It's a Keeper: Beef and Cheddar Pot Pie

Call me crazy, but I am pretty much a fan of anything that has a biscuit on top. So, when I saw the recipe for Beef and Cheddar Pot Pie in the September 2007 issue of Everyday With Rachael Ray, I knew I had to give it a try.

I picked this version from the many pot pies in that issue because, well, it was the cheapest. What can I say? The economy sucks! It also had the shortest ingredients list, so I knew it would be easy to prepare on a weeknight. Be warned though - it's not a 30 minute meal (nor was it intended to be one).

I have to say that this is a good recipe, but not exactly a show stopper. It's still in the It's a Keeper category because I would make it again, but I am not sure I would really remember it enough to make it. I think I'd rather have my old favorite - Chicken Mug Pie - instead. But I think you should still give it a try because it was quick, easy, and tasty. Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets:

Beef and Cheddar Pot Pie
Charles Pierce

From Every Day with Rachael Ray
September 2007

Prep Time: 40 min
Bake Time: 35 min

6 tablespoons butter, chilled
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup beef broth
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease an 8-by-12-inch baking dish and set aside. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with the back of a spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and beef broth and season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has cooked off, about 20 minutes. Pour into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, blend in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and the cheese until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in the milk and stir quickly with a fork to form a dry, shaggy dough. Gather the dough together and knead lightly in the bowl. Transfer to a floured work surface and roll or pat into a large, 1/2-inch-thick round. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out 8 biscuits. Gather the scraps of dough, form into a new round and cut out more biscuits. Continue until all the dough has been used. [This part made me a little anxious, since I'm kinda afraid of baking, so I'm definitely afraid of kneading and rolling out. But, it was easier than it sounded.]

3. Place the biscuits on top of the beef mixture as close together as possible and bake until lightly browned, about 35 minutes. [So, 35 minutes of baking isn't bad, since you can run around your house and clean or kick back for a little while during the baking process!]

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