Sunday, February 8, 2009

Beef and Mushroom (or just Mushroom) Pot Pie

Ok, I'm not going to lie. This one takes a little time, but it's TOTALLY worth it. It's fantastic on a weekend afternoon when you want something warm and comforting for dinner. It's also a good company dish, because you can prepare it all the way up to putting in the baking dish, and then just add the crust and pop it in the oven at the very end.

It's already pretty substantial, but if you feel the need for a side dish, add a salad with some olive oil and red wine vinegar for dressing. Mmmmmmm.

The Recipe:

1 Tbs canola oil
¾ lb beef* (I used beef already cut into stir-fry pieces, and just chopped it a little smaller)
1 medium red onion, cut into large chunks
2 leeks, white part only, sliced into rings (optional)*
2 pinches salt
¼ tsp pepper
3 Tbs dried rosemary
2 Tbs dried thyme
1 lb mushrooms, sliced (I use a 10oz. bag of pre-sliced crimini mushrooms, and 1 6oz. package of portabello mushrooms that I chop myself)*

4 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour (about ¼ cup)
½ cup milk
½ cup red wine
½ cup beef broth*

½ cup Parmesan cheese
a few springs of fresh thyme and rosemary (optional)
1-2 sheets puff pastry (optional)

*Vegetarian version:
Instead of beef and beef broth, use 10 more oz of sliced mushrooms (so 26oz total), vegetable broth, and DEFINITELY use the leeks. It will be FANTASTIC.


In a large pan, heat the canola oil. When it’s hot enough that you can swirl it around the pan like water, add the beef, a pinch of salt and the pepper. Cook over high heat until the beef is seared on all sides. Add the chopped red onion and leeks (if using). Turn the heat to medium-high and cook until the onions begin to soften. Add all the mushrooms, rosemary and thyme, and sprinkle with the other pinch of salt.

Stir the beef/mushroom mixture together, turn the heat to low, and cover. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.

While the mushroom mixture simmers, make the gravy:
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over high heat. Add the flour, a little at a time, whisking constantly. Continue whisking for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture starts to brown. It will be all bubbly and will look thicker than it is. SLOWLY add the liquids, a teeny bit at a time. When all the liquid is added, the sauce will be thick, but that’s ok, because there will be liquid in the mushroom pot (from the mushrooms), and that will thin it out. (Also, the mixture will turn purple because of the wine. Don’t panic; it won’t look purple when the dish is finished.) Turn the heat to low and let it sit. At this point, it will be fine on its own for a minute or two.

Note: If you’ve never made a roux, you will see right off the bat that the liquid will bind to the flour and you will end up with scary-looking purple dough. You will think you screwed it up. YOU DIDN’T. IT’S FINE. Just keep adding liquid and whisking. It will get saucier in a minute. (I can’t tell you how many perfectly good sauces I threw out when they got doughy, because I thought I did something wrong. I wish someone had told me it wasn’t my fault!)

Uncover the mushrooms, and check them. They should be soft, but not mushy. Pour the purple gravy into the pot, and simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 5-10 minutes. (This is the part where I wash up the other pots, because my kitchen is TINY.)

NOW. You can either eat it just like that, as a stew (which I do pretty regularly), or you can put the crust on.

For the crust: Heat the oven to 400. Pour the mushroom mixture into an 8x10-inch baking dish. (If you’re making the vegetarian version, you’ll need the big 10x14-inch dish. More veggies = more bulk.) Top it with the Parmesan cheese, and optional fresh herbs (as shown).

Unfold one sheet of puff pastry and lay it over the top. I don’t bother with cutting it to fit, or with pressing down the edges. I just lay it there, like this:

Place the baking dish on a cookie sheet (in case it boils over) and put it in the oven for 30 minutes. When the pastry is all puffy and golden on the top, pull it out. It should look like this:

Ta-da! (If you want it to be prettier, cut a second sheet of puff pastry in half and cover the whole pie before you put it in the oven.)

But be warned. There will be no leftovers. SERIOUSLY.


  1. Isn't there the puff pastry rule that's something like no matter what you put under puff pastry, it's good?

    Can you make some of this and send it? I'm too lazy to try it. I'm more of a crock (crack) pot person and versions of WW type recipes are my favorites and I try to do a new recipe each week and it can be veg too.

    Nice of me to give my criteria, huh?

  2. *cracks up* Oh, I think that's a perfectly good rule about the pastry!

    I have a few crock pot recipes that I'll post eventually, too. :) For the serious in ultimate Crock Pot cooking though, check out

    Holy cow. That's all I have to say about that. (Actually I'm going to link to one of her recipes later, because I made it, and then made 2 MORE recipes of my own based on hers.)

    I've actually got a few recipes that will be good for WW, although I don't think we're going to post nutrition info and all that; we decided it would be too much work! Ha!

    But I'm glad for the feedback! :D

  3. I agree. Too much work to post nutrition info.
    I made chili today. It's delish. I'm going to modify it with puff pastry.

  4. Okay, we tried this last night and it was wonderful! We did the no meat version. Guess what? There were no leftovers!!

  5. POD, that chili sounds really good. And yes, puff pastry makes EVERYTHING better, LOL!

    Bestestauntie, I'm so glad! I have to admit that I almost like the all-mushroom version better. (But I have dr's orders to get more red meat into my diet, so I added beef to mine.)

  6. How many servings is this?

  7. Chels, if you do the all-mushroom version it should feed 6 fairly hungry adults. If you do the beef and mushroom version, it will be 4 VERY hungry adults or 6 adults with a salad and rolls. The beef version has a little less volume because of the beef.


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