Saturday, March 20, 2010

Beef & Leek Potpie with Chive Crust

It makes for a bad picture, but an excellent meal!

A few years back I subscribed to Cooking Light.  I love their recipes.  They are frequently labor intensive and often have many unusual ingredients.  However, every recipe I've tried from them tastes delicious!  D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S.  But after about a year of receiving the magazines, I had quite a messy pile of them waiting to be cooked from.  There had to be a better way.
Enter the Annual Recipes Collection.  At the end of each year, Cooking Light publishes a book with all their recipes from the year.  One of my favorite parts is that they are organized by month so it's easy to find recipes that match the season.

Okay...I just have to interrupt this post for a second.  As I write this there is a frantic squirrel on my deck digging through my flower pots.  I was watching it, totally confused as to why it was digging through two geraniums that had been inside all winter and thinking it has lost its mind.  Then I realized, that those two plants were not in that exact spot last summer/fall.  However, the geraniums that were there, both mysteriously sprouted oak trees this spring.  Looks like my squirrel hid two acorns inside my geraniums but I messed up its plan by bringing them inside. have the memory of a squirrel.  Sorry... I digress!

So, this recipe was listed in the March section.  It's a great cold weather dish for those days when you want to curl up with a cozy, hearty meal.  It made a lot for us (about 9 portions--I poured some of the filling into a smaller container and froze it to be eaten later.)

Beef and Leek Potpie with Chive Crust
Adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2009

(This can be easily made into a hearty vegetarian meal.  Just take out the beef and substitute veggie broth for the beef broth.  Maybe add some green beans to mix up the veggies in the filling.) 

  • 1 1/4 cups Flour (I used Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour but Better Batter would work better! I just didn't have any.) 
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance Shortening
  • 1/4 cup ice water (I ended up using more.... GF flour is thirsty!)

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean beef cut into 1-inch cubes (I just get whatever is low in fat & on sale!) 
  • 4 thinly sliced leeks (How to slice a leek video)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 1/4 cups beef broth (low-sodium or not...your choice) 
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed potatoes (I used yukon gold) 
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • ground pepper to taste
  • cooking spray

Prepare the Crust: 

  1. Mix flour, chives, salt in a medium bowl with a whisk or fork.  
  2. Cut in shortening with two knives or a pastry blender until it's crumbly.  
  3. Sprinkle ice water over flour mixture a little at a time and mix with a fork until it's crumbly but moistish.  (Yes.  Mositish is a technical term.) 
  4. Press into a ball, cover, and put in the fridge to chill. 

Make the filling: 
  1. Preheat oven to 400*F for later when the pie is ready to cook in the oven. 
  2. Heat a large saute pan (I have a nice one with tall sides) or Dutch Oven over medium heat on the stovetop and coat with cooking spray.  Add in beef and cook until browned on all sides. 
  3. Toss in leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook until softened. 
  4. Add in rosemary, thyme, wine, beef broth, and potatoes and bring to a boil.  
  5. When it boils, turn down the heat so the mixture cooks at a low simmer and cook covered until the potatoes are soft (about 15 minutes). 
  6. Add in the peas, salt and pepper. 
  7. Spoon out about a 1/4 cup of the liquid and mix with the cornstarch until smooth.  Then pour back into the pan and stir.  
  8. Remove from the heat and keep covered until you're ready to assemble. 
Assembling the Pie:

    For all you gluten eaters out there you'll find this step easy.  You roll out the dough as normal, easily move to the top of the filling and you're done.  Us, Gluten Free Fans begin to sweat when the thought of having to move GF dough from one surface to the other.  (Or is that just me?)  For some tips on a GF pie crust see Amy's blog here.
  1. Take the dough out of the fridge and put it on a long piece of parchment paper with some (GF) flour sprinkled underneath the dough.  
  2. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough and roll it out using a rolling pin to a size where it will fit whatever size pan you're using for the potpie. 
  3. Take the top layer of parchment paper off carefully. 
  4. Pour your filling into your pan.  (I used a Corning Ware oval baking dish.) 
  5. Carefully take your parchment paper with the rolled out crust and flip it onto the top of your potpie filling.  
  6. Then peel off the parchment paper and you should be good to go.
  7. Cut 5 slits for the steam to escape (or maybe all the holes in your GF dough are there on purpose!) 
  8. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until browned.  
FYI: I ended up having enough dough for my large potpie (5 servings)  but not my small one. I just froze the smaller one (4 servings) sans crust and will make the crust before I eat it again.

We ate ours with the leftover red wine and a nice garden salad.   Enjoy!

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