…pie? Hey, I’m talking about food — beef pot pie with English pastry, to be precise –so if you’re thinking about another kind of pot — a cast iron skillet or a Dutch oven, perhaps? — well, that’s all you!* 😉
Yesterday, we had a big ol’ California Pot roast made from a large, lean boneless eye round roast that I’d snagged on sale a few weeks ago and stored in my freezer, and so today, for supper, I’m using the leftovers for one of hubby’s absolute favorite dishes — pot pie with English pastry.
I have a few different variations on pot pie — one where I bake it in a pie pan with a traditional pie crust, another where I bake it in a casserole with more of a biscuit (quick bread) topping — but from the first time I gave this one a go, it became both of our favorites, hands-down.
*Okay, I confess…I was, maybe, just a wee little bit, trying to make you think of another kind of pot. 😉 Why don’t you listen to the video below while you peruse the rest of the post? You know you want to! We heard this song and learned of this band — Cross Canadian Ragweed — when we watched the film “Leaves of Grass.” (Which, BTW, is a pretty good film.) Heads up — the film is rated “R,” and I’m rating the song “R,” as well — you may not want to listen to it if you have young ears around you.
I’ve only ever made this with leftover beef roast, but I know of no reason why you couldn’t make it with chicken or turkey — or, for that matter, why you couldn’t use a hearty vegetable stew as a filling.
Because that’s the beauty of making it yourself, isn’t it? You make it how YOU like it.
For that matter, you don’t even have to have leftovers to make it — you could make up the filling expressly for the purpose of making a pot pie.
The two main things I like about this recipe are 1) it helps transform leftovers (roast, stew, or even a soup that you thicken and hearty-up a bit) into an entirely new dish and 2) this crust is incredibly easy to work with.
You want to have the filling heated through and simmering/bubbling when you put it into the pie crust, as the pie only bakes for 25 minutes or so.
The recipe for this crust comes from a re-issued edition of the 1950 “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book” that my mom gifted me with. I love looking through it for presentation and recipe ideas. The cookbook describes it as “Easy, unusually tender, wonderful for Meat Pies.” And I agree, wholeheartedly.
Pot Pie with English Pastry (Makes 6 to 8 servings)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup shortening (I like to use butter-flavored Crisco)
- 1/2 cup (or more, if needed) hot water (hot from the tap, NOT boiling)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 egg yolk, unbeaten
- Filling of choice for pie (bakes in a 2 quart casserole, so you’ll want a bit less than 2 quarts of filling)
- In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the 2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well.
- Stir (with a fork) or cut (with a pastry cutter or the dull side of two knives) the 2/3 cup shortening into the flour mixture, then stir in the 1/2 cup hot water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 egg yolk. Add a bit more water, a teaspoon or so at a time, if needed.
- Place in refrigerator to chill. (I would say it needs to chill at least 30 minutes or so, but I would think that you can certainly make this up ahead of time, cover it with cling wrap or place in an airtight container, and let it hang out in the ‘fridge for several hours.)
- Prepare desired filling (under 2 quarts) and heat through until it’s simmering/bubbling. I’m usually using leftover roast, so I chop up my meat and veg into bite-sized pieces and heat gravy and all together; but quite often, I’ll need or want to add in some more liquid to make more of a gravy, as well as round out the veg with some frozen mixed vegetables, perhaps a handful of frozen peas for color (I don’t like peas, y’all, but I’ve come to like frozen peas in some things, as they aren’t mushy), maybe some mushrooms…some diced tomato (tinned or fresh) and/or tomato sauce can add a different twist. Seriously, whatever kind of thick stew — because that’s pretty much what pot pie filling is — that you want for the filling.
- While the filling is heating/simmering, preheat oven to 425F.
- Pat out 3/4 of the pastry into a 2 quart casserole.
- Fill with desired filling.
- Cover with the rest of the pastry (I always cut slits in the top to allow for the escape of steam).
- Bake for about 25 minutes.
- Let rest, preferably on a baker’s rack, for at least 15 minutes before serving.
- Store leftovers in the ‘fridge.
It smells — and tastes — so yummy!