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Jan 1, 2013 05:44 AM

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..


                    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.