Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Falling into Pot Pie for Fall, Short Rib Pot Pie with Dark Beer and a Collage of Vegetables


Pot Pie. Even the name conjures up the most delicious visions of flakey crust and deep flavored sauce with chunky fillings and rich aromas. Got you hungry?

Well it was Monday and I had the day off and I decided to invite my friends over for a little supper at the Kitchen at 7th and 20th. I had been thinking all day about comfort foods I was looking forward to in the chilly Autumnal weather and so I decided why wait for it to get any colder. I got out some wintery vegetables and some short rib meat that I had already cooked for another purpose and went to town.

Pot Pie's are a delicious relic of old English cookery that is rooted in the Middle Ages and has it's origins in the winter kitchens of some castle somewhere, when preserving the food was part of the purpose for stewing the food and topping or encasing with the pie crust. That led to peasant cooking and eventually pub fare and that takes us to today where the lowly pot pie is still the favorite of people all over in bars and Irish Pubs here in the U.S.

Now I don't pretend to have any kind of story about Pot Pies because I never ate them growing up. They were not in the family cooking vocabulary. They are however, one of the things I learned to love along with Gyros and Brussel Sprouts when I left home. So while I can't entertain with a personal anecdotal tale of Pot pie lore I will give you my thoughts on them and why I made this one. I think pot pies generally have become the dumping ground of lots of potatoes peas and carrots in gloppy white sauce with bits of chicken in them. I wanted to do something different. And I think that steak and kidney pies are good but not exactly what I would have as a pie base.

So I picked my favorite braising meat of all time, the short rib. And because I am sensitive to the overload of potatoes I choose my favorite wintery veggies and added some regular favorites and decided to forego the starch. And I decided that I wanted a rich sauce, brown and beer based like a good flemish stew. So with those ideas in mind I give you this Short Rib Pot Pie recipe which is very easy and very tasty. So try it out and enjoy, Ya'll!!


2 lbs cooked Beef Short Ribs, cut to 1/2” x 1/2”
3 cups Beef Broth
3 cups stout beer
¼ cup butter
1 cup Diced Carrot (separate into ½ cups)
1 cup Diced Celery (separate into ½ cups)
1 cup Diced Onion (separate into ½ cups)

1 pound mushrooms sliced
1 cup pearl onions
1 pound brussels sprouts halved
1 Tbls Fresh Thyme
2 Tbls Dijon
3 good shakes of Worcestershire Sauce
7 Tbls Flour
4 Tbls butter

1 Tbls garlic flavored oil
1 cup grated sharp cheddar (English Cotswold is nice)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Sauté ½ of the diced vegetables and thyme until golden
Add beer and 2 cups of broth

Cook down till reduced 1/3 add mustard and W Sauce
Make Slurry of flour and remaining broth
Add and stir till thickened allow to cool
Place brussel sprouts and pearl onions on baking sheet and toss with oil and salt and pepper
Bake covered at 350° for 30 (until just tender then cool)
Add ribs, vegetables and the raw mushrooms to the sauce and mix together gently
Cut  4, 5” rounds from your favorite pie dough
Fill 4 pot pie bowls

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of grated cheese over
Fold over dough and crimp closed
Poke a vent in the top
Bake at 400° for 20 to 30 mins or until the top is golden brown

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