Sunday, February 13, 2011

It's Pot Pie Time!

I've been craving pot pie lately. Not just craving to eat pot pie, but craving to make pot pie, which is exactly what happened today. I haven't made pie dough in a while, but I followed the golden ratio of 3:2:1 (flour:butter:water). I used my infallible method for cutting butter into flour by small-dicing frozen unsalted butter, adding it to the flour, and systematically squishing each tiny frozen butter cube between my fingers. By starting out with frozen butter, it keeps everything cold enough that the butter doesn't melt and squishing it between your fingers is oh-so-satisfying! Anyway, once I was was done squishing, I put the flour-butter mixture in the fridge while I made the filling with onions, garlic, leeks, carrots, parsnips, cremini mushrooms, green beans, and diced chicken breast. I used my rosemary beer to deglaze the pan, made a quick roux, and added some chicken stock to make it saucy with berbere, cinnamon, paprika, and black pepper.

Side note on my rosemary beer: I wanted to make a beer that tasted like gin, specifically Voyager Gin from Pacific Distilleries. I used some of the lightest malts possible for the mash. The boil contained 5 ounces of hops (Warrior, Mt. Hood, and Tettnang) in addition to rosemary, artemisia, cinnamon sticks, juniper berries, ground cardamom, whole cloves, caraway seeds, and dried thyme. Though I added so much rosemary you can hardly taste the hops...thus it is rosemary beer. It's excellent to cook with and it's aging quite nicely as a beverage. But I digress, back to the pie!

I made the pies in ramekins and the only acceptable thing to do with left over dough is to coat it in cinnamon and sugar and bake it.

I initially forgot to poke the pie dough in a couple places to allow for gas exchange so they don't explode. When I checked on them part way through baking, one of the smaller ones was literally levitating - my pot pie became a hot air balloon! Physics is awesome sometimes. Anyway, I poked them and they finished cooking beautifully.

I made a quick salad to go with a pot pie for dinner. If only pot-pie wasn't so time-consuming to make, I'd make them all the time!


  1. Have you tried using a cheese grater for your frozen butter? It's pretty cool.

    These look awesome and I want to make some right now.

  2. I have grated butter before, it's not a bad method, though the way the butter melts in my hand as I'm trying to grate it is a little problematic. And call me crazy, but I'm really in love with the textural experience of squishing frozen butter into flour...

  3. Oh no, I totally get it. I'm the same way whenever I'm playing with corn masa.