beefpie3

Beef, Guiness and Mushroom Pie

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A great combination of rosemary, garlic, mushrooms, beef favours, with a thick rich Guinness sauce.  YUM.  I keep Guinness in my fridge solely for this recipe.  It`s definitely not because me or anyone else in this house drinks it…

The perfect dinner, and lunch the next day… This also makes for an easy meal when made in larger batches, and frozen for future dinners/lunches.

Thank you Jamie Oliver for this recipe as the starting point!  I made this the very first time, pretty much following the directions and it was fabulous, except that the meat I`d use was a poor cut, and a bit of a jaw work-out.  The next time I made it, I was feeling particularly lazy and decided to just throw it all in a slow cooker, then finish by baking in a pie shell.  Unfortunately it turned a bit mushy, and some of the flavours were a bit muted, as can happen with a slow cooker.  The last time I made this, I did a hybrid of slow cooker and stove top cooking, which worked out quite successfully.

PREP TIME: 20 min  COOK TIME: 4 min  TOTAL TIME: 24 min   YIELD: 2 pies
Ingredients:
  • 1.5 lbs beef (cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • Prepared puff pastry
  • 3 onions diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 3 cloves of garlic; minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 sticks celery – finely sliced
  • 2 carrot sticks – peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced (any kind, I used shitake and crimini)
  • 1 can Guinness
  • 1 heaping tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 2 handfuls of shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten with a fork
  • 1/2 cup peas
Directions:
  1. Break out the slow cooker, turn to high and add Guinness and beef pieces.  Let that cook for about 3 hours.
  2. Sauté onions on the stove top with a little olive oil, salt and pepper until slightly browned in a deep pot.  Then stir in a sprig of rosemary.
  3. Add 1 tbsp butter, celery and carrots, mushrooms.  Cook until carrots are al dente and mushroom liquid has reduced.
  4. Add beef and all juices from the slow cooker, and minced garlic.  Season with pepper and salt as desired and stir in 1 heaping tbsp flour.  Pour in beef stock to top off stew.  Add peas to the mixture and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Stir in 1 handful of shredded sharp cheddar or monterey jack cheese.
  6. Roll out puff pastry and line the bottom of an oven safe bowl or pie pan that is about 4 inches deep and 8-10 inches in diameter with the puff pastry; pour in the stew filling.
  7. Sprinkle the other handful of shredded cheddar cheese on top of stew filling.
  8. Brush the outer edge of the puff pastry with the beaten egg (this will act like glue when you put the top on).
  9. Cover with another piece of puff pastry that has been lightly scored with a knife.  Press around the edges so the top puff pastry is sealed to the bottom puff pastry.  Fold in excess puff pastry that is draping over the bowl/pan so it has a crinkled look on the top.  Then brush top with beaten egg.
  10. Bake the pie in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden.  OR, at this point, cover, label, and free for a future dinner.
  11. To cook after freezing, thaw (in the fridge), then bake at 375 for about 40-50 minutes.
  12. Just one last note, I have made this recipe with pie crust (as a meat pie) instead of puff pastry, it was also very good but I will say I prefer the puff pastry!
turkpie2

Turkey (or Chicken) Leftovers Pie

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Anything goes when it comes to “turkey leftover pie”, well, within reason anyway.  It’s a prime opportunity to use up leftover vegetables as well as turkey (or chicken).  In addition to the ingredients listed below, in the past I’ve also added some minced garlic, green beans, etc.

It’s also great for stocking up the freezer with a few hearty and very easy dinners for those days when you just really don’t feel like cooking.  {What!  I can’t believe she said that!  This is supposed to be a cooking blog!}

After the last turkey dinner I hosted, I followed up dinner promptly by making four of these bad boys (it was a rather large turkey).  That was an especially long day, and if I had it all to do over again I would say the turkey could wait it out in the fridge for a day before making some pies… but it was rewarding in the end to make use of SO much food and not see any of it go to waste.

PREP TIME: 25 min  COOK TIME: 30 min  TOTAL TIME: 55 min  YIELD: 2 pies
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (I omitted this, because I don’t like peas!)
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 1 big leaf of kale, chopped (optional)
  • 2-1/2 cups of diced turkey or chicken
  • 4 to 5 cups of chicken broth (or substitute 1 cup with white wine if you happen to have a bottle open…)
  • 1/3 cup of margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp of celery seed
  • 3/4 tsp of thyme
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • mashed potatoes to top (I use 4-5 large potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed, and add cream/butter/salt as desired)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, like a sharp cheddar
  • 2 prepared pie crusts
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Peel, cut, boil and mash potatoes or use leftover mashed potatoes.  {If you prefer, another option is to avoid the potatoes all together, and top with another prepared pie crust instead
  3. Chop, then cook celery and carrots (and peas, if you like that kind of thing) in 1 cup of either chicken (or turkey) broth or white wine until soft in large skillet under medium heat until al dente. Put aside while you cook the rest of it.
  4. Add butter to pan, then onions and cook until just translucent. Add flour and seasonings (celery seed, thyme, salt, pepper, anything else you want to throw in). Cook ~2 minutes, stirring slowly. Add 3 cups of chicken (or turkey) broth, mixing well.
  5. Add chicken, mushroom soup, kale (if you’re using), and vegetable mixture and combine well. Allow to simmer ~10 minutes, and if need-be use additional chicken (or turkey) broth. Or if too runny, simmer longer until mixture thickens.
  6. Divide mixture into 2 pie crusts, top with mashed potatoes.
  7. Bake 30 minutes or until crust is browned/cooked. Add cheese to top, then bake additional 6-8 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, then let stand 10-15 minutes before eating.

To Freeze:

  1. Bake pie crusts according to directions.  Meanwhile, follow steps 1 through 5 above.  Fill pre-baked pie crusts , top with mashed potatoes.  Cover with plastic wrap, store in freezer bags, label and freeze.  When ready to cook, thaw (in the fridge!) and bake 30-40 minutes at 425 F.  Or, if cooking from frozen, bake 50-60 minutes.  Tip: wrap crust edges with foil, then remove for the last 15 minutes to avoid burning.
piecupcake1

BBQ-Themed Cupcakes: Pie

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Clever.  A dessert disguised as a dessert.  And a fun addition to my BBQ-themed cupcakes.

For “Pie” cupcakes, you’ll need:

– Cupcakes (any kind will do)
– Silver cupcake wrappers
– Buttercream frosting, dyed brown
– Smarties

Decorating “Pie” Cupcakes:

1. Whip up some cupcakes and bake them according to the recipe directions.  Any kind will do.  I suggest using silver cupcake wrappers (as they look more like little pie-tins).

2. While those cupcakes are cooling, mix buttercream frosting according to the recipe directions.  Add yellow and red food colouring, and 1 drop of blue to turn a brown sort of colour.

3. Divide frosting into 3 parts.  Leave 1 part in a bowl.  Put 1 part in a ziploc bag, and the last part in a separate ziploc bag.  Cut a small corner off of one of the bags with icing.  For the last bag with icing, either insert a decorative icing tip and cut the corner off OR just cut a larger corner off of the bag.

4. Frost cupcakes with some of the frosting from the bowl, just using a butterknife or similar.

5. Using bag with a decorative tip OR just larger corner cut off, frost around the perimeter of the cupcake.

6. Arrange smarties on top of cupcakes.

7. Lastly, pipe finer crisscrossing lines over top of the smarties using the bag of icing with the smaller tip cut off.