As I expected, two people weren't able to finish the 1½ pound pot roast I prepared yesterday. So what to do with the leftovers? Make pot pie, of course! Especially since it's National Pot Pie Month.
I took the leftover beef and gravy and added frozen peas and carrots. I used store-bought puff pastry and made pot pies. The flakiness from the crust and the creamy filling made the most delicious meal. I prepared them in individual metal tins so each person gets more puff pastry. How could anyone resist?
I served the pot pies with whole baby corn. I was able to find some at my local Asian market despite the season (check for Melissa's baby corn brand).
Servings: 6 servings
12 (5-inch) squares frozen puff pastry, store bought, thawed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon heavy cream (or milk)
1 cup leftover beef
1½ cups leftover beef gravy
, as needed
1½ cups frozen peas and carrots, diced
2 tablespoons celery stalk, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
4 button mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Serrano chili pepper (optional), sliced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons curly parsley
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
For the pot pie crust:
Lightly spray some oil on 6 disposable pot pie pans. Remove the excess oil.
Roll out the puff pastry on a very lightly floured surface. Cut into 6 disks slightly bigger than the circumference of the pot pie tins. Lay a dough round on each pot pie pan and press it into the mold. Prick the puff pastry dough with a fork. Brush a thin layer of egg over the puff pastry and place the pot pie tins in the refrigerator until the rest of the preparation is ready.
For the meat:
Shred the meat using two forks: have the forks meet at the middle and pull in opposite directions to separate the beef. If the meat is very tender, it should be pull apart easily.
For the vegetables:
Note: Usually I add a bit of liquid to thin gravy or any sauce to re-heat it, but in this recipe, you want to keep the thick texture (see tips).
In a skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil on high heat. Add the Serrano chili pepper and infuse the oil. Remove and discard the chile (optional). Add the onions and cook for 6-8 minutes until golden and softened. Add minced garlic until it's slightly golden Add the celery and cook for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, peas and carrots. Cover with the cold gravy (add as much as needed until the mixture is thick and well combined). Add parsley, season with salt and pepper, stir well, then turn off the heat. Let cool to room temperature. Add the meat and mix until well combined.
Add 1 tablespoon cream to the remaining egg mixture.
Divide the pot pie filling equally among the 6 pot pie tins. Don't overfill the tins. Roll the remaining 6 pieces of puff pastry into 6 disks. The disks should be about ½" wider than the top of the tins. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with more egg, then place the disks on top of each pot pie. Fold the excess dough under itself. Fold the dough over the side; seal and crimp the dough to fold over the side with your fingers. Brush the dough with more egg. Make 3 slits on the top of each pot pie using a paring knife.
Place the 6 pot pies on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes at 425°F, then lower the heat to 400°F and bake for another 20-25 minutes, until the pie crust is golden.
Remove from the oven and let the pot pies cool down for about 15 minutes.
Garnish with more parsley leaves. Serve with more gravy on the side.
The egg is the secret to a non-soggy crust. It acts as a sealant for the pie when the filling is added. You also need a very cold puff pastry to guarantee flaky puff pastry.
It is important to slit a few vents into the dough on top of the pot pie to prevent the filling from bursting out during baking.
One tip to get a perfect thick filling is to "over" thicken the gravy prior to adding the vegetables. When you add the vegetables, the veggies will release their own liquid and will balance the texture of the sauce, especially after it's baked in the oven.