September 23rd – “Homemade beef pot pies may take longer to prepare, but at least you’ll be able to control what goes in ’em.”

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If you’re wondering why my horoscope is telling me to make pot pies, it’s because it’s a FoodScope. Apparently horoscopes can not only help guide you in how you should behave at work or how you should exercise, but also what to eat.  I like looking at these other types of horoscopes because it is a good reminder that we shouldn’t do everything in a vacuum.  Our choices at work, at home, and in what we eat ALL play a role in our overall happiness and well-being. What we put into our bodies can affect our moods, which in turn can have a big impact on how we make decisions. If you’ve ever known anyone who gets hangry and starts yelling at people for no reason, then you know what I mean!

Anyway, back to the pot pies. Coincidentally, I just talked to a friend about making mini shepherd’s pies this week. The one I had at the Renaissance Faire was so good, I couldn’t get them out of my head. Is it really just a coincidence that my FoodScope told me to make pot pies or is there something bigger going on? I’ll let you decide.

Anyone who has watched me cook before knows that I’m not very precise.  I don’t like cooking that requires too much accuracy, so most recipes I’ll be posting will be pretty forgiving or fail proof. I try to be a little more attentive when I’m baking, but for everything else, I tend to eyeball measurements.

Here is recap of what I did last night:

First, I made a quick pie crust dough and filled the muffin tin. I put the dough in the refrigerator for about 15 mins. Then I took them out and blind-baked them for 6 minutes.

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Next, came the mashed potatoes topping with simple ingredients: potatoes, butter, milk, and salt.

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Then, I made beef filling. It’s just beef, onions, veggies, and some spices. Next time, I will add more carrots and peas to bring more sweetness to the pie

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Finally, I filled the tins with the beef and potatoes and baked it for about 12 minutes. I only topped half the pies with potatoes because I was planning to freeze the rest of the pies. Mashed potatoes don’t freeze well and when you defrost them, it can become a runny mess!

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Simple and delicious! I can’t wait to see what else my FoodScope tells me to make!

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Here are the full directions and recipe below. The original recipe is here. If you compare both, you’ll see that I omitted a lot of the ingredients.

 

Dough

1 ¼ cup flour

½ cup butter

¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt

¼ cup ice water

 

Filling

Some oil for the pan

1 lb. ground beef

½ large onion or 1 small onion, minced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon ground pepper

1 ½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons flour

½ cup beef broth

1 ½ cup frozen vegetables (preferably carrots and peas)

 

Topping

2 to 3 medium potatoes

Some milk

Some butter

Some salt

 

Equipment Required: 12 cup muffin tin, 1 large pan, 1 small pot

 

Directions

For the dough:

  1. Grease your muffin tin with oil or butter.
  2. Cut up the butter into small pieces and rub into the flour and salt.
  3. Once combined, add a little water at a time until everything sticks together.
  4. Divide the dough into 12 semi-equal pieces (I usually break the dough in half, half again, then thirds).
  5. With your hand, roll each piece into a ball, flatten them into discs, and put them into the muffin tin. Press firmly on the sides and bottom to make sure that the dough covers the tin as even as you can.
  6. Refrigerate while you make the filling and topping.

For the topping:

  1. Put some water into a pot and bring to boil.
  2. Peel the potatoes, then rinse, and cut into 1 inch cubes.
  3. When the water is boiling, put the potatoes in the water for about 15 minutes. The potatoes are ready when you can easily cut the potatoes with a fork.
  4. Drain the potatoes, then using the same pot (so you can save yourself from having to wash an extra bowl) add some milk, butter until the mixture is creamy to your like. Add salt to taste.
  5. Keep potatoes covered until ready to assemble

For the filling:

  1. Heat your pan, add some oil, and brown your beef (about 3 minutes) – At this point, also preheat your oven to 425.
  2. Add onion, garlic, pepper, and salt
  3. After another few minutes, add flour. Let it cook until some of the water is absorbed and it’s sticky.
  4. Add beef broth and vegetables. Cook for a couple of minutes so that the mixture is still wet, but not runny.

For the assembly:

  1. Take your dough out of the frig and put dried beans into each muffin tin. This will help keep the dough in shape. We are going to blind bake (or bake this without filling), so the dough will puff up a lot if there is no weight on it.
  2. Bake dough for 6 minutes
  3. Remove tin from oven and carefully remove beans with spoon
  4. Fill pies with beef filling and top with mashed potatoes.
  5. Return to oven and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are a little browned.
  6. Cool tin on wire rack until you can safely remove the pies without breaking them (about 20 mins?). I used a butter knife to jimmy them out of the tins.