Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mid-week meal - Beef Pot Pie

I told you that if you hung around long enough, you would see the beef from Sunday's supper once again. Tonight I got home at about 1845 and by 1930 we were sitting down to a salad and steaming hot beef pot pie.

If you know how to time things, and if you are able to do some basic meal planning ahead of time, this can be very easy. First, oven at 425. Now make the crust. If you have a food processor, this can be done in under five minutes. Simply put flour, salt and chopped up cold butter into the processor, pulse for about 30 seconds, dump it into a bowl...

... add ice water, mix, mold into two pieces, one larger for the bottom and one smaller for the top, and put it in the fridge to firm up.

As you heat a pot on the stove, chop an onion. You'll also need some carrots and celery, but I chopped those on Sunday when I was making dinner and saved them, thus saving myself time when it counted. I also made more gravy than I needed on Sunday and set part of it aside.

Here is what you'll need.

Beef broth, leftover gravy from dinner on Sunday, celery, carrots, onions (the mirepoix) and chopped up cooked beef. Simple.

Saute the mirepoix until soft and fragrant. Add the beef, the broth, the gravy and let it simmer and thicken. Add salt, pepper and maybe more thyme. I love thyme and there cannot be too much of it.

Pull your pie crust dough out of the fridge. As you have been so lightening fast with the rest of the meal, it won't be all that firm. Roll it out and size it for whatever dish you wish to use. I wanted leftover leftovers so I used something rather larger than your average pie dish. Lay the dough into your dish, pierce a few times with a fork and put it in the oven for about 10 minutes to firm on the bottom. Roll out the other piece of dough while you wait.

Remove it from the oven and fill it up with the thickened filling. Lay the top layer of dough over it, make a few incisions and put it back into the oven. If you want to be more neat about it and crimp the edges together, fine, but it is Wednesday night and I don't care about crimped edges on Wednesday nights, I care about dinner, botcha (a bath) and bed.

Make a salad and clean up the kitchen while it bakes. It is done when it looks and smells done, sort of like this.

And that is a meal cooked entirely from scratch in under one hour. So don't tell me fast food is necessary as there is no time on the weeknights to cook a proper dinner. Hell, it took me longer to write this entry than it did to cook the whole thing and clean up.

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