Fungus and Cow Flesh

This crisp night air reminds me of many different foods, but today I will focus on pot pies. The lovely, the delicious, pot pie. In my high school years pot pies were those little frozen things in the cute little pie tins. Fresh out of the oven they'd be lava hot for about an hour before you could safely eat one. Fall reminds me of these because of Friday nights. Friday's were a bit crazy. Dad always coached, and us kids were always involved in various Friday night activities. My mom was an amazing cook but in those days she turned Friday nights into frozen meal nights. A frozen dinner, a pot pie, etc. We loved it. She was smart like that because we were all going in a million different directions and she got to have the 'night off.' She made it easy on herself and as teenagers we LOVED processed food! It was a win for everybody.

These days, you couldn't MAKE me eat a Tyson's frozen pot pie. Marie Callender's, MAYBE. But I'm here to tell you there is something much better out there and still pretty dog gone easy. This week's Free Recipe Friday star of the show is Beef and Mushroom Pie. You'll die it's so good. It may indeed become your new modern day comfort food. Our family is split down the middle on our love of mushrooms, so if you do not like mushrooms I feel your pain. You can easily omit them if you'd like. This recipe made six large servings using 6 oz ramekins, you could make one large pot pie if you'd like, but I don't like to share my crust. Cut the puff pastry crust into whatever shape will cover your dish and you've got a winner of a meal! Deeelish.

WHAT YOU NEED:

a 3 or 3 1/2 lb chuck roast, cut into chunks

1 large onion, diced

3 carrots, diced

2 celery sticks, diced

about 1 1/2 cups of mushrooms, sliced (opt)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp paprika (smoked if possible)

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried rosemary (we used fresh)

1 tsp dried oregano (we omitted this)

2 bay leaves

2 cups good beef broth

1 tablespoon flour

3 tablespoons milk

salt/pepper to taste

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed and kept cold until ready to use

(found on the frozen aisle)

1 egg

WHAT TO DO:

Spray a medium size heavy pot with non stick spray

and place on medium heat. Brown the beef on all sides and set aside.

In the same pot, saute onions, carrots and celery

until soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes more

then add paprika and other herbs.

Pour in the beef broth and place the cooked beef back into the pot.

Stir to combine everything and reduce heat.

Cover the pot and simmer gently for 1-1 1/2 hours.

(For an easy dinner, do this step ahead of time

or simmer the meat in a crock pot or in the oven).

In a small bowl combine the flour and milk with a fork

until all lumps are gone, set aside.

When the meat is really tender and about to fall apart,

turn the heat back up and pour in the flour mixture.

Allow the sauce the simmer and thicken,

stirring often, about 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Divide the beef and mushroom mixture evenly

among your dishes and remove the bay leaves

when you find them ;)

Cut the puff pastry into big enough pieces to cover each dish.

For a perfect fit, you can place an empty dish on top of the puff pastry

as a pattern and cut with a sharp knife.

Place each puff pastry on top of the filled dishes.

Our large mouth dishes required 2 sheets of puff pastry.

Cut 2 slits in the top of the puff pastry to allow

that good ol' steam to escape.

(We covered the scraps with cinnamon and sugar

and baked them right up for little snackies!)

Quickly brush the top of each puff pastry

with the beaten egg to give them

a golden shine and lay all dishes on a baking sheet

to protect your oven,

they will most certainly spill over a bit.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let them rest a bit

before serving - your taste buds will thank you.

Serve these with a side salad or your favorite veggies,

they are such a comfort food.

It's like the comforts of roast and gravy

along with pot pie rolled into one.

Enjoy making this pot pie your new family favorite!

#freerecipefriday

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