Monday, July 28, 2014

Beef and Mushroom Pot Pie

There was a special on beef roasts at QFC last week - 2 for 1 - so of course I bought two as there are so many things you can do with leftover roast beef.  I make it in the simplest of ways - I just season it all over with Lawry's Seasoned Salt and garlic powder. Then I put it into a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes, then turn it down to 250 degrees and cook for about 2- - 25 minutes per pound for rare roast beef.  If you like it medium go up to 30 - 35 minutes per pound. We have roast beef the first night and then I make things like Thai Beef Salad or Beef Pot Pie.  In the fall and winter I tend to make Pot Pie with potatoes and carrots and peas. In the summer, it's almost always with mushrooms. Sometimes I make pot pies with chicken too and turkey after Thanksgiving.  Now, a lot of people make pot pies with a stew, but I like it much better when I make a quick gravy to go along with the meat and vegetables. Then you top it with puff pastry which I don't even roll out - I just cut it to fit with scissors - a much underrated kitchen tool and then I cut a few vent holes and bake in a hot oven for 20 - 25 minutes. You will be rewarded savory delight - crispy puff pastry covering a luscious blend of tender roast beef and mushrooms. It's so delicious and so easy!

Beef and Mushroom Pot Pie

4 cups cut up leftover roast beef, cut into large chunks
1 medium onion, diced
3 cups washed and sliced mushrooms (about 12 medium button mushrooms)
1/4 teaspoon salt and sprinkling of fresh ground pepper
3 cups beef broth (including roast beef drippings - I used Better than Bouillon)
6 Tablespoons Butter
8 Tablespoons Flour
2 sheets thawed Puff Pastry (I used Pepperidge Farm)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large frying pan with deep sides, melt butter and add in onions. Cook until they become translucent. Put in the mushrooms and the salt and pepper and cook until they just begin to soften.  Add the beef and toss.  Then add in flour and mix until the flour is fully incorporated.  Then add in the broth and cook until just thickened.   

Divide mixture between 2 9" pie pans (I used glass ones).  Then put the puff pastry on top and cut to fit the round shape with scissors. Cut numerous vent holes in the puff pastry with a sharp knife.  Put into the oven over a cookie sheet (it might drip) and cook for 20 - 25 minutes or until the puff pastry is puffed up and browned.

Five Element Analysis

Beef and Mushrooms belong to the Earth Element so this is clearly a very grounding dish.  The wheat in the puff pastry and flour contributes the Wood Element. The onions bring in the Metal Element and the butter adds even more.  The Water and Fire Elements are missing so be sure to serve foods later that belong to these elements, but if you are trying to make a balanced meal, serve the Pot Pie with a green salad or with sliced tomatoes and perhaps some dark berries for dessert.

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