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Pot Pies: Home Cooking Dish of the Month (January 2013)

Welcome to the first Dish of the Month thread for 2013!

In January we will be cooking Pot Pies. We didn't have a voting thread this month, because the nominations were overwhelmingly in favor of pot pies. If you'd like to view the nomination thread, you can see it here:

If you'd like to view December's thread on Gratins, you can view it here:

I've loosely defined pot pies as a savory baked pie which contains some type of meat and vegetables, in a sauce or gravy, topped with a starchy crust. (Vegetarian versions are, of course, also welcome.) Some pot pies have crust only on top, some are baked with a top and bottom crust. Crusts can be short pastry, biscuit, potato, phyllo, etc.

As usual, you are invited to use published recipes, old favorites, or a recipe you've invented. Please describe your recipe, and your outcome. Photos are always encouraged. Please remember to paraphrase any recipes that are not your own; verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

I leave you to your January cooking with a quote from Craig Claiborne:
“There is nothing better on a cold wintry day than a properly made pot pie.”

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  1. Chicken Pot Pie with Bacon and Corn

    I made this a couple nights ago, it was still December, so I guess I'm cheating a bit! We had roasted a chicken the day before, and in light of the planned Dish of the Month, a pot pie seemed the perfect destination for the leftovers. I cooked up some bacon, then sautéed carrots, onion, celery, and corn. Added chicken stock, a little cream, and let it reduce. I then added the chopped chicken and put it in a soufflé dish. I realized I don't have an appropriate dish for a pot pie, but this worked. I made a pie crust with added tarragon, vented it with my blackbird, and popped it in the oven.

    Quite a success! Mr. NS had declared himself very picky about pot pies, and he raved about this one. I loved the corn and bacon combination. So homey and comforting.

    Tonight…turkey is coming out of the freezer and going into another pie!

    2 Replies
    1. re: L.Nightshade

      Love your pie bird! Reminds me of my mom…

      1. re: L.Nightshade

        I just want to sing with the pie bird about your awesome pot pie LW! Excellent start to the thread. Like the corn addition to a traditional chicken pie... well, and the blackbird singing:)

      2. Vegan Pot Pie (No "weird" ingredients)

        Chopped, then sauteed in olive oil (in batches):


        Added them all back to the big frying pan, seasoned with S&P, added a bit of water, covered and let them steam gently.

        Meanwhile, in another pot, made a roux, then added veggie stock; cooked until thick.

        Combined veggies and sauce, added a large handful of thawed frozen peas, and some thyme, poured into a casserole and topped with short-cut pastry. Baked until bubbling and golden.

        Very satisfying, and you can basically use whatever you have.

        6 Replies
        1. re: pikawicca

          just curious...what would you consider to be "weird ingredients"?

          1. re: The Professor

            Vegans. Sorry couldn't resist. There are recipes w/ things like quorn.

            1. re: The Professor

              chower has it. I like tofu in traditional Asian preparations, and can tolerate crumbled tempeh in some dishes. Big slabs of tempeh and seitan and other fake meat products are entirely off-putting to me. I consider them to be "weird," but that's just me. (Every fake bacon I've tried has been an abomination. If I feel that I really must have bacon, I'll find a slice of humanely raised product and eat that.)

              1. re: pikawicca

                I so agree!

                I have never understood the existence of icky, ultra-processed pseudo-meat products. Eat meat or don't; your choice, no problem. But please don't support the creation of weird chunks of meat-flavored stuff, people!

                1. re: sandylc

                  Yes, I would prefer a vegetable pot pie over a fake meat pot pie.

                  1. re: chowser

                    I have a recipe for you! I haven't made it yet but I absolutely loved it at a pot luck so I asked for the recipe. Tofu was the star and nutritional yeast a secret ingredient. It was made into one big pie not in individual ramekins.


          2. Excited for this! I'm just getting into pot pies lately.

            Last night I made small pies stuffed with Christmas leftovers - turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and some curry stew I was getting rid of. I made a whole wheat, half-butter-half-lard short crust and made nine of them in a muffin tin. They were tasty, but I'm still experimenting with pastry and the texture wasn't quite right. I was also guessing with the temp (350) and the time (I didn't time it, so who knows).

            Small request: If possible, please don't skimp on the pastry details. Most recipes I find describe the filling and then just say "make enough pastry for a double crust pie". I'm very inexperienced with baking (four tourtières, two pizzas, and the aforementioned mini-pies sums up my total oven experiences) and could use all the help I can get!

            Thanks, friends! Happy baking!

            8 Replies
            1. re: plasticanimal

              My basic pastry:

              1 cup flour
              pinch salt
              1/3 cup very cold shortening (I use Spectrum organic)
              1 tablespoon chilled vodka
              2-3 tablespoons ice water

              Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening. Add vodka and just enough water to form a dough. Shape into ball. Roll between 2 sheets of plastic wrap.

              IME, it's better to use a touch too much liquid, rather than too little. And unless you've over-handled the dough, resting in the fridge causes more problems than it solves.

              1. re: pikawicca

                Far out, so many great tips!

                Is the vodka for flavour or some kind of chemical reaction?


                1. re: plasticanimal

                  Not for flavor. It greatly improves the texture of the crust.

                  1. re: plasticanimal

                    The theory behind using vodka is that when you're working the dough, it feels like you're adding all water, but you're actually adding nearly half alcohol, which cooks off more completely than the water.

                    1. re: heidipie

                      Also, the alchohol doesn't react with flour to develop gluten (I think...), so you can both add a little more liquid, and work the dough a bit more without it getting tough.

                      of course this is from memories of ATK, and not from direct experience... I am NOT much of a baker!

                      Edit: This was supposed to be a response to heidipie way up thread. Second time it's happened today...hmmm.

                  2. re: pikawicca

                    I've been curious about the vodka addition. A friend of mine used vodka in piecrusts, and his oven exploded open with blue bursts of flame! Too much vodka?

                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                      (Snorting wine out my nose.) I think you nailed it, LN. My first belly laugh of the new year. Thank you.

                    2. re: pikawicca

                      Saw the use of vodka on an episode of ATK. Interesting. Makes sense...probably the only way I ever used my Chemistry degree..

                  3. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/cu...

                    Lovely prices during the holiday on lamb shoulder and I've been craving a curried lamb for weeks, so this pot pie from the folks at F&W was taped to the frig. Made a lovely gravy. I use club soda in my pastry (my Aunt's method) and the only substitute I made to the entire recipe as written. Truly savory flavors here. I expect the leftovers to be even better.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: HillJ

                      That recipe looks delicious! Do you think bison or grass fed beef (both of which I have at home) would be acceptable substitutes for the lamb?

                      1. re: adirunner

                        Absolutely, both rich meats would be lovely against the interesting ingredient list. Enjoy and do report back, thanks!

                    2. Curried Turkey Pot Pie

                      After Thanksgiving we froze the leftover turkey, and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to thaw it. I sautéed celery, onion, carrots, fresh ginger, potatoes, some sturdy mixed braising greens, almonds, and currants, then added spices to the sauté. I ground coriander, cardamom, cumin, cassia, cloves, mace, fennel seed, fenugreek, chile flakes, turmeric, and Tellicherry pepper. Heavy on the coriander and turmeric. Once it became extremely aromatic, I added the turkey meat and a bit of stock, then let it reduce.

                      I had leftover pastry in the fridge from the other night, which I re-rolled, and added black nigella and cumin seed. (My standard pastry consists of 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced, 1/4 cup ice water, with added herbs or spices as the theme dictates) The pastry was a bit over-worked by this time, so it looked a little funny. I rolled a circle just big enough to cover the curried turkey, and baked it at 400º for about 35 minutes, then plopped each serving on the plate with a bit of chutney.

                      This was another big hit in the Nightshade home, and I've been asked to put it in the repeat file. But it's all leftovers! And there are so many more pot pies to try!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                        Both your pies look and sound lovely LN. Pot pies are such a great way to use up leftovers and any wayward produce lurking in the crisper I find.

                      2. http://cakebatterandbowl.com/individu...

                        We're hosting brunch on Saturday and I plan to make a dozen of these breakfast pot pies. The last time I made them we used a turkey basil sausage but this time I'm going to use chicken sausage. The puff pastry is the perfect compliment and they look so pretty in individual ceramics (which I throw & fire myself in the studio) pots.

                        Anyone else have a breakfast pot pie recipe to share?

                        19 Replies
                        1. re: HillJ

                          What a wonderful idea: Breakfast pot pies! Hadn't even thought of that. I hope you report back, and I'd love to see photos with your hand-thrown pots!

                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                            While I'm borrowing a copy of SK's cookbook, her Pancetta, White Bean and Swiss Chard Pot Pies, which could be enjoyed breakfast, lunch or dinner inspired me.

                          2. re: HillJ

                            I love the idea of breakfast pot pie. I've made biscuits and gravy where I add eggs, whole, to the gravy, put pot in oven and let them cook. If I topped that w/a biscuit dough, it would essentially be a pot pie and the biscuit would absorb the sausage gravy. I can't wait to try this.

                            1. re: chowser

                              chowser, I'm not sure I fully understand your method. what type of gravy do you use? Do you add any fresh herbs to the biscuit dough or eggs?

                              1. re: HillJ

                                Sorry, I should have clarified sausage gravy. I crack the egg into the gravy and each cooks in its own little pocket--a short cut to making poached eggs to put on top. I use regular biscuit dough but herbed would be a nice improvement.

                                1. re: chowser

                                  My husband and son would enjoy your version, chowser. I'll have to take a "crack" at it! Txs.

                              2. re: chowser

                                I always use biscuit dough to top my pot pies; it's great! A few caveats though (through hard experience since I chose not to listen to my mother). Reduce the amount of liquid in your biscuits by about 1/3. Roll it out thinner than you think. Thick biscuit crust results in soggy and uncooked biscuit dough even though the top looks glorious. Poke many steam slits. I'm not your mother, but trust me....

                                1. re: dianne0712

                                  I bake the biscuits separately, then pop one or two on top of each serving -- does away with the sogginess factor altogether.

                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    Taking it a step further, you can split a hot biscuit on your plate and spoon over your creamed chicken and vegetables.

                                    1. re: sandylc

                                      Indeed. (And the cook can earmark any non-soggy biscuits for breakfast the next day.)

                                    2. re: pikawicca

                                      i did this, about a month or so ago. didn't post it because it was a pretty pedestrian prep, but i made the filling with store-bought chicken, frozen veggies, and pillsbury-type pop-up biscuits. i'm not ashamed - it was for my dad who LOVES this kind of stuff. and it looked cute, all those little round puffy biscuits!

                                2. re: HillJ

                                  Thanks for sharing this recipe HillJ, I love the idea of breakfast pot pie.

                                  Here's a recipe for a Tomato & Wild Mushroom Pot Pie that I'd flagged. I bet this would make for a nice breakfast or brunch pot pie as well:


                                  Thanks so much for the inspiration!

                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                    Campari tomato & wild mushrooms, be still my heart! Thanks for the link. That recipe is going on the frig. Lovely, thanks breadc!

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      Glad this one appeals HillJ. btw, if you have a chance, I'd love to see a photo of your ceramic pots...I love unique tableware and ovenware and your individual pots sounds delightful.

                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                        Here's a small example from a magazine shot a few years ago. I don't know if we've had this discussion before but as a pro photograper (food & lodging is my realm only) my own pots are often in the shot. One of my signatures.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          HillJ what a stunning piece. Your glazing technique creates a beautiful effect, very appealing to the eye. The blue colour inside works beautifully with the brown...one of my favourite colour combinations. What an exciting career you have as well. Culinary tourism seems to be such a high growth market these days so you're really well situated. It must be very exciting to see your works published. Congratulations!!

                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            Very generous of you to say, breadc. This is my 4th career and the one I always wanted (true!). The blues/browns are a nice combo. My favorite is the green/browns but I've been working with new glazing powders the last year to nail a tiger stripe pattern=challenging. Most food styling works well in those colors and light.

                                            Back on topic though, I'm thinking about adding a rice shelled pot pie to my brunch menu for the non-meat eaters. Any recommendations there?

                                            I found this one that I might tweak:

                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              Sounds like a wonderful career HillJ and nice to land where you know you were always intended to be. Your description of the green/brown combo reminded me of a turquoise/brown combo mr bc & I fell in love w in Barbados. The house we rented had some beautiful, mis-matched dinnerware imported from Japan and the pieces we adored were that combo. I think it was because the colour was so reminiscent of the hues of the Caribbean sea. The brown really made it pop.

                                              As for your rice crusted pie, I think that's a great idea. That curry version you found sounds lovely. The other option that would work well w a rice crust would be a Mexican inspired version. This one has a cornbread top but you could easily go w your rice crust. I'd skip the ground meat so it's vegetarian friendly (obviously) and just double up on the beans or other veggies.


                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                hues of the Caribbean sea...easy to find inspiration there!!

                                                I'm loving the recommendation to go Mexican. I'm going to do a bit more recipe combing and see how this brunch comes together. The pot pie in individual portions really would work well at this meal...so many choices!!

                                3. So pleased this is the cooking exploration of the month!

                                  I will be joining in with my first (predictable) effort for 2013: Red Pepper Turkey Pie. Absolutely standard in all respects as any other decent made-with-planned-overs turkey pie, well-seasoned with summer savoury and thyme, but the addition of the roasted red peppers makes it both delicious and eye-catching.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: LJS

                                    LJS, do you use turkey ground or roasted meat? I love red peppers. Are you cooking from a specific book?

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      HillJ: for this recipe, I am actually using leftover turkey from the Christmas roast and red peppers that I roasted and chopped. I have been doing this for so long that I do not use a recipe for my 'regulars'. However, I want to branch out and that is why I am so keen on this thread, I am getting inspired to range beyond my comfort zone and for that I surely will use recipes.

                                      1. re: LJS

                                        I'm enjoying all the ideas myself,LJS. I love a good leftover recipe! Thanks.

                                  2. http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/the-chew...

                                    My younger son just asked for mac and cheese pot pie--let me tell you it's amazingly, surprisingly yummy but very rich.

                                    Between our mac n cheese burgers, mac and cheese casseroles, mac n cheese bites and mac and cheese fondue..the pot pie was the clear winner.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      I would love to explore mac and cheese one month.

                                      1. re: chowser

                                        Me too. My grad school days come flooding back!

                                    2. So last night I cooked a play on a pot pie. I took my favourite filling that I normally tuck under a puff pastry blanket and put it inside a calzone. Why? Because my pizzaholic husband isn't a fan of pastry.

                                      For the filling I use Jamie Oliver's recipe for Turkey and leek pie (http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/tu...) although I do like to tweak this recipe slightly. Firstly I more often use chicken, usually from leftovers. Secondly I thinly slice an onion to cook with the leeks and mince up 2 or 3 cloves of garlic as well. Thirdly, when I add the meat to those beautiful melt in the mouth leeks, I add 4 to 6 fresh chopped sage leaves.

                                      I have also adapted this recipe to make it vegetarian by obviously omitting the bacon and turkey and using a good quality vegetarian sausage and/or including meaty mushrooms.

                                      For the calzone I used my favourite pizza dough recipe from Smitten Kitchens cookbook. But obviously this would work with the dough of your choice.

                                      2 Replies
                                        1. re: Musie

                                          Musie that looks scrumptious! I found this Pizza Pot Pie on Pinterest that you might be interested in....I can't wait to try it:


                                        2. http://sheilahskitchen.blogspot.com/2...

                                          I'm thinking this simple cottage pie will have to make the pot pie HCDM line up at my place some point this month!

                                          The combinations sound so comforting but I have a question about keeping the ground grease at bay. Anyone have any super tips about working with ground beef in a pie and how to really avoid every last drop of grease? That dilemma is usually why I skip most ground beef pies.

                                          13 Replies
                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            if the ground beef is precooked, you can rinse it under hot running water.

                                            1. re: splatgirl

                                              really? I can't imagine doing that. Oil & water don't mix, I'd still need to blot the meat and it would now be doused with water.

                                              What I've tried is paper towel blotting, letting the meat rest in a colandar or use low fat choices like ground turkey or lamb. I don't care for ground chicken.

                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                Speaking from personal experience, It works great. This was standard practice (at schools, even) in the low-fat crazy days. Lots of info on google, too.

                                                Sounds like you've got paper towels involved anyway, but if you are adverse to their use you could always dry the cooked meat by putting it back into a hot skillet.

                                                1. re: splatgirl

                                                  Not adverse really, just looking for the easiest way to deal with beef grease. Can't say I'd apply the water example but the dry skillet method sounds more to my liking anyway. Thanks for your help, I appreciate it.

                                            2. re: HillJ

                                              Never tried it, but from what I gather, a lot of people boil their ground beef (especially store bought) when making chili and tacos in order to remove more grease.

                                              1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                                Really, why is this water method sounding so odd to me. I make chili & tacos and I've never boiled beef. This is so interesting to me. I have to read more about this method, thanks.

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  A lot of folks on my weight loss board rinse their ground beef too. I personally think it sounds like overkill, especially since there's no real way to tell exactly how much calories and fat you're getting rid of. I just move all the meat to one side of the pan then tip the pan slightly so all the fat pools in one end, and then absorb all the excess oil with some paper towels. I also do not use oil in the pan when browning it, don't see the point.

                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                    Okay so I'm not alone here on water dousing or boiling ground beef. I tip the pan too, and blot and drain and I never add oil to ground beef either...or sausage for the same reason. Grill the grease drips nicely so that's my preferred method for preparing ground beef but in a pot pie seeing grease in a beef pie would not appeal.

                                                    1. re: juliejulez


                                                      Taken from the above:
                                                      "warm water (150°F) rinsing of the
                                                      crumbles was effective in removing about half of the fat still left in the crumbles after cooking and blotting"

                                                      I'd call reducing the fat by an additional 50% worthwhile if those are your goals.

                                                    2. re: HillJ

                                                      A little more research on the web tells me that there are quite a few (not all) Cincinnati Chili recipes that employ the boiling (or simmering) method.

                                                      Also, I'm guessing that patrons of Ted's Restaurant (aka "Ted's World Famous Steamed Cheeseburger") in Meriden CT. would say steaming is an option:


                                                      1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                                        Well that explains it, I've never been to Cincinn or eaten a burger in Meriden CT.

                                                        I wasn't concerned with cutting the fat in my diet while making a beef pot pie, I was focused on the grease in a pot pie. I'll give boiling a try one day just to see how it turns out but I'm not in a hurry to.

                                                        1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                                          I have eaten at Teds, and his steaming technique mostly emphasizes the cheese...I don't think it helps the flavor of the meat. The blotted fat frying methods above sound better than boiling.

                                                          1. re: DonShirer

                                                            So, flavor aside, would you concur with the customer in the video that the burger is "juicy but not greasy"?

                                                  2. Tonight we had chicken pot pie. A few days ago, I made a double recipe--several individual ones, frozen, to send home with my sister as part of her Christmas gift, and one whole pie for us. For these, I used the Pillsbury rolled crusts available in the dairy section; if I were to make my own pastry, I'd use the vodka crust similar to pikawicca's.

                                                    For anyone interested, I'm including my recipe below. It's very forgiving, open to many interpretations:

                                                    POT PIES

                                                    6-7 T. butter
                                                    2 lg. carrots, cut into chunks, ¾ -1 inch thick
                                                    10-12 oz. fresh pearl onions, peeled (or ½ # frozen, added
                                                    at end)
                                                    2 c mushrooms, wild, domestic, or a mix, cleaned and halved or quartered
                                                    1 lg. leek, white and pale green part only, cleaned and sliced
                                                    1 lg. or 2 sm. shallot (s), minced
                                                    2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
                                                    2 cloves garlic, minced
                                                    1/3 c. all purpose flour
                                                    3. c chicken or turkey stock
                                                    1/3 c. dry white wine
                                                    1/3 c. heavy cream
                                                    Salt and pepper to taste
                                                    2 ½ -3 c. cooked chicken or turkey, in chunks and pieces
                                                    2 T. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
                                                    ½ c. frozen or fresh green peas

                                                    Yields 8-10 c. filling

                                                    Pie or puff pastry—enough for 6 individual pies or 2 9- or 10-inch pies

                                                    Melt 1 T. Butter in lg. skillet over med. heat. Saute carrots 7-8 minutes until barely tender.
                                                    Set aside in separate bowl. [If using fresh pearl onions, add another T. of butter and sauté 6-8 minutes until they begin to soften. Add to bowl.] Add another 2 T. butter, raise heat to
                                                    med. high, and sauté mushrooms until they begin to brown. Add to bowl.

                                                    Melt remaining butter in same pot over medium heat. Add leeks; sauté about 5 minutes, and add shallots, thyme, and garlic to leeks. Sauté another 3-4 minutes. Add flour and stir 2 minutes. Stir in broth and white wine. Increase heat to high and bring to boil, stirring constantly.
                                                    Add cream and boil until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon, whisking frequently, 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

                                                    To bowl of sautéed ingredients, add chicken or turkey. Pour gravy over mixture in dish. Stir to blend. Cool 45 minutes.

                                                    Preheat oven to 375F.

                                                    Add parsley & peas [and frozen pearl onions if not using fresh] to mixture in bowl.

                                                    Butter casserole dish (or individual-portion dishes). Pour in filling. Top with pastry, pressing edges to seal. Cut hole or slits to vent. Bake on top rack of oven, about 30 minutes, until pastry is brown and filling is bubbling.

                                                    Vegetarian: omit meat; increase amounts of carrots, leeks, and mushrooms (and more butter for sautéing ); substitute vegetable stock for poultry stock.

                                                    Beef variation: omit poultry stock, white wine, poultry; substitute equal amounts of beef stock, dry red wine, and small cubes of chuck, browned well, or pieces of leftover steak.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                      That is a very pretty pie! I love the little star cutout.

                                                    2. Turkey Pot Pie with Leeks, Fennel, Carrots & Sweet Peas

                                                      This was a home grown concoction born out of leftovers and items lingering in the crisper on return from our vacation. I made a velouté sauce w leeks and chives then sauteed some very thinly sliced fennel and more leeks until almost caramelized, added the leftover veggies and cubed turkey.
                                                      A purchased (President's Choice) puff pastry made for a perfect crust w a light egg wash. A quick dusting of fennel pollen and the dish went into a 375° oven for 35 mins.

                                                      This turned out quite nicely and made for a very quick and tasty dinner.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                        Looks wonderful Breadcrumbs! I'm loving the way pot pies adapt to leftovers.

                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                          Thanks so much LN. I totally agree. Actually for years, mr bc has told me he didn't like pot pies and this is the first one I've made for him. I'm glad it worked out because it opens a lot of doors, especially w a freezer I'm hoping to clean out as a goal for the new year!

                                                          btw, turns out he'd only ever had store bought pot pies and the reason he didn't like them was because he thought the gravy was slimy. I wish I'd asked years ago!!

                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                            That's so funny, very similar situation here! The first pot pie I made for Mr. NS, he declared the best he'd ever eaten. Then he said the same about the second one!

                                                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                          bc, that looks wonderful - i love the leeks and fennel combo.

                                                        3. Tonight I'm making crab and shrimp in a creamy roasted red pepper sauce individual pot pies. Recipe and pictures to come!

                                                          1. Shrimp Pot Pie
                                                            I found this recipe on the 'net and it sounded good so I gave it a go. My big change was the crust -- I made pie crust rather than using puff pastry -- it was a hassle, bubbled over itself and browned too dark. Next time I'll use an easier enclosure, because I liked the insides. The important part was the filling -- quite good! The recipe I used is here:
                                                            I think with most pot pies you can fool around with the seasoning.
                                                            I like it as is, but some reviewers at the site added spice.

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                              I've been thinking about a seafood pie, but my concern was how to keep the seafood from overcooking while the crust browned. I've thought about cooking the crust separately and assembling it at the last minute. But it sounds like it worked for you to cook it all together. Maybe I'll give it a try.

                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                The shrimp *was* cooked, L.Nightshade -- and the carrots & celery al dente. I just let the shrimp get pink -- a very quick process. I think all the cream insulated them while in the oven.

                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                  Now I'm wondering -- pot pie ingredients "are" usually pre-cooked, at least par-cooked, aren't they?
                                                                  Otherwise it's a casserole, right?

                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                    I precook my ingredients. the trick is to precook things just enough so that they are perfectly done after baking. carrots take more precook time than broccoli, for instance. peas probaly dont need any. I always saute onions and garlic, etc...

                                                                    1. re: kwai_chang

                                                                      Tricky, to get the pre-cooking right. I know a recipe that specifies: potatoes, 7 minutes; carrots, 4 minutes; onions, until wilted; etc. But everyone likes pot pie so much, it's really worth it to have two or three trustworthy fillings and at least one crust in mind when you need one.
                                                                      Frozen/fresh peas (or corn) don't need pre-cooking, I agree.

                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                        I made a vegetable pot pie a few months ago, and I cut each veg into little cubes and steamed each kind separately until it was just barely done before assembling the pies with sauce and homemade puff pastry. Was great. Totally worth the effort.

                                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                                          I agree, peas and corn don't need pre-cooking, most everything else does. That's why I feel a little trepidation about seafood pot pies; it's so easy to overcook seafood, but it would probably be too dicey to put it in un-, or even under-cooked.

                                                              2. Anyone ever made Ina Garten's Lobster Pot Pie? Me, not yet but I get light-headed thinking about it. Check it out.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: mike.foodguy

                                                                  I have made her vegetable pot pie,
                                                                  and now I notice that both the lobster and the vegetable call for Pernod. I had forgotten I soaked crushed fennel seeds in vodka instead.
                                                                  The vegetable pie was excellent, here's my old review --

                                                                2. Hi,

                                                                  I was browsing the site and couldnt resist the pot pie thread, as I do love them...

                                                                  I start with a whole chicken baked in the oven. this gives white and dark meat, and lots of good juices for the sauce/gravy. then I add as many different fresh (hopefully) veggies as I can find.

                                                                  I saw below about the vodka crust, which is good ( a Cooks Illustrated recipe btw). I only crust the top (the only thing I use lard for), but sometimes bake slabs of extra dough/crust on the side to have more....

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: kwai_chang

                                                                    Speaking of slabs of extra crust, my friend Syd does an inside out pot pie. He makes the filling on the stove, bakes rectangles of pie crust in the oven and then serves the crust on the plate and pours the filling on top. Something he learned in the Army. Different presentation but if you have a chicken pot pie you adore, another way to serve it.

                                                                  2. This is the best Chicken Pot Pie I've ever had (and made)... it comes from 'The Pastry Queen', Rebecca Rather, who ran a wonderful bakery and restaurant in Texas for years.

                                                                    The sauce is wonderful. And the pastry, for those of us who suck at pastry, is easy to make and, given it contains cream cheese, incredibly good. I make these in individual cast iron pots. My friends clamor for them:


                                                                    Her cookbooks are terrific, btw:


                                                                    And, FYI, she has published the recipe various places. So it is ok to post here. I liked this post because of the pictures and writing.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Tom P

                                                                      I adore this bloggers fun spirit, been a fan awhile!

                                                                    2. oyster and corn pot pie.

                                                                      cook 4 pieces bacon and then saute medium onion in same pan, throw in about 1.5 cups each Trader joes three bell pepper mix and roasted corn. Add some minced parsley and a bunch of chopped green onions, a bit of cayenne pepper. toss in a pie pan with small contained shucked oysters. Crust is very easy, 1.5 cups flour (I often substitute 1/4 cup cornmeal for white flour), 2 tbs butter, 3/4 cup of creme fraiche or sour cream. Bake until golden.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Madrid

                                                                        That sounds wonderful; please tell us more! How did it turn out?

                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                          I like it so much I make it a couple of times a year. The orginal recipe came from the old Time-Life Series, the New Orleans/Cajun volume. I use only one jar of oysters and add the peppers and corn, not in original recipe which is much more oyster heavy. Oysters are uncooked; they cook just right in the baking time (about 20 to 30 minutes). The dough is a dream;it's not sticky or dry and I like to think the sour cream/creme fraiche is less caloric than more butter (ha!). I like it because it is one of the few cooked oyster preparations that doesn't involve heavy cream.

                                                                          1. re: Madrid

                                                                            Thanks! I actually think we have that book somewhere. Love the idea of creme fraiche in the crust; I'll have to try it.

                                                                      2. Quick, Easy and Comforting Chicken Pot Pie


                                                                        2 cups Peeled And Diced Potatoes
                                                                        4 Tablespoons Butter
                                                                        ½ cups Diced Celery
                                                                        ½ cups Diced Onion
                                                                        ¼ cups Flour
                                                                        2 cups Chicken Broth
                                                                        1 cup Light Cream Or Half-and-Half
                                                                        1 teaspoon Bells All Natural Seasoning
                                                                        Salt And Pepper, to taste
                                                                        ½ cups Frozen Peas
                                                                        2 cups Cooked, Diced Chicken (use rotisserie, leftover or make It fresh)
                                                                        1 package Pre-Made Pie Crust (2-count Package)

                                                                        Preparation Instructions

                                                                        Preheat oven to 400 F.

                                                                        Boil potatoes in a pot of water until fork tender. This should take 10-20 minutes depending on the size of the dice but test with a fork to make sure they are tender. When done, strain off the water and set aside.

                                                                        On medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven, then add diced celery and onion. Saute until soft (this will take a few minutes.)

                                                                        Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour over the celery and onion and stir to combine. Continue to cook for a couple more minutes, stirring constantly. Add two cups of chicken broth. Stir and cook until it starts to thicken. Add 1 cup of cream, 1 1/2 teaspoons of Bell’s all natural seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook until thickened (about 3 minutes.)

                                                                        Remove from heat and stir in your cooked diced potatoes, 1/2 cup frozen peas and the 2 cups of diced cooked chicken.

                                                                        Put one pie crust into your pie pan. Spread mixture into your pie crust, then top with the other crust. Poke some holes in the top crust to let out steam and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown

                                                                        1. My first attempt at making my own puff pastry seemed like the best time to make myself poulet au vol au vent aka fancy chicken pot pie..

                                                                          I made this a while ago so I apologize for the low quality picture. It had a lid, but it must not have been photogenic enough to include. The pastry was baked first then filled and served. The crust was quite buttery, flaky and delicious, but for all that work, my conclusion was that I should just buy the pastry next time.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: soypower

                                                                            Nice job! But, unless you are in an area where all-butter puff pastry is available and affordable, I'd keep polishing your skills! The shortening stuff is gross (I'm talking about you, Pepperidge Farm).

                                                                            1. re: soypower

                                                                              Your puff pastry looks beautiful! I'm impressed.
                                                                              Personally, I have mixed feelings about home-made vs. purchased puff pastry. If I'm cooking for people who appreciate that kind of thing, homemade can be worth it. Many people I cook for, wouldn't appreciate the difference. So for a work, or a neighborhood, pot-luck, I'll use purchased. If I'm doing a dinner for food-oriented friends, I'll make it from scratch. Now that you know you can do a beautiful job of it, you can do that when your meal warrants that amount of labour.

                                                                            2. I made this chicken pot pie from Martha Stewart's website in December.


                                                                              The twist is the addition of tabasco and worcestershire to the sauce. I made it as written, except for upping the ratio of broth to cream in the sauce to something like 1 to 1. I thought the recipe was very good, but my husband really loved it. He said it was "exciting" and the best chicken pot pie he'd ever eaten.

                                                                              1. Ratatouille and Sausage Pot Pie with Cornmeal Biscuit Crust

                                                                                I found this recipe in the NY Times several years ago, and I've probably made it five times since. Last night was particularly frosty, and it seemed like a great night for a pot pie. I like that the zucchini and eggplant are roasted first, that really brings out their separate flavors, true in any ratatouille. I use an Italian chicken sausage, and canned fire-roasted tomatoes. It all goes so well with the cornmeal biscuit topping. I usually put it in a baking dish, but this time I made it a one-pot and baked it in the pan I used for sautéing the vegetables. We love this dish, and every time I make it Mr. NS says "this is the best one yet!" But it never actually changes.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                    L.Nightshade, thanks for this. prefer biscuits to pie crust for savory dishes and this looks lovely.

                                                                                  2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                    I have to try this! Sounds amazing plus I owe us a ratatoiulle.

                                                                                    1. Pastel de Choclo Chileno -- from The South American Table

                                                                                      I'm hoping that this falls under the 'pot pie' category. There's a semi-saucy filling, sweet and savoury components, and a 'crust' of thickened corn puree. I've had a hankering for South American food lately, something hearty and filling to warm and satisfy on a freezing January afternoon, and this was the perfect choice to meet that criteria.

                                                                                      This 'pie' has a lovely layering of flavours, starting with the pino, a sauced ground beef/onion mixture seasoned with garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, and s&p with a 'gravy' of beef broth thickened with flour. I tossed some raisins in for good measure. I have some Chilean cazuelas, bought for a song, that I have been very eager to try out in this incarnation, so I divvied up the pino amongst four of the clay casseroles, then topped with boiled egg slices, shredded chicken, and a scattering of chopped kalamata olives. The top layer is pureed corn that's been cooked to thicken with a knob of butter, but since I don't have access to the starchy South American-style corn, I added a bit of cornmeal to the mix to give it more body. After baking, top with some sugar and broil to brown the tops and achieve the lovely caramelized crunchy top.

                                                                                      I love the way this pie surprises with every mouthful...a bite of briny olive, some silken egg, maybe a plump sweet raisin or two mixed with the starchy corn and the warm cumin scented beef. Just a wonderful combination. I regret not making extra pino so that I could turn the leftover filling into empanadas. Next time!

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                        This sounds amazing! I'm going to have to look this dish up. I had the cookbook from the library for a while, your wonderful report has inspired me to get back to it!

                                                                                        1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                          Wow Allegra, what a beautiful looking pie and a fabulous review. I must give this a try...thank-you!

                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                            Thanks, LN and BC! It really is a delicious version, and if you like chilean empanadas, you'd probably enjoy this one as well.

                                                                                        2. How come supermarket pot pies never have dark meat chicken in them? It pisses me off to no end. Marie Callandar makes a good chicken pot pie but it's all white meat and same for the turkey pot pies. They even make some varieties of chicken pot pies (w mushrooms, w broccoli cheese) but none with white meat

                                                                                          1. The nomination thread for February's Dish of the Month is now up here:

                                                                                            Keep cooking those pot pies, and think about what you'd like to cook in February.

                                                                                            1. I was surprised to see that no one yet has done a Tuna Pot Pie -- a huge favorite from my kidhood. So I googled, and settled on a pie I should have avoided. I found this one:
                                                                                              (Used just the filling recipe, not the crust instructions.
                                                                                              )Against my better judgement I added "Italian seasoning" and red bell pepper to the otherwise sensible and delicious mix of mild sauce and canned tuna and peas.
                                                                                              Nothing wrong with it, just not what I remember.
                                                                                              The free-form puff pastry top was great! (A brand called Dufour, very good.)

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                                Lovely photo. For some odd reason I'm just not a fan of canned tuna hot (but I enjoy the band, Hot Tuna-go figure!) but I could easily see making the recipe you provided with salmon. Thanks for sharing it.

                                                                                              2. Venezuelan Chicken Pot Pie- Polvorosa de Pollo Venezolano -- Gran Cocina Latina (Maricel Presilla)

                                                                                                My knowledge of Venezuelan cuisine begins and ends with arepas, so when I selected this recipe, I had absolutely no clue what to expect for the taste profie. This is perhaps one of the most bizarre concoctions to come out of my kitchen, and it was astoundingly delicious!

                                                                                                The title of this recipe dating back to the colonial period translates to "pie with the crust that crumbles into dust", and I can vouch for that one. The pastry was most unusual with the addition of icing sugar in the standard blend, and all is cut to a crumbly cornmeal consistency, giving it a sort of savoury shortbread feel. It readily powdered upon mastication, in a dry and dusty yet addictive sort of way. It was extremely difficult to work with and I ended up molding the flattened dough pieces around my pan.

                                                                                                The filling starts with chicken pieces getting slathered with salted garlic paste and set aside to marinate for a while, then placed in a pot to poach with green pepper, leek, onion and cilantro. Finely diced veggies like garlic, red pepper, cubanelle pepper, onion, scallion whites, tomatoes and leeks sautee in olive oil. Now for the unlikely additions of capers, sweet gherkins, worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, port, and prepared yellow mustard (!) along with piloncillo, pimenton, cayenne, the diced cooked chicken and some reserved broth. Phew!

                                                                                                There was so much filling that I had to put it all in my springform pan, so crimping proved to be difficult. What resulted was this tall and lovely golden brown pie that looked and tasted divine! The flavours were bold and assertive, no doubt, slightly spicy and very tangy (taken with a side of antacids!) but it paired nicely with the crumbly pastry. This is definitely something I never would have thought up to make on my own and am thrilled to have tried, as it was so unlike anything I've ever had before, but it will be the first time of many. I enjoyed this very, very much.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                  I love the name of the pie, first of all! Second of all, oh oh I wish I could taste it -- interesting and beautiful and well done, Allegra_K.

                                                                                                  The Gran Cocina book will be in our future, *most likely*.
                                                                                                  p.s. I have no idea what an arepas is!

                                                                                                  1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                    What a beautiful pie; well done!
                                                                                                    Those ingredients sound so unlikely, yet intriguing. I agree with blue room, a further look at this book is merited.

                                                                                                  2. I made our favorite chicken pot pie yesterday. I baked a whole bone in chicken breast for the meat- diced it large, not pulled, The veg was yukon gold potato, carrots, Birdseye frozen pearl onions and some petit peas. I try to keep all except the peas in the same size chunks. For a sauce I sauteed a little minced onion and garlic in butter, added flour and homemade chicken stock for the sauce and thinned it with half and half. The pie crust is by Pillsbury. Baked the pie at 375 until the crust was browning and the sauce bubbling.

                                                                                                    1. Today I'm combining 2 recipes to use a big top round roast (The Ktichn's technique of making individual pot roasts with Ina Garten's Beef Bourguignon recipe). The roast was 4.5 pounds so I cut it into 9 roughly equal sized pieces (half a pound each is a good size).

                                                                                                      Now I'm tempted to shred a couple pieces and freeze with plenty of sauce to have a "pot pie base" ready to go. I might not get around to cooking the pot pie in January, but this thread is definitely inspiring!

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: EngineerChic

                                                                                                        EngineerChic, I enjoy a good recipe mashup myself. If you do give this combination a go, pls be sure to report back. Repurposed leftovers or cooking methods that lead elsewhere in a dish are a great way to rethink dinner.

                                                                                                      2. My easy (though time consuming) winter "pot pie":

                                                                                                        poach whole chicken in water, celery, onions, carrots, bay leaves, salt, etc. for an hour until done. Remove chicken. Let cool enough to remove meat. Put meat in refrigerator, remains of chicken back into pot, and simmer for stock for a few hours. Strain. Put vegetables and meat into pot w/ stock. Top w/ cut biscuits and simmer--the biscuits thicken the stock, like dumplings. Bake in oven, if you want browned biscuits.

                                                                                                        1. Pot Pie with Chicken, Peanut, Sweet Potato, and Spinach.

                                                                                                          I made this last night, assembling what is usually known as an African groundnut stew, then baking it with a crust. The pie had onions, chile peppers, garlic, chicken, sweet potatoes, spinach, and raisins, seasoned with cinnamon, allspice, cumin, nutmeg, and berbere. I sautéed the ingredients in the oil from the top of the peanut butter jar. The liquid was half apple juice and half homemade chicken stock, with crunchy peanut butter stirred in. Then I just plopped it in a baking dish and added a crust. Earthy, spicy flavors. I'm already looking forward to enjoying the leftovers.

                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                            LN how creative and what stunning pictures. You've made me crave this...I wish I was your neighbour and could join you in some leftovers!

                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                              Aw, thanks dear Breadcrumbs! I wish you were closer, I'd love to have you come for dinner!

                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                the whole things sounds wonderful(and looks fantastic), as usual, Linda, but i'm also so impressed by the idea of sauteing in the oil from the peanut butter jar!

                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                  On the rare occasions I buy peanut butter, I always drain off the oil to use for cooking appropriate dishes (like this one, or some Asian dishes). Then I fool myself into thinking that the remainder of the jar is fat-free peanut butter!

                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                  What a great idea--and so beautiful, LN!

                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                    "...in the oil from the top of the peanut butter jar."
                                                                                                                    I like this detail!

                                                                                                                    I've never had peanut stew, but now I want to taste it.

                                                                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                      I absolutely love it, and if you like peanuts or peanut butter, you probably will too. It's a wonderful mix with the meat and the sweet potatoes. I've made it with pork also, which is great. I usually serve it with couscous, but it made a lovely pot pie.

                                                                                                                  2. Are there any good pork pie recipes out there? I have some excellent ground pork tucked in the freezer. I can lean on the French CanadianTourtiere method that we make traditionally for New Years Eve, but wondered if there were alternatives from other cultures?

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                      I've always wanted to try this, just because it sounds so good. It would take some thought, but the basic idea I suppose could be adapted to ground pork.

                                                                                                                      The Swallow's Pork and Tomatillo Stew
                                                                                                                      Serves 6

                                                                                                                      • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
                                                                                                                      • 8 large cloves garlic, peeled
                                                                                                                      • 2 pounds lean pork, cut in cubes
                                                                                                                      • salt
                                                                                                                      • pepper
                                                                                                                      • 1 bottle dark beer
                                                                                                                      • 12 ounces orange juice
                                                                                                                      • 1 pound tomatillos, quartered
                                                                                                                      • 1 pound Roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped
                                                                                                                      • 1 large onions, coarsely chopped
                                                                                                                      • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
                                                                                                                      • 2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
                                                                                                                      • 1 14-ounce can black beans
                                                                                                                      • juice of 1 lime
                                                                                                                      • 1 cup sour cream

                                                                                                                      Heat oil in a large casserole. Add garlic cloves. Add pork, in batches so as not to crowd, and brown on all sides. Remove pork as the pieces get brown on all sides. Remove pork as the pieces get brown and add salt and pepper.

                                                                                                                      Meanwhile, put beer and orange juice in another pot. Add tomatillos and tomatoes, bring to a boil, lower heat, and cook about 20 minutes, or until tomatillos are soft. Set aside.

                                                                                                                      When all pork is browned, pour off all but about a tablespoon of the oil in the pan. Add coarsely chopped onions and cook about 8 minutes, or until soft. Stir, scraping up bits of meat. Add chopped cilantro and pepper and salt to taste.

                                                                                                                      Put pork back into pan. Add tomatillo mixture and chopped jalapeños. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover partially and cook about 2 hours.

                                                                                                                      Taste for seasoning. Add black bean and cook 10 minutes more.

                                                                                                                      Stir lime juice into sour cream.
                                                                                                                      (Found on the "Chocolate & Zucchini" blog forum from poster "Rainey" about 5-6 years ago.)

                                                                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                        This sounds great! I'm bookmarking this recipe.
                                                                                                                        Thanks for sharing it.

                                                                                                                    2. I agree w/ Mr. Claiborne, Rest his Elegant Soul. Pot pies of many stripe are Winter mainstays here, but I make them year 'round.
                                                                                                                      Beef and Guiness pie in a double crust is the favorite of the home team. I like to sprinkle the top w/ Kosher salt, and add herbs to the crust.