Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Make It Into Pot Pie

Recently, my parents came back from a restaurant raving about the beef pot pie Dad got.  And there was this post by Becky on chicken pot pie.  I looked up pot pie in my Mennonite Community Cookbook ("Old-Fashioned Beef Potpie" by Grandmother Showalter); it's been a long time since I made homemade noodles!

So I made pot pie twice in a short period of time, and I will be doing it a lot more; it's pretty easy and flexible, which suits my cooking style now.  Essentially, you make a very simple dough, roll it out, cut it into squares, and drop it into boiling stew.  The noodles soak up some of the liquid and make the stew into the kind of thing you can very easily imagine eating on a farm "back then" (as my kids say).

the ham version

However, Grandmother Showalter is very careful not to shock her eaters with too many flavors, so her recipe only calls for 1 teaspoon of minced onion and 1 teaspoon of minced parsley to 2 pounds of beef.  Very funny to a modern cook!  I kept her proportions the same, but played with flavors.  We all loved the results.

Old-Fashioned Potpie for Modern Tastes

Cook 1lb. stewing beef cut in 1/2" cubes in 6 cups water; use a large pot (Grandmother uses 2 lbs. meat, but I wanted more veggies).  Add chopped onion, sliced mushrooms, salt (I start with a scant teaspoon), pepper.  When beef is nearly tender, add approximately 3 cups diced carrots and potatoes.  A splash of Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar.  Taste.
Make noodles. Beat 1 egg and 3 Tbsp. milk together in a bowl.  Add 1 1/2 cups flour to make stiff dough (I use part whole wheat pastry flour - depends on how you feel about whole wheat noodles). Roll out dough on floured surface.  Aim for 1/4" thickness or less - we like the noodles on the thick, chewy, toothsome side.   Drop the noodles into the boiling stew, stirring occasionally to make sure they don't stick together. I stir in chopped fresh parsley at this point, too. Allow to boil for 15 minutes or so.

Ham variation: Use chopped ham instead of beef. Keep the onion, potato, and carrot, but also a cup or two of sauerkraut and add 2 bay leaves and a clove or two.  Lots of black pepper and parsley at the end.

Notes:  This is a very forgiving recipe.  You can add more liquid if the noodles suck up too much in cooking or in sitting in the fridge as leftovers.  You can make the stew base earlier in the day and bring it back up to boiling closer to dinner when you make the noodles.  You can make the noodle dough at least an hour ahead of rolling it - in fact, the gluten will relax and make the rolling-out easier - just keep the dough in an airtight container at room temperature.

beef version

I'd love your ideas for more variations - what other kinds of stews or flavor combinations should I use with these noodles?

We've got an honest-to-John blizzard going on right now outside the window: blowing snow and sleet, everything canceled.  Perfect day for a thick homey stew like this!


Tammy said...

These both look yummy! I would think of this as called something more like soup with dumplings, though when I think of dumplings they are more like biscuits. Whatever you call it it looks delicious!

e said...

That's how to enjoy a storm! Hunker down and enjoy soul-warming food, lovingly prepared.

Stay warm!

Unknown said...

I've never seen pot pie like that. The verison I make is a casserole with chicken, veggies and a sauce on it then a pie crust over it and it bakes until the crust gets all golden brown.

Lana said...

My Pennsylvania Dutch Mom would call that pot pie. Here is the south we would make it with chicken and call it chicken and dumplings. Here is a great recipe. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/chicken-and-dumplings-recipe

The dumplings do not call for egg so do not taste like noodles but this is Southern comfort food at it's best.

Margo said...

The "pot pie" is ethnic to our area and it's not a pie; the link to Becky's blog explains it well. The typical version around here is chicken pot pie, so I was tickled to discover (and innovate) beef and ham versions. I do make chicken and dumplings where the dumplings have baking powder in them and have a different texture than noodles. All so delicious, whatever they're called!

Laura said...

I grew up eating ham pot pie, and it is a favorite comfort food. I've never had beef pot pie, although I think it sounds fantastic. The ham pot pie that we ate, though, was definitely made with just the bits and bobs leftover from a roast as well as the hammy broth made from the bone. Noodles made as you describe, then the potatoes are not diced, but cut into very thin slices so at a glance you might not be able to discern noodles from potatoes (a quick glance). It was seasoned pretty simply with just some parsley. I still make it this way, although use more onion and parsley. But I don't add any other vegetables! It's not really health food, but it is absolutely delicious and takes me back to childhood.

Anonymous said...

This sounds delicious.
I bet it would also be great using a painful of roasted root vegetables as your base, with the primary herb flavor being dill.

-Kim from Philadelphia

jenny_o said...

Like Anissa, the only kind of pot pie I've ever seen prior to this post was the "pie" kind - two piecrusts with, basically, chicken or beef stew between them. Your version looks delicious and much healthier!

jenny_o said...

And we are having the same storm :)

Becky said...

Yum. And I like Kim from Philly's idea about using a panful of roasted veggies as a base - I've definitely had a very similar thought. I think the noodles taste better after sitting overnight - and I'm hoping that version will sway my family, who have decided they like their pot pie as pie.

Anonymous said...

Margo, wanted you to know I'm now getting a "Margo fix" daily as your dad alerted me to your blog awhile back. Since I am behind quite a bit, it's been fun getting a bit at a time; different​ places (found you on Pinterest) and subjects. Thanks, and due to your lovely suggestive idea and picture, I made stew for our supper yesterday! Shirley

Aimee said...

We call this slippery pot pie. Sometimes it has beans in it with the noodles, broth and meat. We must differentiate between slippery pot pie and baked potato pie. Both are delicious!

Aimee said...

Baked pot pie! Autocorrect strikes again.

Margo said...

Aimee, love how you designate the different pies! So useful.

Polly said...

I find these variations on "pot pie" quite fascinating. There's yours, then there's one I've seen with biscuits on top of the filling (maybe that's the deep south version), then the pot pie I grew up with which was an actual pie crust with a chicken-carrot-pea filling.

It makes me wonder what else varies from region to region. I'm used to thinking of the British v. American words for things (scones/biscuits/cookies/etc.) but have never thought much about variation within our own country.