Pot Pies

Pot Pies

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Not a holiday goes by that my sister doesn’t say, “you are making pot pies, aren’t you?” I’ve posted about Pot Pies before, but as we enter Thanksgiving and Holiday time warp, it bears repeating. This is comfort food at its finest. I find it relaxing to make pastry crust from scratch–don’t hate me–but don’t feel bad about snagging a box of pre-made pie shells from the dairy case. If you like extra dough on top,  and who doesn’t, buy an extra package so you can add extra crust bits on top. Search for the post “Flaky Butter Crust”, if you are feeling it, make your own. Because this is a great recipe for using up bits of leftovers–meats, vegetables and various bits of cheeses. Put those holiday leftovers to good use.  Throw that gravy into your cream sauce base, add those green beans into the mix and of course the turkey bits are most welcome.  I don’t think I’ve ever made the same pot pie twice. These freeze really well, just add on that extra time when baking from the freezer. I love making lots of little pies instead of a big 9″ pie.  They bake faster, store better and you can snag use one from the freezer.   I can’t tell you how exciting it is to find a couple of these in your freezer on a Tuesday night! Easy to make these vegetarian.

Making Pot Pies

Pot Pies

Sibby Barrett
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • 9-10" pie pan or 10-12 small baking dishes

Ingredients
  

Cream Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon
  • 2 cups shredded cheese your choice

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large russet potato diced, peeled or not
  • 3 ribs celery diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 medium shallot diced
  • 2 medium carrots scrubbed and diced
  • 1/2-3/4 cup peas alternately, 3-4 cups any diced vegetables or frozen mixed vegetables
  • salt and pepper
  • tablespoon Mediterranean Spice or Juniper Provence Spice or your favorite spice blend
  • juice of one lemon
  • 3-4 cups cooked, shredded chicken, turkey, beef or pork optional meat, will reduce the number of pies

Crust

  • 1 or 2 package(s) pie crust (2 per box)* use two if you'd like extra dough top pieces. Alternately, see recipe for Flaky Butter Crust to make your own. room temp, then unrolled
  • milk, half and half or cream plus coarse salt for brushing and sprinkling

Instructions
 

Make the sauce

  • In a medium sized saucepan, over medium high heat, melt butter until foamy; sprinkle in flour and cook, whisking frequently for 2-3 minutes to cook the flour. Gradually whisk in milk and cook for 6-8 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and whisk in Dijon and cheese. Stir gently to melt the cheese. Set aside.

Make the filling

  • Place the butter and olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add potato and cook, stirring frequently for 3-5 minutes, until just beginning to soften. Add celery, onions, shallots and carrots and continue to saute for 7-9 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Gently stir in peas. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add spice mix and lemon. If using meat, stir in shredded meat. Set filling aside to cool. (spreading out onto a sheet pan helps this process to speed up) Mix filling and sauce together; taste and adjust seasoning.

Pastry into pan (s)

  • If using the box of dough rounds, roll out on a lightly floured surface until slightly larger than it comes, about 14". I sometimes make 2-9" rounds, 1- 9" x 11" casserole or 10-12 small indivdual pies in various ramekins or foil pans. It is a good idea to lightly spray any pan you select with cooking spray before putting your dough in the baking dish. I usually get 5-6 dough rounds for the mini pies per dough round. Cut your dough according to the pans you have selected, cutting each piece slightly larger than the pan(s) so you have a bit to tuck under around the edges. Hang on to all of your scraps to use on top of the pies. *If you want a lot of pastry on top, thaw out an extra dough round so you can be extravagant with those decorative pieces. Gently fit the dough pieces in your pans, tucking extra dough under to create a crust edge. Place on a parchment lined sheet pan and chill those shells and topping bits for at least 15 minutes or freeze for 5-7 minutes. Preheat oven to 375º. I like to add a pizza stone to my oven to set the pies on, or just place a sheet pan in the oven during the preheat and set the pies on the hot pan to bake from the bottom up. No soggy bottoms!

Fill Pies and Bake

  • When dough has chilled and oven is properly preheated, spoon filling into prepared pastry shells and top with scrap bits of the dough or pieces you cut from the extra round, if you opted for lots of topping. Brush with milk. I like to sprikle with a bit of coarse salt at this point.

Bake

  • Bake pies for 25-30 minutes for small pies and 35-45 minutes for larger pies.

Notes

These can be frozen unbaked or baked.  Add 20-40 minutes extra baking time if baking frozen pies.  
Keyword chicken pot pies, freezer food, leftovers, pot pies, vegetable pot pies