too. Sometimes my husband will slice a steak into strips, and throw some seasoning into the baggie with the flour and fry those up. He calls them "Steaklets." (This is typically a meal he makes when I'm out of town and he's fending for himself. Man-food, I suppose.) Now when those are good and done, take them out of the pan and set them aside.
Add 3 T. of butter to the pan and let it melt. Then whisk in 3 T. of flour. It will start to bubble and brown just a little bit. This is called a roux, pronounced "roo," in case you're curious.
Now add 3-4 c. of beef broth or beef stock. I think I normally use most of a carton of broth. Stir it frequently, and just when you're really starting to doubt yourself, it will thicken up.
I promise. It will.
It'll be the consistancy of a nice gravy. And it will smell really good, too.
Next, prepare your pie crust. Maybe if you're a plan-ahead-er, it will be good to go, just waiting for you. But if not, do it now. You can make it from scratch, buy it premade, or buy one of those refrigerated crusts that you just roll out. I use a just-add-water pie crust mix that we love and is super easy. But no matter how you do it, it's still homemade with love. Don't let people tell you differently!
Now mix the gravy, the meat, and about 2 cups of frozen vegetables together. I also add a can of cream of potato soup. Add a little salt and pepper too, if you'd like.
Add your pie crust lid and seal the edges. Cut a slit in the center for a steam vent and bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees.

Beef Pot Pie
2-9" pie crusts
1 lb. steak
1 c. flour
olive oil
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
1 qt. beef stock
2 c. frozen veggies
1 can cream of potato soup
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare 9" pie pan with crust. Cube steak into bite-sized pieces and toss with flour in a zip-loc baggie. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook steak until well done. Remove steak from pan and set aside. Add butter to pan, melt. Whisk in flour and let cook until bubbly and just starting to brown. Whisk in beef stock. Cook, stirring frequently, until thick. Add meat, veggies, and potato soup to gravy. Season with salt and pepper and pour into pie crust. Add pie crust cop and press edges to seal. Cut slit in pie crust to vent. Bake for 30 minutes.

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