Rustic Beef Pot Pie
Usually I miss Pi day altogether and just read about all the fun things other people have done. This year I was determined to do something and had planned beef pot pie with our favorite Ancho Chili Fudge Pie for dessert. I was pretty tired from an amazingly busy Saturday and the kids had already participated in a pie eating contest, so I felt ok about scrapping the sweet pie and just making a savory pie. I’ve been using my Mom’s pressure cooker more (so I’m not afraid of it) and when I realized it was already 5:30 it solidified my resolve to use it for my pot pie. I was so happy with the way it turned out!! Tender beef chunks, yummy potatoes and carrots, slightly crunchy green beans, and it made it’s own pan juices that I thickened with a bit of corn starch into gravy. The fresh thyme on the top was pretty and added something even more special. The next day at lunch I was regretting that I hadn’t made two. I was too worn out and pinched for time to make my own pastry, but I had a store-bought pie crust in the freezer, which I baked up right in the tin it came in and then crumbled it for the top of the pie. I never like the bottom crust much anyway. Next time I make it (my daughter already requested it for her next get together with 12 of her closest friends) I’m thinking about cutting the crust into rounds the size of single serving ramekins and then pre-baking them on a cookie sheet, so everyone can have their own little pie. I’ll let you know how that goes.
Rustic Beef Pot Pie -In the pressure cooker
1/4 C coconut oil
1/2 a medium onion, chopped
1 lb stew meat (or you can cut up your own roast into 1-2 inch chunks)
5 small to medium red potatoes, cut in 1/2
1 C thick baby carrots (or cut your own into desired size)
1 1/2 C beef broth (I used organic better than bouillon paste and water)
1/2 lb fresh green beans cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 T cornstarch
pre-baked pie crust (any kind you like, gluten free, whole grain olive oil, whatever you have in the freezer or feel like making)
Fresh thyme leaves (optional)
Salt and pepper the stew meat and set it aside. Melt the coconut oil in the pressure cooker on medium heat and add the onions. Cook until translucent, but not brown. Add the meat, potatoes, carrots, and beef broth. Put the lid on the pressure cooker and bring up to temperature for 20 minutes.
While the cooker is doing it’s thing, prick your crust with a fork and bake it until golden, let it cool a bit and then crumble it up. Heat a saute pan on medium-high with a tablespoon or so of olive oil in it. Toss in the green beans and cook until tender crisp. I like to slightly char the outsides, but the point is to cook them just the way you like, so they’ll be perfect in the pot pie.
When 20 minutes are up, turn off the heat and let the cooker de-pressurize, then open it up and taste. Add salt and pepper if needed. I like to take the potatoes out and cut them into bite size chunks before returning them to the cooker. Spoon out 1/4 C or so of the pan juice into a cup and mix it with the corn starch until there are no lumps. Turn the heat back on to med-high and wait for the mixture to simmer. Once it simmers, pour in the corn starch and stir until thickened, then turn off the heat. If it’s not thick enough for you, repeat the process. Stir in the green beans and spoon the filling mixture into a pie plate. Put the pie crust crumbs evenly on the top. Sprinkle on fresh thyme leaves, if using, and serve.
*Note-The coconut oil adds something special to the taste of the meat and the gravy, so don’t substitute another fat unless you have to.